News Release

The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, Elder Wanda Big Canoe and
York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe among the honourees for the
CIECYR inaugural Bi-annual Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Awards 

For Immediate Release
March 11, 2015 

Toronto, ON – The Community Inclusivity Equity Council of York Region (CIECYR) today announced the recipients of the inaugural Bi-Annual Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Awards. The awards will be handed out on Thursday, April 30, 2015, at Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel, in Richmond Hill, during the fundraising gala, with proceeds benefiting the building of a school library and supporting the educational needs of the children and youth of the Chippewas of Georgina Island. 
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Awards for Service (& Innovation) were developed to recognize and highlight the work of individuals as well as not-for-profit and corporate entities within York Region and across the province. 

“The recipients chosen for the inaugural awards are trailblazers in matters of diversity, equity and inclusion in the context of organizational change, community engagement and /or social transformation,” said Michael Bowe, Co-Chair Manager, York Region Children’s Aid Society & Founder of CIECYR.
The 2015 award recipients are as follows: 

Luminary Award – The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, OC, O.Ont., QC LSM
Mr. Roy McMurtry’s lifelong advocacy for social justice and his career in law and politics have changed Ontario and Canada for the better. As Attorney-General and then Solicitor-General, he was largely responsible for family reform in Ontario. He took the first steps to make Ontario’s legal system bilingual in 1978 and started the process of translating Ontario’s statutes into French. He was a major advocate for human rights and improved race relations. In November 1981, McMurtry played a major role in brokering the deal that achieved patriation of the Canadian Constitution and the creation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 1996, as Chief Justice of Ontario and Court of Appeal for Ontario, a provision of the Charter was amended to guarantee equality under the law which requires the Province of Ontario to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He became Canada’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom in 1985 where he chaired the Commonwealth Heads of Government Committee (on South Africa). This played a role in ending apartheid in South Africa and freeing the late Nelson Mandela from prison. His early career involved public service work, involving Big Brothers, rehabilitation projects for former penitentiary inmates, senior citizens’ housing and multicultural. In the 1970s, McMurtry teamed up with the late Canadian jazz artist to lure executives to lunch to try and convince them to feature more black people in their advertising.  

2015 Lifetime Achievement Award – awarded to Elder Wanda Big Canoe’s Legacy
The award will be accepted by Elder Wanda Big Canoe, Chief, Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation.
Elder Wanda Big Canoe has been involved in helping young native youth further their education. In the U.S. she developed an American Indian Scholarship Fund Association, and, back in Canada she successfully landed several special scholarships. 

She helped street youth learn a skill through a jewelry project and supported education for aboriginal young people at all levels. She is a graduate from the University of California, and as a member of the California Indian Education Association, she was assigned to the steering committee for the formation of an American Indian Studies and Cultural Centre at UCLA.

Corporate Organization in York Region – Magna International
The award will be accept by Donald J. Walker, CEO
Magna International developed the Supplier Diversity program that is intended to encourage the use of companies who are recognized by the United States and Canada, as being part of a visible minority. Each year, Magna supports a wide range of charitable and social causes in the communities where its employees live and work. In 2008, it began Neighbourhood Network, a community initiative whose goal is to support the neighbourhoods in York Region, by linking volunteers and community resources to its partnered charities and agencies. 

Person in York Region – Chief Eric Jolliffe, York Regional Police 
Chief Jolliffe was born and raised in York Region. He began his career in the police force in 1979 in Edmonton. In 1981 he returned to York Region and over the past 36 years, he has played a variety of roles. In 2010, he was appointed Chief of Police.
Under Chief Jolliffe, the York Regional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Bureau has undergone major expansion and now consists of 12 members. The Bureau’s mandate is focused on extensive community engagement, relationship building, and community partnership opportunities for learning and understanding of all ethno-cultural, religious, marginalized, and vulnerable communities towards the building and maintenance of a safe, welcoming and inclusive community.

Not-for-Profit Organization in Ontario – Canadian Roots Exchange
The award will be accepted by Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Nexen Chair in Indigenous Leadership, Canada Roots Exchange

The Canadian Roots Exchange is a group of indigenous and non-indigenous youth who believe that in order to bridge the gap between Canada’s people, we need to become educated and aware of the teachings, triumphs and daily realities of our indigenous communities. Together they gather, travel and bring together youth in cities, towns, and traditional territories across Canada in an effort to break down stereotypes, open a dialogue, and build honest relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous people living on this land. 

