Some were born and raised in Toronto, the children of Barbadian immigrants to Canada. Others were born in Barbados, immigrated to Canada as children or adults and settled in Toronto. They are from different backgrounds and have pursued various careers. They are leaders and role models to be emulated. And by their efforts, perseverance and significant accomplishments, they have illuminated the path to success for Barbadians and other immigrants in Canada to follow. They represent the best that Barbados has to offer. They are 'Bajan Luminaries' in Toronto.
Zanana L. Akande, M.ED., B.A
Zanana Akande has worked towards equity in our society by addressing education, communications and the media, feminism, race relations and social change. She has worked as a teacher, consultant, and administrator in the public education system, and a lecturer at the university level, and continues to speak on issues of effective communication, social change, community development, and women. Zanana has worked in the media with MTV, and was the co-founder of TigerLily, a magazine giving voice to the perspectives of women of colour.
Elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1990, she was appointed Minister of Community and Social Services, thus becoming the first Black woman to hold a cabinet position in Canada. A community advocate, she has served on the boards of many organizations, including the YWCA of Toronto, the United Way of Greater Toronto, the Family Services Association, as Governor of Centennial College and as President of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations and Harbourfront Centre. Currently she sits as a Board member of Factory Theatre, and of Toronto Community Foundation, while continuing to serve on the Partnership Steering Committee of the Youth Challenge Fund.
Zanana has been the recipient of many awards including the African Canadian Achievement Award for Education, and the Lifetime Achievement Award; the Onyx Award for Exemplary Service to Community, the Community Builder Award for Exemplary Professional and Community Service, the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto, the Human Rights Award from the Centennial Foundation, and the Constance C. Hamilton Award from the City of Toronto.
Cameron Bailey, Co-Director, Toronto International Film Festival
Cameron Bailey is the Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival®. In this role, Bailey is responsible for the overall vision of the Festival programming, as well as creating and maintaining relationships with the international film industry.
Born in London, England to Barbadian parents, Bailey grew up in England and Barbados before immigrating to Canada. He brings a comprehensive wealth of experience to his current leadership position. Serving as a programmer for the Festival for more than twelve years, he has been responsible for the annual selection of films from Africa, South Asia and the Philippines. In addition, he has hosted the highly successful subscription series ‘Reel Talk’, and headed the ‘Perspective Canada’ series.
Bailey has held positions as a curator, a journalist and a writer. He has curated film series for Cinematheque Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, the National Film Board of Canada, and Australia's Sydney International Film Festival. He has also served on awards juries in Canada and internationally, including the U.S., Turkey, Greece, South Korea, Burkina Faso and Tanzania and has been a guest speaker at several Canadian universities, the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard University and the Banff Centre for the Arts.
As a journalist, Bailey reviewed films for Toronto's NOW Magazine, CBC Radio One and CTV’s Canada AM. He presented international cinema nightly on Showcase Television's The Showcase Revue, and produced and hosted the interview programme Filmmaker on the Independent Film Channel Canada. He has been published in The Globe and Mail, The Village Voice, CineAction!, and Screen among others.
In 1997, Bailey completed his first screenplay, The Planet of Junior Brown, which was co-written with director Clement Virgo. The Planet of Junior Brown was named Best Picture at the 1998 Urbanworld Film Festival in New York, and nominated for a Best Screenplay Gemini Award. Bailey also completed a video essay, Hotel Saudade, which was shot in Brazil. The film premiered at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival and made its U.S. premiere in 2005 at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
In 2007, Bailey was a part of the delegation accompanying Governor-General Michaëlle Jean on her state visit to Brazil. Bailey has served on the Advisory Board of the Royal Ontario Museum's Institute for Contemporary Culture, and is a former board member of the Ontario Film Development Corporation and Toronto's Images Festival. He currently sits on the Toronto Tourism board.
Dr. Victor Blanchette, Chief of Haemotology - Oncology (Retired), The Hospital for Sick Children
Dr. Victor Blanchette, an elected fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United Kingdom, is Chief of the Division of Haematology/Oncology at the Hospital for Sick Children and Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. He is a Senior Associate Scientist in the Research Institute and a Clinician Investigator in the Department of Paediatrics.
