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15th Annual UWI Toronto Benefit Awards: Celebrating Excellence and Philanthropy

Toronto, ON – On the evening of April 20th, 2024, the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto will be illuminated with the glitz and glamour of the 15th Annual University of West Indies (UWI) Toronto Benefit Awards. With a sold-out guest list, this gala affair promises an eclectic entertainment lineup and a heartfelt dedication to supporting Caribbean students’ educational aspirations.

CBC Toronto News Anchor Dwight Drummond will guide attendees through an evening of celebration and giving as they come together in support of scholarships for Caribbean students. The University of the West Indies, consistently ranked among the world’s best universities, joins hands with Scotiabank, the Lead Sponsor for the 15th consecutive year, to ensure that deserving students have access to quality education.

The entertainment lineup for the evening boasts an impressive array of talent, including Juno Award-winning singer Divine Brown, soulful vocalist Aion Clarke, the dynamic rhythm section of Fiyah Brigade, the melodic tunes of saxophonist Miles Raine and his band The Collective, and the captivating stilt performances of The SwizzleStick Theatre troupe.

Since its inception, the UWI Toronto Benefit Awards has provided 850 scholarships and bursaries to Caribbean students, making a tangible difference in their lives and communities. Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind, Executive Director of the University’s Institutional Advancement Division, emphasizes the transformative power of education and the profound impact it has on individuals and society as a whole.

Primary sponsors for this year’s event include Dr. Donette Chin-Loy Chang, Sprott Inc., The Hibbert Family Foundation, and BDO, whose generous contributions make the event possible.

The 2024 Honourees, recognized for their exemplary contributions, include luminaries such as The Honourable Mr. Justice Hugh L. Fraser, O.C., FCIArb., CollArb, OLY, recipient of the Luminary Award, and Mr. Raj Kothari, FCPA, FCA, MBA, honored with the G. Raymond Chang Award. Air Canada is recognized with the Chancellor’s Award for its global service to the Caribbean, while individuals such as Dr. Pamela Appelt, Mr. Stanley J. Julien, Mr. Deland Kamanga, and Dr. Claudette McGowan receive the Vice Chancellor’s Award for their outstanding achievements and contributions.

Dr. Donette Chin-Loy Chang, Mr. Andrew Chang, Ms. Brigette Chang, Mr. Kevin Hibbert, and Mrs. Ann-Marie Hibbert serve as esteemed Patrons of the UWI Toronto Benefit Awards, embodying the spirit of philanthropy and commitment to higher education.

Under the theme “Lighting the Way Together,” this gala brings together a diverse array of corporate executives, public figures, and community members dedicated to supporting the Caribbean diaspora. It serves as a beacon of hope and opportunity, demonstrating the collective effort to empower future generations through education.


As a journalist covering this event, I am continually inspired by the dedication and generosity of individuals and organizations committed to making a difference in the lives of Caribbean students. The UWI Toronto Benefit Awards not only celebrates excellence but also serves as a reminder of the transformative power of education and the importance of giving back to our communities. I am honored to witness firsthand the impact of this event and look forward to seeing the continued success of the scholarship recipients as they pursue their dreams and make a positive impact in the world.

Alwin Marshall-Squire

Alwin Marshall-Squire is the Editor-in-Chief and Afro-Canadian Affairs Writer at Vision Newspaper - The Caribbean Update. With over two decades of experience, he is a dedicated advocate for amplifying Afro-Canadian voices. Alwin leads with vision, shaping the newspaper's editorial direction to reflect the diverse Jamaican Diaspora community. His insightful commentary and investigative reporting shed light on issues of identity and social justice, sparking crucial conversations and inspiring positive change. Alwin is not only a journalist but also a community leader, actively involved in initiatives promoting equity and representation. For feedback Alwin can be reached at

One thought on “15th Annual UWI Toronto Benefit Awards: Celebrating Excellence and Philanthropy

  • Marsha Brown

    I’ve had the privilege of attending the UWI Toronto Benefit Award for a number of years. I continue to support this initiative because of its incredible impact in the lives of well deserving students who require financial assistance towards achieving their goals.

    This year my dear Aunty Pam is being honoured. I’m thrilled for her. She has been an inspiration and mentor to me. Often contributing to work that impact the greater community and elevating the best of Jamaican talent. Her legacy is one of selfless service. She has a wonderful contingent of family and friends who will be on hand to celebrate her recognition. I’ll be the one clapping uncontrollably.

    Congratulations to all the recipients and the Chang family for their indelibly dedication to education.


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