Not-for-Profit Organization in York Region – York Region District School Board (YRDSB)
The award will be accepted by the Mr. J. Philip Parappally, Director of Education.
The YRDSB implemented Inclusive School and Community Services that support schools in developing learning and school environment that is respectful, supportive and welcoming to all. This includes building and maintaining strong partnerships with parents, community, community organizations and social service agencies to ensure the

Board is able to meet the diverse needs of its school communities. It provides support for: newcomer students and families, implementation of Ministry and Board inclusive education policy and procedure, and student, parent and community engagement.  
Nominations for The Bi-annual Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Awards are open to all residents of York Region and all nominations are reviewed by a jury made up of CIECYR members. Nominees are judged on

  • Embracing diversity and creating a welcoming environment for diverse groups in their organizations, businesses and schools, regardless of identity.
  • Attracting and maintaining a diverse workforce reflecting the community
  • Outreach to diverse communities regardless of identities. This level of outreach involves communicating different norms, values and languages, and reflecting diversity of the community through printed materials and other forms of community engagement.
Individual nominated for awards in the two categories are judged on working to build an inclusive society and promoting diversity/inclusion in their community in successful and/or unique/innovative ways.
In addition to the awards ceremony, the gala evening includes dinner, live entertainment and presentations by: Reverend Mpho Tutu, Executive Director of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation; a video address by Rev. Tutu’s father, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, former Chair of South African’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission; a keynote from Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, and from The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, appointed Chair of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Honourary Co-Chairs of the gala are The Honourable Bob Rae (21st Premier of Ontario) and The Honourable James Bartleman (former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario). Patrons of the gala are The Honourable Dr. Alvin Curling CD, O.Ont., Co-Chair, Premier’s Task Force on the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, Government of Ontario and Trevor Wilson, Author & Global Human Equity Strategies.
Tickets for the gala are $250 per person. To purchase tickets to the Benefit Gala visit . To purchase a gala table call (416) 846-8949 or send an email to; For more information on The CIECYR and all events, log on to The event’s Print Media Sponsor is: Metroland Media.     
 The Community Inclusivity Equity Council of York Region (CIECYR) was formed in April 2010, originally as the Community Inclusivity Reference Group (CIRG). CIECYR is a human service community engagement council that explores, supports and enhances organizational practices of diversity, equity and inclusion. CIECYR is invested in forging new paths to promising practices. The Council is populated by grassroots and mainstream organizations that provide human services to individuals, families and communities of varying and diverse identities across York Region.

Members of the CIECYR include: Blue Door Shelters, York Region Children’s Aid Society, Kinark Child and Family Services, York Region District School Board, Social Services Network, Sandgate – Women’s Shelter of York Region Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters of York, Catholic Community Services of York Region (CCSYR), The Regional Municipality of York, York Catholic District School Board, Blue Hills Child and Family Centre, The York Centre for Children, Youth & Families, and York Regional Police.

 Vince J. Ciarlo
Ciarlo Communications
510 – 4070 Old Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M6S 2R6
Tel: 416-763-3783
Cell: 416-458-5090


For Immediate Release

I am Africa, We are Africa! The Best of Africa celebrated in Toronto

Toronto, Ontario – July 22, 2014. Returning for its fourth year, the Toronto African Film and Music Festival (TAFMF) will be showcasing film, music, and fashion from over 50 countries from August 27 to 31, 2014. This year’s festival will screen 12 films, feature 15 musical acts, 3 fashion shows, and showcase over 30 marketplace vendors celebrating the cultural mosaic of Africa.

The 5 day multi-cultural festival promises to be its biggest yet, with entertainment for the whole family, and showcased in two segments; a 3 day film festival, and 3 day music festival, allowing participants to see all of Africa’s top talents, and emerging artists.

Founder Paris Roger said “I started this festival after spending 3 years living and working in the film industry in West Africa where I also met my fiancé. When I came back to Canada with her we realized there was no festival celebrating the best of African film, music, and fashion all at once. We wanted to share the works of talented filmmakers, musicians, and fashion designers, and the spirit of the people”.
The films will be screened at Royal Cinema, 608 College Street, in Toronto and features a combination of World, Canadian and Toronto premieres exclusive to the TAFMF.