Dr. Blanchette received his medical training at the University of Cambridge and St. Bartholomew's Hospital in the United Kingdom. His post-graduate medical training included a paediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the USA and a fellowship in paediatric haematology/oncology at McMaster University Medical Centre in Canada.
Dr. Blanchette's research interest is in the area of the congenital and acquired bleeding disorders of children. He is Director of the Paediatric Haemophilia and Thrombosis/Bleeding Disorders Programs at the Hospital for Sick Children and is Chairman of the Factor Prophylaxis Subcommittee of the Association of the Hemophilia Clinic Directors of Canada (AHCDC). Dr. Blanchette is also Chair of the Canadian Paediatric Thrombosis and Hemostasis Network and a founding member of an Intercontinental Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) Study Group.
In 2002, Dr. Blanchette was appointed as the Inaugural Holder of the Women’s Auxillary Millenium Chair in Paediatric Haematology/Oncology. Dr. Blanchette is Principal Investigator for the Hospital for Sick Children in the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and Co-Chair of the recently formed Council of Canadian Paediatric Haematology/Oncology Directors Group. Dr. Blanchette is a member of the Boards of the Paediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO), Camp Oochigeas, Camp Trillium and Candlelighters Canada.
Harold Brathwaite, O.Ont., Executive Director, The Retired Teachers of Ontario
Harold Brathwaite was born and raised in St. Michael, Barbados and received his elementary schooling at St. Giles Boys’ School and secondary education at Combermere School and Harrison’s College in Barbados. He completed his undergraduate degree at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and at l’Universite de Lyon in France. His postgraduate studies brought him to Canada where he obtained a Masters Degree in French from McMaster University.
An outstanding educator, Mr. Brathwaite’s career culminated in his promotion to Director of Education for the Peel District School Board in 1994. He taught at the elementary, secondary and university levels and served on several professional associations and Ontario Ministry of Education committees. He was a department head, vice-principal, administrative assistant to the Superintendent of Program of the Halton Board, and was Principal of M.M. Robinson High School in Burlington.
In 1984, he became Superintendent for French Language Schools in the Toronto Board of Education and Associate Director of Education in 1991. In 2002 he retired from the position of Director of Education of the Peel Board. He came out of retirement in January 2003, to take up the position of Senior Advisor to the President of Seneca College. In September 2004 he assumed his current position of Executive Director of the Retired Teachers of Ontario. He has been a member of both the Board of Governors and the Advisory Council of the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, from 1994-2002, and was Chair from 2001-2002.
Mr. Brathwaite has received numerous awards for his contribution to the community and to education, including: The Peel Board’s Education Champion Award, Distinguished Alumnus Scholar Award - McMaster University, the 1995 Canadian Black Achievement Award - Education, the Harry Jerome Award, UNICEF Volunteer Award, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations Award, the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto, the first Egerton Ryerson Award from People for Education, Barbados Ball Canada Aid’s Errol Walton Barrow Award and in 2006 The Order of Ontario.
He has been a vocal champion for public education, for issues of equity, and for building capacity in communities. He continues his community involvement as a Trustee of the Art Gallery of Toronto, a member of the Board of the United Way of Peel Region, and as Chair of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (Canada).
Leonard A. Brathwaite, C.M., O.Ont., Q.C, (1923 - 2012) Barrister and Solicitor
Leonard Braithwaite was the first African Canadian in a provincial legislature when he was elected in Ontario in 1963. He served as a Liberal member of the Ontario legislature from 1963 to 1975. In his first speech to the legislature he spoke out against racial segregation in Ontario schools. Soon after, the Ontario government repealed the law that allowed school segregation.
