Celebrating excellence and community support at the Impact Awards

Michael Coteau and Lindy Burgess

The prestigious Impact Awards, an event recognizing outstanding contributions to the community, recently concluded its latest edition with resounding success. The event, made possible by the generous support of its sponsors and dedicated organizers, brought together a diverse and appreciative audience at the Ontario Science Centre. Here’s a closer look at this year’s Impact Awards and the remarkable individuals and organizations that made it all possible.

First and foremost, the Impact Awards would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to its main sponsor, George Brown College (GBC), for providing the essential resources that made this event possible. Dr. Gervan Fearon, President of GBC, and the entire GBC team played a pivotal role in ensuring the event’s success. Their unwavering support was instrumental in bringing this event together.

Additionally, a special thank you goes out to Rosemarie Powell and the team at the Toronto Community Benefits Network, who confirmed their support for the event in December of the previous year. Their commitment to our efforts was a significant boost to our cause.

The Impact Awards also express its gratitude to FLOW, Caribbean Vibrations, Roots Community Services, WEDO.ca, Roti Roti, and Island Spice Flava for providing an exceptional culinary experience during the event. The delicious food offerings added to the overall enjoyment of the evening.

The heart of the Impact Awards lies in celebrating extraordinary individuals who have made significant contributions to the community. This year’s awardees, collectively known as the Stella Group, were recognized for their outstanding achievements. Clair Kirk-Cape, Walter Elliott, Kenny Chitolie, Brownman Ali, Pastor Judith James, Dr. Balliram Chadee, Lindy Burgess, Carl James, Vienne Flynn, and Patrick Husbands all shared inspiring stories that left the appreciative audience in awe.

The event wouldn’t have been complete without the dedicated presenters who introduced the awardees and shared their accomplishments. Chris Campbell of the Carpenters Union, Rosemarie Powell of TCBN, Edwin Terry of FLOW, MPP Patrice Barns, MP Michael Coteau, Henry Mangal of CG St. Lucia, Dr. Upton Allen, and Dr. Gervan Fearon of George Brown College all played crucial roles in honoring the awardees.

Dr Balliram Chadee and Patrice Barns

The keynote address delivered by Dr. Rhonda McEwen was a highlight of the evening. Her insightful words resonated with the audience as she emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusion beyond the workplace. Dr. McEwen noted, “We must also recognize that the power of innovation, diversity, and inclusion goes far beyond the confines of our workplaces and laboratories. It permeates every aspect of society. When we embrace diverse perspectives and include voices that have been historically marginalized, we pave the way for social change, economic growth, and sustainable development.” Her address left a lasting impact on all attendees. The other notable speakers, Dr. Gervan Fearon of GBC and Carlton Joseph of BIBDA, also contributed to the event’s success with their valuable insights.

The Impact Awards showcased not only remarkable individuals but also talented performers. Young Emily Moore’s heartfelt singing had the crowd joining in, creating a memorable moment. Macomere Fifi’s message to Toronto politicians was clear: “We don’t want to know.” Steele, with his Old School Reggae performance, brought the evening to a joyful conclusion.

The event received recognition from the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, who commended the Impact Awards for highlighting the achievements of individuals of Black and Caribbean descent. He offered his congratulations to all the deserving award recipients.

Behind the scenes, a dedicated team worked tirelessly to ensure the community was well represented. Richard and Stacy McLarty, Meegan Scott, Dawn Matthew, Daniel Royer, Sischa Maharaj, Dr. Sylvanus Thompson, and Luann Philgence played vital roles in the event’s success.

Finally, the Impact Awards extend its gratitude to the sold-out crowd at the Ontario Science Centre for bringing its energy and support, making this year’s event an unforgettable celebration of excellence and community support.