The music festival will be held at the Toronto Plaza Hotel’s outdoor grounds at 1677 Wilson Ave August 29 to 31, from 10 am to 7pm. Talent from the Canadian African community, and international acts never seen before in Canada will highlight the emerging sounds of the continent. The music festival will also host concerts on the Main Stage on Friday and Saturday at 9pm, with this year’s headliners Congolese superstar Mohombi, and Ugandan star JB.

The African Ball, a black tie Gala celebrating significant achievers within the Pan African community as well as those who have contributed to its advancement. This dinner and awards event will be held on September 24 at the Fairmont Royal York.  Guests can look forward to 5 star cuisine prepared by a renowned celebrity chef, live entertainment, fashion show & special surprises.
Daily all access passes will be available, and provide access during the day to all events, including; concerts, fashion shows, and film screenings.

Tickets prices are $15 adult, $12 Student/Seniors and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets for the film festival are available online at or
The film schedule will be available online at
For general information about the festival please visit

Invasion 1897
Director : Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen
Nigeria – 2014 – Drama – 90 min
The 1897 invasion of Benin marked the climax in the inordinate expoitation of African and black peoples by the West. This sinister quest bagan with salvery and later devolved to the famed scramble for African where the entire continent was divided among European world powers then.

NI SISI (It’s Us)
Director: Nick Reding
Kenya - 2013 - Fiction - 92 min
Ni Sisi portrays a typical Kenyan community: a harmonious muddle of tribes, intermarriages, and extended families. Friends who have lived and worked together all their lives, who place no stock in which tribe their neighbour comes from.
Then one day rumours begin to spread and suddenly mistrust takes hold. People are identified as belonging to a different tribe rather than by their identity as a person. With mistrust comes a sense of threat, with threat fear escalates- it’s a ripple effect, and old friends now turn on each other.
In a matter of days, the bonds and alliances – the foundation of the community – are severed just as it did in reality in 2008. They find themselves plunging into chaos, and it seems unstoppable and brutal.
Or is it possible that by learning from the mistakes of the past our once peaceful community can be given another chance?
Other films screening at the Toronto African Film & Music Festival include:

Director: Usman A. Adeyemi
Nigeria – Drama – 120min.
The story is about a women who gets married to 2 different men from 2 different tribes and religion and loses both. She has 2 sons, one from each marriage, but one son from the north is rich and powerful because when his father died, his wealth was left all to his son. Meanwhile, her son from the south came to visit her in the north and ends up stealing his brother’s wealth and leaves to the big city to live life big with money.
Meanwhile, the older rich brother follows his younger brother into the city to get his money back, and becomes entangled into a war with his brother. Intrigue, suspence, drama and glamour, all rolled up in this movie.

Afrique Cannes
Director: Dave Calhoun and Don Boyd
Burkina Faso – Documentary - 90 min.

'AfriqueCannes' is a portrait of both a place and a festival – the place is Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso in west Africa, and the festival is FESPACO, the celebration of African cinema that comes to this extraordinary, little-explored city every two years. Directors Don Boyd and Jonathan Bloom and producer Dave Calhoun travelled to FESPACO in February 2011 to discover whether the event still lived up to its longheld reputation as the chief meeting place of African cinema and to hear from those who know best about the state of the continent's cinema: filmmakers themselves.

They spoke to Nigeria's Newton Aduaka, Cameroon's Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Mali's Souleymane Cissé, Chad's Mahamat Saleh Haroun, Burkina Faso's Gaston Kabore and others to discover what cinema means to them, now and in the past, and what hopes they have for cinema in their countries and across their continent. What the filmmakers found were passionate, honest voices – often frustrated by inactivity or corruption or lack of money but equally hopeful that cinema still offers a unique way of empowering audiences, of reflecting their lives and even of effecting change.
The film captures the rhythms and rituals of an extraordinary event – an event built on the hope that cinema in Africa can and should realise its wildest dreams.

Jungle of Heirs
Director: Agbor Ebai
Cameroon – Feature - 120min
The great king of the Bayang kingdom is accused of being an illegitimate son of his land and he decided to step down from the throne. His second wife has been the master planner of the whole drama alongside is his doctor and lawyer who were his most trusted workers. Who will save the king?