Born in Toronto to parents who emigrated from Barbados, Braithwaite was raised in the Kensington Market area of Toronto during the Depression and served in the RCAF in the Second World War. He attended the University of Toronto, where he earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He earned a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School, graduating in 1952, and graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1958, followed by a career in law. He was the first Black lawyer elected as a member of the Governing Council of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Leonard Braithwaite began his political career in 1960 as a member of the Etobicoke board of education. Two years later he was elected as an alderman on the Etobicoke council and ran in the provincial election in 1963, defeating the Progressive Conservative candidate. He was re-elected in 1967 and 1971, serving as the Liberal Party Critic for Labour and Welfare. As a politician he fought for gender equality and the rights of minorities.
In 1998, Braithwaite was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada. He was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2004.
George Carter is the first native-born, black judge in Canada. He was born in Toronto, the first of 14 children of John Carter and Louise Braithwaite Carter, who were from Barbados. He and all of his brothers and sisters were taught the value of education and achievement by their parents.
Carter’s keen intellect was displayed early on as an outstanding student from a struggling West Indian family in the Depression era. He also excelled in sports as a cricket player. During this time camaraderie developed and was shared with the young Jewish men he went to school with, many also from poor families. He also connected with the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) as a centre for the Toronto black community of his youth in the 1930’s. Carter was inspired by visiting speakers Marcus Garvey, Paul Robeson, and A. Phillip Randolph.
In 1944, Carter received his B.A. from Trinity College, University of Toronto. In that same year, he went into the Canadian army. After his military service, Carter went on to Osgoode Hall from 1945-48 to study law. While in school, Carter worked as a porter on the trains because that was the only job available for most black men at the time. After completing his education, he became one of Canada’s first black lawyers. He was appointed to the bench in l976.
Honorable Judge George E. Carter was instrumental in establishing legal aid services and in the formation of the Adoption of Coloured Children agency. He is also an active leader of the Black Canadian Society.
Judge Carter’s love of literature, history, and language, and his intense love of the law made him an outstanding jurist and a model for justices who followed him. Carter retired but still practices some law, remains an avid reader, and continues the banter with his six remaining sisters.
A television documentary, “The Making of a Judge,” was made about his accomplishments. It is hosted by his daughter, actress and model Linda V. Carter.
Austin 'Tom' Clarke, C.M., O.Ont., (1934 - 2016) Novelist, Essayist and Short Story Writer
Austin Clarke was born in Barbados in. Growing up there, Clarke and his family lived in poverty. He completed his primary education at St. Mathias Boys School and his secondary education at Combermere and Harrison College.
After graduating from Harrison College, he taught for three years before entering the University of Toronto’s Trinity College in 1955, where he studied economics and political science. Two years later he married, abandoned his university studies, and took on a series of short-term jobs. During this period he continued to work on his writing and took on the first of a succession of jobs as a journalist.
Devoting himself entirely to his writing in 1962, he began a prolific period in his career, writing several short stories and the manuscripts for The Survivors of the Crossing (published in 1964), Amongst Thistles and Thorns (pub. 1965) and The Meeting Point (pub. 1967) all between 1962 and 1964. During the mid 1960s, Clarke also began working as a freelance broadcaster for the CBC for whom he recorded a series of interviews and documentaries on black issues in North America and Britain.
In the late 1960s and early 70s, Clarke accepted appointments as a visiting lecturer in creative writing and African American literature at a number of major American universities including Yale, Duke, and Brandeis. Despite his hectic schedule during this period, Clarke still managed to publish another novel Storm of Fortune (1971) and a collection of short stories entitled When He Was Free and Young and He Used to Wear Silks (1971). Clarke stayed in the U.S. from 1974-1975 after accepting a position as a cultural attaché to the Barbadian Embassy in Washington. Clarke's career with the Barbadian government continued when he was asked in 1975 to return to Barbados to become the General Manager of The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation. A more political experience than he had anticipated, Clarke's determination to reform the government agency was the subject of much controversy, culminating in a premature termination of his contract.
Returning to Canada in 1976, Clarke wrote The Prime Minister (1977), an autobiographical and highly political novel modelled on his unhappy experiences as a civil servant in Barbados. Attempting to enter the political arena in Canada, Clarke ran unsuccessfully as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the 1977 Ontario provincial election. Perhaps inspired by his recent stay in Barbados, he began to write his memoirs, the first volume of which, Growing Up Stupid Under the Union Jack (1980), won the 1980 Casa de las Americas Prize for Literature.
