UWI Toronto Benefit Awards Patrons and 2023 Honourees (l-r) Ms .Anya Schnoor, Mr. Kevin Hibbert; Dr. Dodridge Miller, Mr. Dahabo Ahmed-Omer of the BlackNorth Initiative, Mr. Ray Williams, Min. The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles, (front) Donette Chin-Loy Chang.
At the 14th Annual UWI Toronto Benefit Awards held in at the Ritz Carlton on April 29, Scotiabank, Lead Sponsor of the event since its inception in 2010, committed $600,000.00 Canadian Dollars in support of The UWI’s scholarship programme over the next six years.
In his address Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies expressed his appreciation for the kind offer as he stated “we know that a country’s potential for economic development is an expression of the number of its citizens who have had skills training, professional training and academic development. We are on a quest to defeat the forces of our history and uplift the children of the vast majority.”
Ms. Anya Schnoor, Scotiabank Executive Vice President, Caribbean, Central America & Uruguay made the announcement, much to the delight of the 450 guests at what has become a fixture on the Toronto social calendar, noting that “Investing in the future of our Caribbean youth and providing them the means and tools to shape their future, will in turn propel our region to overcome many of the challenges it faces today.”
“The ‘sold out’ event exceeded expectations in its fundraising efforts to support Caribbean students attending The UWI” noted Mrs. Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind, Chairperson for the UWI Toronto Benefit Awards Committee.
Another surprise announcement came from Luminary Award recipient, Dr. the Honourable Sheryl Lee Ralph, OJ, Emmy Award Winning Actress, Singer, Philanthropist and Activist who announced in her acceptance speech that she would be awarding scholarships to UWI students in the name of herself and her family.
Other honourees included:
- Raymond Chang Award: Dr. Dodridge Miller – (Former) Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Sagicor Financial Company Ltd.
- Chancellor’s Award: Black North Initiative (BNI) – A social justice initiative designed to remove anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians.
- Vice Chancellor’s Award: Mr. Kevin Hibbert – Chief Financial Officer, Senior Managing Partner & Co-Head of Enterprise Shared Services Group, Sprott Inc.
- Vice Chancellor’s Award: Ray Williams – Vice Chairman & Managing Director – Financial Markets at National Bank Financial
The UWI Toronto Benefit Awards receives tremendous support from the Canadian corporate sector continuing in the tradition of the long rich relationship between The University of the West Indies and Canada. Many of its graduates can be found in leadership positions in all sectors of society making seminal contribution to the growth and development of Canada.
“For 14 years we have gathered like-minded individuals amongst the corporate and other sectors, for a cause thousands of miles away. I am pleased with this year’s event as more and more of corporate Canada comes on board. This fundraiser continues to showcase the best of the Caribbean community in Canada and the world – especially the diversity that brings us together for one common cause – to uplift and support these students,” said Dr. Donette Chin-Loy Chang, UWI Toronto Benefit Awards Co-Patron.