Consul General Sonia Marville-Carter Reflects on her Toronto Tenure

Sonia Marville-Carter and Patrick Husbands

As the sun sets on Consul General Sonia Marville-Carter’s nearly six-year tenure with the Barbadian Consulate in Toronto, she reflects on her journey of fostering unity and showcasing Barbadian culture in Canada.

October 2018 marked the beginning of what would soon be a transformative period for the Barbadian diaspora in Toronto. Ms. Marville-Carter’s mission was clear from the start—to inform and unite. Her innovative approaches, especially amid the global disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, have left an indelible mark on the community she served.

One of her standout initiatives was the creation of the web series “For the Love of Bim,” which ran for over sixty episodes. This series was more than just a collection of videos; it was a tapestry that wove together the achievements of Barbadians in Canada with significant happenings back home. “It featured prominent Barbadians in Canada, including presidents of various associations, and even ministers in Barbados who shared updates and developments from the island,” Ms. Marville-Carter shared proudly. This platform not only kept the community connected but also celebrated their accomplishments on an international stage.

Sonia Marville-Carter, Ken Jeffers and Doug Ford

Innovation didn’t stop with digital outreach. Recognizing the quiet achievers among us, Ms. Marville-Carter initiated the Unsung Hero Awards as part of the National Heroes celebrations in April. Initially named to honor everyday heroes, these awards have since been renamed the Donald Moore Unsung Hero Award, continuing to spotlight those who contribute tirelessly behind the scenes.

Her efforts also extended to fostering educational and business collaborations, notably between George Brown College in Toronto and various institutions in Barbados. These partnerships have opened doors to numerous business initiatives and exchanges that benefit both Canadians and Barbadians.

Sonia Marville-Carter

Beyond her official duties, Ms. Marville-Carter has been a pivotal figure in the Caribbean diplomatic community in Toronto, working closely with the Caribbean Consul Corps. This collaboration has strengthened ties between Caribbean nations, promoting mutual support and cultural exchange. A recent highlight was a brunch with cricket legends, attended by diplomats from cricket-playing nations, underscoring the deep bonds shared within the Caribbean community and beyond.

Ms. Marville-Carter also championed the indigenous sport of road tennis, introducing it to the Canadian public and even integrating it into the school curriculum in the Peel region. “This initiative has not only promoted a unique aspect of our culture but has also built bridges with local institutions, like the Ontario Schools Cricket Association,” she explained.

As she prepares to return to Barbados, Ms. Marville-Carter leaves a legacy of connection and community support. Her parting words resonate with a deep love for her homeland and a steadfast commitment to the diaspora.

Her tenure may be drawing to a close, but the foundations laid by Ms. Marville-Carter will undoubtedly continue to support and enrich the Barbadian community in Canada for many years to come. As she packs her bags, she does so knowing that the seeds she has planted will bloom, fostering a stronger, more connected Caribbean diaspora. Her final thought was “I want to THANK the Diaspora and my Caribbean Consular Corps colleagues for working with me as Barbados’ representative these past almost 6 years and I encourage members of the diaspora to continue to build and support the Caribbean community in Canada as well as support their island homes by continuing to be ACTIVE and PRODUCTIVE citizens”.