By Nicole G.Bennett
American R&B artist Tank, will be the headliner at the 2020 Black Diamond Ball, to be held on Saturday, February 29, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. The Ball is the brain child of ArtXperiential Artistic Director, Shawn Cuffie, who created the event five years ago, “When I introduced this event, I wanted to create a unique occasion that would be glamourous, star-studded, inspirational, arts oriented and that would celebrate our achievements. Now we’re celebrating our 5th year, and our theme is Rhythm and Soul,”Cuffie says.
Founder Cuffie attributes the Ball’s success to solid support from the Black community since its inception, “The Ball is that glamourous event that brings us all together; good food, artistic and musical performances, award-giving for Black youth achieving great things, and fundraising for youth anti-violence and anti-bullying initiatives. People look forward to coming.” The new anti-bullying community initiative #SafeSpace365 will be the recipient of funds from this year’s gala. The integrated program is arts, culture, and technology-based and gives visible minority and indigenous youth opportunities to work and train on fundraising events. The Ontario College of Art and Design University’s Black Youth Design Initiative will also benefit from partial proceeds.
According to Cuffie, this year’s Ball will seek to up the ante by taking the glam and glitz to a new level, “We’ll be having a sponsored free gifting lounge area for patrons, including products from big companies like L’Oreal; we’ll have musical guests, and arts performances, as well as a few speakers and a live band. It’s got a lot of moving parts to really make the experience stand out. The success of the Ball has attracted new sponsors including the City of Toronto, FACTOR, The Government of Canada’s and Canada’s private radio broadcasters and M5V amongst others. TD Bank Group returns as the premiere sponsor for the event, which has become a signature feature of Black History Month.
Cuffie says, this year the Ball will have its first male headliner, “This will be his (Tank’s) first time performing in Canada and he will be bringing the heat with his sexy love songs.”
The 2020 Black Diamond Ball is expected to bring out celebrities, influencers, business executives, political and community notables.