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UWI Toronto Benefit Awards Shines Bright, Raises Over $400,000 for Caribbean Scholars

Toronto Gala Event Celebrates Caribbean Excellence and Academic Opportunity

Toronto, Canada – The 15th Annual University of the West Indies (UWI) Toronto Benefit Awards illuminated the city’s skyline with hope and opportunity as it raised over $400,000 Canadian in support of Caribbean students’ educational pursuits. Hosted at the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the sold-out event brought together Toronto’s Caribbean community, business leaders, and philanthropists in a dazzling display of generosity and solidarity.

The evening, held on Saturday, April 20th, was a celebration of academic excellence and the power of education to transform lives. With the theme “Lighting the Way Together,” attendees embraced the spirit of unity and collaboration, recognizing the importance of providing pathways to success for Caribbean scholars.

Guests were treated to a night of elegance and entertainment, beginning with a captivating performance by soprano saxophonist Miles Raine and his band, The Collective. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement as stilt performers from The SwizzleStick Theatre troupe wove through the crowd, adding a touch of Caribbean flair to the evening.

The highlight of the event was the live auction, where attendees had the opportunity to bid on exclusive items and experiences generously donated by sponsors and supporters. From luxury getaways to rare collectibles, the auction raised substantial funds, demonstrating the community’s unwavering commitment to supporting higher education in the Caribbean.

Among the distinguished honorees recognized for their outstanding contributions were The Honourable Mr. Justice Hugh L. Fraser, O.C., FCIArb., CollArb, OLY, and Mr. Raj Kothari, FCPA, FCA, MBA, who received the Luminary Award and G. Raymond Chang Award, respectively. Air Canada was also honored with the Chancellor’s Award for its global service to the Caribbean region.

The event’s success was made possible through the generous support of lead sponsor Scotiabank, as well as primary sponsors Dr. Donette Chin-Loy Chang, Sprott Inc., BDO, Bank of Montreal, and Sagicor Financial. Their commitment to empowering Caribbean students through education exemplifies the spirit of community and solidarity that defines the UWI Toronto Benefit Awards.

Patrons of the event, including Dr. Donette Chin-Loy Chang, Mr. Andrew Chang, Ms. Brigette Chang, Mr. Kevin Hibbert, and Mrs. Ann-Marie Hibbert, played a crucial role in championing the cause of higher education and supporting the UWI Student Scholarship Fund.

As the night came to a close, attendees left inspired and energized, knowing that their contributions would make a tangible difference in the lives of Caribbean scholars. The University of the West Indies remains grateful to the Toronto community for its continued support and dedication to creating opportunities for the next generation of leaders and innovators in the Caribbean and beyond.

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

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