Aya of Yop City
Director: Clément Oubrerie and Marguerite Abouet
France – Animation – 85min

The adventures of Aya, her friends and family in colorful 1970s Africa. A vibrant, joyful and beautiful film with a groovy soundtrack.

My name is Aya, I’m 19. I love my neighborhood! Here, in Yop City, Abidjan, everyone knows each other. It is always lively, with our open markets, colorful fabrics, funky cafés and of course, music everywhere.

My mom, Fanta, is the neighborhood’s most trusted healer. As for my old man, he’s a sales rep for Solibra Brewery, but if you ask me, he drinks a little too much of that “strong man’s beer”!
My two best friends are Adjoua and Bintou. Those two like to hang out and spend their evenings in the "maquis", dancing, drinking and flirting with boys. Their ambition, deh*, is basically a C-series career plan: Combs, Clothes and Chasing Men! Me? I want to be a doctor someday.
Big trouble comes to town when Adjoua realizes she’s pregnant. Not to mention when Moussa, the spoiled rotten Sissoko boy finds out he’s going to be a dad! How can he tell his old man, one of the richest and most feared men in the whole country?

Bino and Fino
Director: Ibrahim Waziri
Nigeria – shorts – Animation
 The adventures of Bino and Fino, in this Nigeria animation children stories.

Director Emmanuel Apea Jr.
Ghana – Feature – 90min
Elmina brings together two worlds that don't often intersect - the Western art world and the African popular cinema industry - in a unique hybrid that turns conventional notions of globalisation on their head. The film depicts the journey of a small-town Ghanaian farmer fighting government and corporate corruption to protect his land and family from a Chinese oil company against all odds. It's an intriguing melodrama full of witchcraft, murder and sex which chronicles a man's struggle against the system

The Legend of the Sky Kingdom
Director: Roger Hawkins
Zimbabwe – Live Animation – 70 min
Africa’s first animated feature film, The Legend of the Sky Kingdom, follows three children making a daring escape from the underground city in which they are slaves to go in search of the fabled Sky Kingdom. An epic journey follows their escape, fraught with dangers at every turn as the Evil Emperor will stop at nothing to get them back.

Swirl in Bamako
Director: Domminique Philippe
Mali – Feature – 70min

Makan is in love with Sira. But his earnings as a woodcarver are hardly enough to support himself, let alone a wife. When he goes to visit a friend who now runs a lottery kiosk, his friend persuades him to buy a ticket, which he places in his jacket pocket and forgets. As luck would have it, Makan’s numbers come up and he wins the jackpot. Now the only problem is, he has to find his jacket which he left with a co-workers sister who gave it to someone else, and so on. Thus starts a wild chase through the streets of Bamako, searching for the jacket and thus the winning ticket. But so intent is Makan on finding the lottery ticket, that he neglects Sira, the object of his affection


Toronto, ONTARIO, May 26, 2014 - The Diversity Advancement Network will be hosting the Black Canadian Awards ceremony on June 7th 2014 at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Theater in Toronto. This diversity event, celebrates success stories and achievements of trail-blazers and leaders within our community. Awards will be given to our Role Models and individuals who have excelled in Business, Community, Arts and Entertainment.
The ceremony will crown, through a nomination and voting process, various artists and genres of music such as Best R&B Artist, Best Jazz Artist and Best Actor/Actress, just to mention a few. It will also feature a talent scholarship based competition to crown the Black Canadian Queen for the year 2014. We feel that more can be done to further showcase achievers and talents from our community all over Canada. Knowledge is power, yet there are too many people who have little or no knowledge of the richness and depth of our history, culture and achievements in Canada both past and present. Therefore, we are committed to effect a change in this area through this awards ceremony. is our online platform with a mandate to showcase success stories and trailblazers on a daily basis in order to inspire and positively advance the Black community in Canada and beyond. Our honoree list is filled with newsworthy achievers like Jean Augustine, Eleanor Collins, Lindsay Blackett, Bishop Audley James, Lilie Johnson, Donovan Bailey and others who are pioneers in their fields. For the first time in history, we are presenting one hundred role models with their full stories and much more. Many dignitaries are expected at this formal red carpet event on June 7th from 5pm. The Award Ceremony will be hosted by one of Montreal most recognized entertainer, Dorothy Rhau and Toronto's accomplished artist, actor and youth educator, Sean Mauricette aka SUBLIMINAL. There will be performances by Shi Wisdom, Ammoye, Farahri, Reema Major, Carlos Morgan, Anslem Douglas, Sharon Musgrave, Londa Larmond, Flo, Esie Mensah and much more. Several guests and recipients will be travelling to attend this prestigious event from all over Canada and from a few countries. A special presentation will be focused on the kidnapped girls #BringBackOurGirls to show support to the families and the international community.
Some of our 2014 Nominees are Toronto Mass Choir, Janet Bailey, Jully Black, Dwight Drummond, Karlene Nation, Fefe Dobson, Andrea Bain, Scott Laurie, Kreesha Turner, JRDN, Glenn Lewis, Reema Major, Lisa Berry, Oluniké Adeliyi, Anthony Bennett, Emmanuel Kabongo, Michie Mee, Maestro, Shad, Kardinal Offishall, Dayo Ade, Clé Bennett, Heather Seaman, Rosie Edeh, Ohenewa Akuffo, Karina LeBlanc, Tammy Sutton-Brown, Patrick Kabongo and Perdita Felicien.
For more inquiries, or to request media passes contact Paul Ade at 416-900-3640. Black Canadian Awards - Initiative of the Diversity Advancement Network. [ ]



