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Black Music Trailblazer Denise Jones to posthumously receive the 2022 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award

Black Music Trailblazer Denise Jones

The award will be presented at the JUNO Opening Night Awards Presented by Ontario Creates on May 14streaming on CBC Gem and cbcmusic.ca/junos

TORONTOFeb. 23, 2022 /CNW/ – The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) today announced that Denise Jonesone of the most influential voices in Canada’s Black entertainment community, will be posthumously awarded the 2022 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award as part of this year’s annual JUNO Awards festivities. Jones, who passed away in December 2020, spent a lifetime championing Afro-Caribbean culture in Canada and around the world through her company Jones & Jones Productions. She also established the internationally renowned JAMBANA™ One World Festival and was the founding Chair of the Reggae Category for the JUNO Awards.

The Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award recognizes individuals whose work has significantly impacted the growth and development of the Canadian music industry. Named after legendary Canadian publisher and co-founder of the JUNO Awards, the award will be presented at the JUNO Opening Night Awards Presented by Ontario Creates on Saturday, May 14streamed live on CBC Gem and globally at cbcmusic.ca/junos.

Having passed away in 2020 after being diagnosed with brain cancer, Denise Jones leaves behind an incredible legacy of supporting Afro-Caribbean culture in Canada and worldwide. Throughout her career, Jones received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban Music Association of Canada, the Bob Marley Memorial Award for her work in entertainment, a Government of Ontario Community Service Award, a Ministry of Citizenship Ontario Government Award, an African Canadian Achievement Award, and a Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in Entertainment. She was also named one of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women in 2018.

Jones’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is unmatched. Throughout her career, she made great strides influencing politicians, business leaders and media to acknowledge and value Black creators, entertainment, and particularly Reggae music, in all forms. Among her many accomplishments, Jones established the second largest Afrocentric cultural event in Canada, JAMBANA™ One World Festival, which, at its height, drew over 45,000 attendees. It was named one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals in 2015.

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