Dr. the Honourable Harry Belafonte and the Honourable Mayann E. Francis,
Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia to be honoured in Toronto

The University of West Indies hosts inaugural Toronto gala

TORONTO, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - The University of West Indies (UWI) is hosting an inaugural Toronto gala honouring Dr. the Honourable Harry Belafonte and the Honourable Mayann E. Francis, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, among other notable individuals who have made significant contributions to UWI and the Caribbean community. Under the patronage of Dr. G. Raymond Chang, Chair of CI Financial, Chancellor of Ryerson University and himself, an honorary graduate of UWI, the gala will celebrate the many graduates from UWI who have contributed to Canada's rich diversity. Proceeds from the Toronto gala will benefit UWI's scholarship program.

"Canada has benefited greatly as many UWI graduates have added to this country's rich diversity and heritage in areas of commerce, industry, media, medicine, education, public service and other areas of the public and private sectors," says Dr. G. Raymond Chang, Chair of CI Financial. "Over the years, a number of Canadian corporations, organizations and tertiary institutions have forged close links with UWI, further cementing a long, traditional relationship between Canada and the Caribbean."

Known mostly for his work in the area of entertainment, human rights and education, Dr. Belafonte is also an honorary graduate of UWI and a dedicated supporter of UWI's scholarship program. The Honourable Mayann E. Francis is the first African Nova Scotian Lieutenant Governor, and the second woman to hold the position in the province's more than 400-year history.

"The University is spreading its wings into Canada," says Elizabeth Buchanan Hind, Executive Director, Institutional Advancement Division, The University of West Indies. "Hosting the gala in Toronto is a great way to recognize and connect with the local Caribbean community. There are at least 1,000 UWI graduates living in Toronto and more than 500,000 persons of Caribbean heritage residing in the greater Toronto area."

Additional outstanding Canadians of Caribbean origin to be honoured include: The Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine, Professor Dionne Brand, Mr. Austin Clarke, Ms. Maud Fuller, Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong, Dr. Robert Moore and Mr. David Rudder. Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada and Project Advancement Childhood Education (P.A.C.E) will also be honoured for their outstanding contribution to the Caribbean Region and to UWI.

The gala will take place on February 27, 2010 at the Four Seasons Hotel. Please find full gala details at www.uwitorontogala.com.

About The University of West Indies Inaugural Gala

For the past 12 years, UWI has hosted a black-tie gala in New York City under the patronage of Dr. the Honourable Harry Belafonte. It has become a signature event on the New York social calendar and is strongly supported by the private and public sectors well as the Caribbean-American communities. Past honorees include such notables as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, actor Sir Sidney Poitier, singer/songwriter Jimmy Cliff and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland.

With such a strong Caribbean community in Canada, and especially in Toronto, UWI is striving to develop a successful event that will continue to strengthen the relationship between Canada and the Caribbean for years to come.

About The University of West Indies

The University of the West Indies (UWI) was established in 1948 as a college of the University of London. It achieved full university status in 1962 and today, is the only pan-Caribbean tertiary level institution offering a wide array of diverse and accredited programmes to 40,000 students throughout the region, with campuses in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and the Eastern Caribbean.


For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Leah Gaucher, BlueSky Communications, lgaucher@blueskycommunications.com, (416) 929-2052

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