Reflecting on the Caribbean in Toronto
April 5, 2014
Sidney Smith Hall,
100 St. George St.
Room SS2098


9:15 Registration
Light breakfast available until 11:00. Tea, coffee and light snacks available throughout the day.

9:30 Welcoming Remarks by Jacqueline Allain

9:40 Drumming Performance by Alejandro Céspedes

10:00 Race, Gender and Political Consciousness
Chair: Alissa Trotz (Professor of Women and Gender and Caribbean Studies)
Katrin Kocsis (Caribbean Studies Undergraduate), “Art and the Caribbean: Exploring Gender and Sexuality through Comparative Analysis ofBellywoman Bangarang and Before Night Falls”
Chantal McFarlane (Caribbean Studies Undergraduate), “Marginalization of Afro-Caribbean Bodies and the Fetishization of Their Culture”
T’kehya Prentice-Cupid (History Undergraduate), “Blackness and Racial Consciousness in Claude McKay’s A Long Way From Home”
Kristen Young (History and English Undergraduate), “‘Collective Bovarism’ in early Pan-Africanism”

11:20 Justice for Caribbean Migrant Workers
Chair: Melanie J. Newton (Professor of History, Director of Caribbean Studies)
Kevin Edmonds (Political Science PhD Candidate) “St. Lucian Migrant Workers in the Global Economy”
Benjamin Landsee (History PhD Candidate; New College Senior Doctoral Fellow), “Haitian Migrant Workers in Early 20th Century Cuba”
Chris Ramsaroop (Justice for Migrant Workers), “Caribbean Migrant Farm Workers in Canada”
Comment by Laura Correa-Ochoa

12:35 Lunch catered by Roti Palace

1:30 Beyond the Classroom: Study Abroad Experiences in Africa and the Caribbean
Chair: Jared Toney (History PhD Candidate)
Caribbean Studies students reflect on the experience of studying through travel. Presenters: Rachel Woldegiorgis; Mark Chatarpal; Shaunasea Brown; Melissa Sobers.

3:00 Fair Trade, Sexuality and Caribbean Globalization
Chair: Kevin Coleman (Professor of History)
Jacqueline Allain (History Undergraduate), “Indigenous-Spanish Sexual Relations in the 16th Century Caribbean”
Leslie Ann Fullerton (Caribbean Studies Undergraduate) “Mobilization of Women in Jamaican Dance: Ensuring Financial and Social Equity in the Dancehall”
Riel Hishon (Economics Undergraduate), “The Reality of Fair Trade in the Commonwealth Caribbean Banana Industry”

Y U R U M E I N   (H O M E L A N D)
The Story of the Caribs of St Vincent
Followed by discussion with director Andrea Leland

YURUMEIN (your-o-main) is an important story of Carib/Garifuna resistance against slavery and colonization. The film recounts the painful past of the Caribs on St Vincent while building an intimate portrait of Garifuna culture-in-transition today. When members of the Diaspora are first reunited and make a collective pilgrimage to the sacred site of Balliceaux (where the genocide occurred) the film reveals the beginnings of a movement among Garifuna people to revitalize traditional language, music, dance, and ritual. As Garifuna from around the world come together to remember and celebrate the lives and resilience of their shared ancestors, they also begin to discover possibility and hope for the future of Garifuna culture and a greater worldwide community.

