UWI Toronto Awards marks 15 years supporting Caribbean students

The 15th Annual University of West Indies (UWI) Toronto Benefit Awards is set to for Saturday, April 20th, 2024, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 181 Wellington Street. The gala, which starts at 5:30pm EST, will be emceed by CBC Toronto News anchor Dwight Drummond and is a sold-out event in support of scholarships for Caribbean students.

UWI 2024 Awardees

The University of the West Indies, renowned for its ranking among the world’s top universities, hosts the event with Scotiabank as the Lead Sponsor for the 15th consecutive year.

The evening’s performances include Juno Award-winning singers Divine Brown and Aion Clarke, Toronto’s finest rhythm sections Fiyah Brigade, tenor and soprano saxophone player Miles Raine and his band The Collective, along with The SwizzleStick Theatre troupe of stilt performers.

Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind, Executive Director of the University’s Institutional Advancement Division, expressed her enthusiasm about the impact of the UWI Toronto Benefit Awards. “Over the years, the event has provided 850 scholarships and bursaries to Caribbean students,” she said.

“Education is the pathway to success, as is evident with those who graduated and have gone on to great careers because they were able to attend The University of the West Indies and get a world-class education.”

Primary sponsors for this year’s event include Dr. Donette Chin-Loy Chang, Sprott Inc., The Hibbert Family Foundation, and BDO. The theme for this year’s gala, “Lighting the Way Together,” emphasizes the collective effort of corporate executives, public personalities, and community members committed to giving back to the Caribbean diaspora.

The honourees for 2024 are:

– Luminary Award: Justice Hugh L. Fraser, Mediator, Arbitrator and Human Rights Activist

– G. Raymond Chang Award: Raj Kothari, Business Leader and Humanitarian

– Chancellor’s Award: Air Canada – Global Organization serving the Caribbean

– Vice Chancellor’s Award: Dr. Pamela Appelt, Court of Canadian Citizenship Justice (retired)

– Stanley J. Julien BMO Bank of Montreal, Business and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leader

– Deland Kamanga, BMO Wealth Management, Financial Specialist and Philanthropist

– Dr. Claudette McGowan, Global Cybersecurity Leader and Human Rights Activist, Business Leader and Philanthropist

The Patrons of the UWI Toronto Benefit Awards are Dr. Donette Chin-Loy Chang, Mr. Andrew Chang, Ms. Brigette Chang, and joining them this year are Mr. Kevin Hibbert and Mrs. Ann-Marie Hibbert, both passionate supporters of higher education and the UWI Student Scholarship Fund. Mr. Hibbert was a recipient of the 2023 Vice Chancellor’s Award.

The event underscores how community donations, financial support, and inspiration provide a lifeline to students eager to fulfill their educational dreams.