Canadian News

A Night to Remember: The University of the West Indies Toronto Benefit Awards 2022

July 8, 2022 (Toronto, ON) – Despite two years of virtual events, the 13th Annual University of the West Indies Toronto Benefit Awards was a sold-out in-person affair at The Ritz-Carlton on Saturday, June 25th, 2022. This year’s event was a great success and proudly showcased the theme – One Caribbean…Global Impact.

A night for celebration, gratitude and fundraising, – the event featured three of the many ethnicities that make up the Caribbean – Africans, Chinese and Indians and recognized the Indigenous peoples with a land acknowledgment from the Caribbean by social historian Professor Verene Shepherd.   Host Dwight Drummond kept guests engaged throughout the night to remember, highlighting the inspiring 2022 Honourees, and scholarship recipient Jamaican born Tajay Henry, who ‘blew the audience away with his compelling story of loss, hope, grit, sheer determination and joy.

Over 26 Canadian organizations supported the event, led by Scotiabank, who has supported the cause for the last 13 years.  Kingsdale, Sprott Inc. and the Raymond Chang Foundation, were again premium sponsors.

The highly anticipated event attracted about 300 guests, including heads of multinational corporations, corporate executives, professionals, small business owners, academics and dignitaries excited to dress up, socialize and celebrate Caribbean excellence together again.

Notable Guests:

  • Chancellor Dr. Janice Fukakusa, CM – Business leader and philanthropist, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University)

  • Hon. Minister Mary Ng – Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business, and Economic Development

  • Hon. Minister Ahmed Hussen – Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

  • Mr. Basil Watson, CD – World Renowned Sculptor

  • Mr. Walter Chin – World Renowned Fashion and Celebrity Photographer

  • Dr. Carissa Etienne – Director Pan American Health Organization – Specialized International Health Agency

  • Dr. Donette Chin-Loy Chang – 2022 Event Co-Patron

  • Mr. Andrew Chang – 2022 Event Co-Patron

  • Ms. Brigette Chan – 2022 Event Co-Patron

  • Dr. Wesley J. Hall, 2022 Event Honorary Patron

  • Anya Schnoor – Executive Vice-President, Caribbean, Central America & Uruguay for International Banking, Scotiabank – Lead Sponsor

  • Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong, Event Chair

  • Dr. Mary Anne Chambers, Chair of Grace Kennedy Ontario, Chancellor University of Guelph

  • Past honourees – Dr. Gervan Fearon, Dr. Upton Allen, Mr. Frank Walwyn, Justice Michael Tulloch

The night was captivating from start to finish. When they weren’t eating delicious food with a Caribbean twist, curated by the Ritz chefs, listening to inspiring speeches, or trying to win stellar auction prizes, the audience was kept

Ballet Creole Performance

entertained with vibrant performances from the Lat Yip Dragon Lion Dance, Ballet Creole, and Geetika Dance Company. The night of celebration was then capped with dancing and live music by DJ Donovan.

Although not all honorees could attend, their global impact and gratitude was heard through touching and inspiring video messages, while friends or family members accepted the awards on their behalf.

Caribbean countries live in a constant state of vulnerability affected by climate change, health crises, and other economic, environmental, and social issues. “The University is to be credited for its continued focus on providing first-class education,” said Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind, Executive Director of the University’s Institutional Advancement Division. “Given the enormous challenges encountered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the welfare of students remains the primary concern of the Institution.”

The UWI Toronto Benefit Awards is a great way to come together to raise much needed funds that provide scholarships that empower students with an education that shapes future generations of the island nations. Supporting the UWI goes a long way in helping students across the Caribbean continue to dream big dreams in the face of a global pandemic.

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