5:30 Closing Remarks
Sean Mills (Professor of History)

A Different Booklist
746 Bathurst Street
Toronto, ON, M5S 2R6

More about this year’s Featured Artists
Alejandro Céspedes studied at the University of Toronto and Amadeo Roldán Conservatory in Havana, Cuba. He performs classical percussion, body percussion, Latin percussion, West African drumming and steel drums. Céspedes performed with the National Opera and Ballet Orchestra of Cuba and the Kingston Symphony. He has performed with Bobby McFerrin, Bernard Fowler, Jane Bunnett; and the Buena Vista Social Club. He has taught at the Regent Park School of Music and worked with the Rusticle Gym, a drama and dance program for emerging artists in Toronto, and also with Carousel Players as a musician/actor in The Power of Harriet T!

Andrea Leland is an independent filmmaker whose documentary work focuses on Caribbean indigenous culture.  She works collaboratively with community members providing a forum to voice their untold stories, personal challenges and compelling triumphs. Social, artistic or political actions are placed within context of their culture, imploring the viewer to confront old myths and discover a new perspective. Award winning films include:  Voodoo and the Church in Haiti; The Long Road Home( Chiapas) ; The Garifuna Journey ( Belize) ; Jamesie, King of Scratch ( US Virgin Islands) ; Yurumein: Homeland, ( St. Vincent).  View trailers at 
The COC would like to thank the following sponsors:
New College at the University of Toronto; The Caribbean Studies Program;
Alissa Trotz, Professor of Women and Gender Studies and Caribbean Studies; Latin American Studies; The Department of History

Members of the 2014 Diaspora Voices Conference Organizing Committee (COC)
Undergraduate Students: Jacqueline Allain, Kristen Young
Recent Graduate: Laura Correa Ochoa
Faculty Advisor: Melanie J. Newton (Director of Caribbean Studies)


Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Care Ontario Act

Wednesday March 19th, 2014


MPP Introduces Bill to Improve Sickle Cell Care in Ontario

Today, Wednesday, March 19th, 2014, Mike Colle, MPP Eglinton-Lawrence, will re-introduce a Private Member’s Bill, the Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Care Ontario Act. If passed, the Act would establish a provincial body called Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Care Ontario in order to promote awareness and advocate for individuals living with these disorders. It would also proclaim June 19 as Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Awareness Day in Ontario, which coincides with World Sickle Cell Day, as proclaimed by the United Nations in 2009.
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
9:00 AM
Queen’s Park Media Studio
Rm 148, Main Legislative Building
Panel will include:
· Lanre Tunji-Ajayi, Founder, Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario
· Helen Ziavras, President, Thalassemia Foundation of Canada
· Dr. Isaac Odame, Hospital for Sick Children

“The Bill is a focal point for telling the story about sickle cell. And by telling this story we can have more people getting genetic testing and counseling, more resources and more comprehensive care for both children and adults”. - Mike Colle, MPP Eglinton-Lawrence

“It is fitting that MPP Colle has chosen to re-introduce the Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Care Ontario Act. This Bill would raise the profile of the disease and advocate for coordinated efforts between governments, policy makers, healthcare professionals, patients/families and society at large to reduce the disease burden in Ontario. On behalf of Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario and the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada, I look forward to a new day as we move toward Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Care Ontario." - Lanre Tunji-Ajayi, Founder, Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario

“Sickle Cell disease and Thalassemia are inherited life-long disorders requiring a coordinated provision of a broad range of services including early diagnosis, education, genetic counselling, management of acute crises, prevention of infections and organ damage, hydroxyurea therapy, chronic blood transfusion, iron-chelation therapy and long-term health maintenance. A comprehensive and coordinated approach yields better outcomes as well as being cost-effective.” - Dr. Isaac Odame, Hospital for Sick Children

For additional information, please contact:
Dustin Cohen, Office of Mike Colle, MPP Eglinton-Lawrence
Tel: 416-212-6326
Cell: 647-523-3159



This award is being sponsored by LAMP Community Health Centre and is supported by Humber College. It is being created to honour an outstanding Canadian- a woman who has worked long and hard to make our Canada a true inspiration for the world.