Aside from writing a weekly column for the Barbadian newspaper The Nation from 1979-82, the 1980s were not an especially prolific period in Clarke's literary career. While in the mid-1980s he did succeed in have two collections of short stories and one novel published When Women Rule (1985), Nine Men Who Laughed (1986), and Proud Empires (1986), respectively, his commitments to both provincial and federal politics hindered the completion of much creative work.
After serving on the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada between 1988 and 1993, Clarke renewed his focus on writing and produced several important books. Returning to the short story form, Clarke published two new collections: In This City (1992) and There Are No Elders (1993). Still finding non-fiction to be an important creative and occasionally political outlet, Clarke also wrote A Passage Back Home (1994), a memoir of his friendship with the Trinidadian writer Sam Selvon; the political pamphlet "Public Enemies: Police, Violence, and Black Youth"; and, most recently, Pigtails n' Breadfruit: the Rituals of Slave Food, a "food memoir" that combines recipes with memories of his formative years in Barbados.
Clarke wrote The Origin of Waves (1997), his first novel in eleven years, which won Clarke the honour of being named the inaugural recipient of the Rogers Communications Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 1998. Clarke went on to win the Giller Prize in 2002 for his novel The Polished Hoe.
Senator Anne Clare Cools (born August 12, 1943) was born in Barbados and she was the first black person to be appointed to the Senate.
Her family immigrated to Canada in 1957 when Cools was 14 years old, and settled in Montreal. Attending McGill University to study social work in the 1960s, she became involved in radical campus politics. In 1969, she was a participant in a 10-day sit-in at Sir George Williams University (later Concordia University), protesting alleged racism at the school. The action ended with $2 million worth of damage to computer equipment. Although not accused of damaging property herself, Cools was sentenced to four months imprisonment for participating in the sit-in.
In 1974, Cools moved to Toronto where she founded one of the first shelters for abused women in Canada, Women in Transition Inc., and served as its Executive Director.
She twice sought election at the federal level as a candidate of the Liberal Party. She lost the Liberal nomination in a highly contested race against John Evans for the 1978 by-election in Rosedale. She ran again in 1979, and won the nomination but was defeated in both the 1979 and 1980 elections by the Progressive Conservative candidate David Crombie. On her second attempt, she lost by fewer than 2,000 votes.
In 1984, she was appointed to the Senate on the recommendation of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Senator Cools crossed the floor to join the Conservative Party on June 8, 2004. On June 25, 2007 she was removed from Conservative caucus for speaking out against Prime Minister Stephen Harper and for voting against the 2007 budget but is still recognized as a Conservative on government forms.
She has designated herself as representing the Senate division of Toronto-Centre-York.
Dr. Juliet Daniel, GCM, Professor, Department of Biology, McMaster University
Dr. Juliet M. Daniel is a Professor in the Department of Biology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Dr. Daniel received her primary and secondary education in Barbados at St. Paul's Primary School and Queen's College respectively. She then obtained a B.Sc. in Life Sciences from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. Upon completion of her Ph.D., Dr. Daniel spent six years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Daniel’s research is focused on understanding the fundamentals of cell proliferation and cell adhesion, and elucidating how malfunction of these processes contributes to cancer. Dr. Daniel’s work in the cancer research field led to her discovery and naming of a new gene “Kaiso”, coined from the popular Caribbean music “calypso”.
Throughout her career, Dr. Daniel has published in several top scientific journals. Dr. Daniel has also been the recipient of several awards including the Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award, the American Association for Cancer Research Minority Scholar Travel Award, the Hamilton Black History Month John C. Holland Professional Achievement Award, the Barbados American Cancer Association Scientific Achievement Award, the African Canadian Achievement Award of Excellence in Science, and the NABO Collaborative Conference Community Service Award and Barbados Ball Canada Aid’s Errol Walton Barrow Award, the Barbados National Honour Gold Crown of Merit, the BBPA Harry Jerome Award (Technology and Innovation), the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women Award, and the UWI Toronto Benefit Gala's 2019 Vice Chancellor Award. She has also been featured in “Millennium Minds: 100 Black Canadians” and “Who’s Who in Black Canada”.
Dr. Daniel is an avid Latin and Ballroom Dancer and her other hobbies include reading, biking and tennis.
The Rt. Rev. Peter DeC. Fenty, M.Div. (Hons); B.A.; L.Th; Dip.Th., Suffragan Bishop of York-Simcoe
Bishop Peter Fenty a Barbadian, has been ordained for thirty-eight years, and was consecrated a Bishop on June 22, 2013 in St. James Cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. He became the area bishop of York Simcoe on the day of his consecration. Peter is the first Black Bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada.
Bishop Fenty always had a passion for pastoral ministry and served with distinction in five parishes in the Dioceses of Barbados, Montreal and Toronto. In 2003 he was appointed as the Executive Officer to the Bishop of Toronto, and Archdeacon of York until 2013. Peter is a graduate of Codrington College and the University of the West Indies, Barbados and Huron College of the University of Western Ontario. He holds a Diploma in Theological Studies, Licentiate of Theology, Bachelor of Arts in History, Sociology and Theology, and a Master of Divinity with honours.
Peter was always involved in the communities in which he ministered and is a strong advocate for social justice, human rights and ecumenism. This is reflected in the many organizations, committees and boards on which he served. They include being chair of the Partners in Mission Committee and the Anti-Racism Implementation Group of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Diocese of Toronto’s Social Justice and Advocacy Committee and the Multicultural committee.
He served on the Montreal Diocesan Council as deputy chair, as a member of the Diocese of Montreal’s Social Outreach Committee, and the No Longer Strangers Multicultural Committee. He was a member of the Board of the Black Community Council of Quebec, as well as on the Board of Management of the Montreal Diocesan Theological College.
In his homeland Barbados Bishop Fenty served as Chaplain to the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill), the National Union of Public Workers, St. Gabriel’s Anglican School and Honorary Chaplain to the Barbados Defense Force. He also did a short stint as a radio talk show host at two radio stations in Barbados. Peter was also the deputy chair of the Barbados Community College Board of Management 1989-1992. Peter was an educator prior to and for twenty-years during ordained ministry.
Bishop Fenty was a member of the International Afro-Anglican Co-coordinating Committee for the conference held in Toronto in 2005. He has been the recipient of many awards including the Pride of Barbados Award, the Barbados Independence Award 2013, and has been nominated to receive the African Canadian Achievement Awards (ACAA) Excellence in Religion Award 2014 and the Vice Chancellor’s Award of The University of the West Indies (UWI) Toronto 2014.
Bishop Fenty is supported in his ministry by his wife Angela Allman-Fenty who is an educator; their son Andre who holds a degree in Journalism and is married to Jacquelyn Norrish; and their daughter Peta-Anne who holds a degree in French and is also an educator. She is married to Mubarak Anashara.
Keith Forde, Deputy Chief (Retired), Toronto Police Service
In 2005, Keith L. Forde became the first visible minority Deputy Chief of Police in the history of the Toronto Police Service.He is responsible for TPS Human Resources Command and oversees:hiring and promotion; training and education and community mobilization.The Human Resources Command has an annual budget of more than 37 million dollars.
Prior to this appointment as Deputy Chief, he was the Superintendent in charge of the Toronto Police College.There, he introduced many innovative changes.He established a Human Relations Section with the mandate to design and deliver courses in “Professionalism in Policing” which focuses on ethics, diversity and customer service.He also ensured that ethics and diversity training was interwoven through every aspect of the curriculum.
He has been active in law enforcement for over 38 years.He brings to his position as Deputy Chief considerable experience and knowledge of both police operations and organizational management.He has held diverse management positions including:Duty Operations, 52 and 11 Divisions, Prosecution Services, Complaints Review and Community Policing Support, Toronto Police College.