You know of her work but let me take a minute to share some of her accomplishments:
From humble beginnings in the Caribbean nation of Grenada, Jean Augustine made Canadian political history in 1993 as the first black woman elected to the Canadian Parliament, becoming the first woman of African heritage to serve in a federal cabinet.  She served as Minister of State for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women and was a deputy Speaker. She also played a major role as parliamentary secretary to then Prime Minister Jean Chretien. She is the former MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore where she served for four terms before retiring from federal politics. She is also a Black Heritage Champion and in 1995, introduced a motion, which was passed unanimously by the House of Commons to recognize February as Black History month. She is currently the Ontario Fairness Commissioner. Jean’s achievements and contributions reflect a life of passion and conviction, dedication and service that serve as an inspiration to us all.

About the Award:       
The award will honor someone with traits that emulate Jean herself: Courage and Spirit to overcome barriers against all odds, while enriching people.         
LAMP will recognize: A person who lives by the values and principles of social justice, who champions positive social change in the community, and makes a positive difference in the lives of others through various acts of kindness and contributions to the community. They have to live in Etobicoke Lakeshore.
May we count on your support? Tickets for the event are $100.00 per person payable to LAMP Community Health Centre.
If you cannot attend we would welcome a donation.
We do look forward to seeing you on Saturday 22nd of February 2014 for what promises to be a fun and exciting evening.

Yours truly,
Russ Ford
Executive Director

LAMP Community Health Centre


The University of the West Indies Benefit Gala 2014

Toronto, ON – The University of the West Indies today announced that Tessanne Chin, NBC’s The Voice’s season five winner, and internationally acclaimed Jamaican reggae artist Jimmy Cliff are among leaders of Caribbean and Canadian heritage who will be honoured at the fifth annual Toronto Benefit Gala, on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto.
The Patron of the event is The Honourable G. Raymond Chang, OJ, Canadian Jamaican business leader and philanthropist. For the fifth consecutive year Scotiabank is again Lead Sponsor. The Host is noted Jamaican broadcaster and media manager Michael Anthony Cuffe Sr.
Awards will be presented in three categories and include:
Luminary :
 The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P.
 Dr. the Honourable Jimmy Cliff, OM
 Tessanne Chin

Chancellor’s Award - The Hospital for Sick Children
Vice Chancellor’s Award:
 Mr. David Taylor, community leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist
 The Right Revered Peter DeCourcy Fenty, Bishop of York Simcoe and the first Black Bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada, ordained in June 2013
 Dr. Anna Jarvis, UWI alumnus, Staff Physician, Paediatric Emergency Medicine and University of Toronto Professor, Department of Paediatrics
 Mr. Roger Mooking, celebrity chef, television host, cookbook author and award winning recording artist
 Ms. Delores Lawrence, founder; President, & CEO of NHI Nursing & Homemakers Inc., community leader and philanthropist

Under the theme Light, Learning and Liberty, the UWI Toronto Benefit Gala raises funds for scholarships for outstanding academic achievers in the Caribbean, who are in great need of assistance. Since the inaugural gala four years ago, just under 150 scholarships have been awarded.
The event includes a robust silent and live auction, conducted by Mr. Gordon Cressy, head of George Brown Foundation and friend of the Caribbean.
Past honorees of The University of the West Indies Gala include: retired boxer and undisputed world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, Dr. Budhendranauth Doobay, The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto faculty member Dr. Upton Allen, former MPP and retired Scotiabank executive Mary Anne Chambers, Toronto architect and University of Toronto faculty member Brigitte Shim, award winning author Malcolm Gladwell, Dr. The Honourable Harry Belafonte; The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Former Deputy Chief of Toronto police Mr. Keith L. Forde, Mr. David Rudder; Dr.The Hon. Michael Lee-Chin OJ, Olympian Mr. Donovan Bailey, leading professor of medicine Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong, Ryerson University and the University Health Network.
For tickets please order using the online form at, or by calling 416-214-7848 or by emailing
The University of the West Indies was established in 1948 as a College of the University of London. It achieved full university status in 1962. Today it is the only pan-Caribbean tertiary level institution offering a wide array of diverse and accredited programmes to 45,000 students throughout the region, with campuses in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Anguilla, Antigua, The Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos.
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