He is an outspoken advocate for Employment Equity.He has also championed the need for improved race relations within the Police Service.Because of his long standing ties to the community, Deputy Forde has been successful in fostering several productive partnerships between communities, government agencies and organizations within and outside of Toronto.
He received his primary education at the Pine Primary School and his secondary education at Parkinson Memorial School and the Barbados Academy; before immigrating to Canada in 1969. He has also completed studies at Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, Seneca College and Humber College.
From 1995 – 1997 he was Aide de Camp to the Honourable Henry N.R. Jackman, C.M., K.ST. J., LLD, the then Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
He is a tireless community worker presently sitting on the Board of Directors for:the United Way Youth Challenge Fund and Sickle Cells – Camp Jumoke, former board member of the Scarborough Hospital.He is an active fundraiser for several community organizations including the Olive Branch of Hope and Sickle Cells - Camp Jumoke.
Deputy Forde has received numerous awards from citizens groups, community organizations, government agencies, faith groups and from within the policing community.Selected awards include the Harry Jerome Trailblazer Award, the African Canadian Achievement Award, Barbados Community Recognition Award, Jamaica Community Award, the Bob Marley Community Award, the Chief of Police Excellence Award and the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.
Jay C. Hope, O.O.M, Deputy Minister (Retired), Corrections, Government of Ontario
Jay C. Hope became only the second black deputy minister in the history of Ontario, when he was appointed by Premier Dalton McGuinty in January 2008.
Deputy Minister Hope also has the distinction of being the country's first black police officer appointed as a deputy police chief when he became deputy commissioner in the Ontario Provincial Police in November 2004. As deputy commissioner, Hope was well known for his leadership in traffic safety and human resources specific to equity and inclusion.
In February 2009, he received an honorary Bachelor of Arts degree from Seneca College in Toronto and in June 2010, he will receive an honorary doctorate in criminal justice from the University of Guelph. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Toronto and several diplomas from Ontario-based colleges. Over the years he has received numerous other awards including a Harry Jerome Award, the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, an Amethyst Award (Ontario’s premier achievement honour in public service) and the African Canadian Achievement Award.
Prior to his current appointment to Correctional Services in July 2008, Deputy Minister Hope served as both Commissioner of Emergency Management Ontario and Commissioner of Community Safety for the Province of Ontario.
Deputy Hope remains a serving police officer currently on long-term secondment to the Province of Ontario in his 31st year of service. He is also a recipient of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.
With an annual budget of $740M and approximately 7,400 employees, the correctional services division of the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services operates 31 jails, detention centres, and correctional centres along with 119 probation and parole offices across Ontario.
Patrick Husbands, BSS, Jockey
Born on May 22, 1973 in Barbados, he became a Canadian citizen in 2000. Following his father who was a jockey in Barbados, Patrick Husbands has established himself as one of the most accomplished jockeys in Canada.
The youngest rider ever to win the prestigious Cockspur Cup in Barbados at age 16, Patrick Husbands has since received six Sovereign Awards as Canada’s top rider. He has ranked in the top three riders at Woodbine in wins and earnings for several years. Rider of "Sterwins", the winner of the 2010 Sandy Lane Gold Cup, the most important race on the racing calendar in Barbados, Husbands guided "Sterwins" from behind the field to win at the wire in what is regarded by many as the most exciting race ever run in Barbados. His goal is to win every major race in Canada and he is well on his way.
Patrick was honoured in Barbados for his 2003 Triple Crown victory, highlighted by 'Patrick Husbands Day' at the Garrison Savannah racetrack on January 3, 2004. The Barbados government awarded Husbands the Barbados Service Star (BSS) in the country's Independence Day Honours list in 2005.
Donald Willard Moore, C.M. (1891 - 1994), Political Activist
Born in Barbados, Donald Willard Moore immigrated to Canada in 1913. He started a tailoring business in Toronto in 1920 and was a pioneer in the dry cleaning and dyeing industry in Toronto.
Donald Moore was a member of the Universal Negro Movement Association and a key player in the formation of the West Indian Progressive Association which later developed into the West Indian Trading Company. He was also a founding member of the first black credit union established in 1944.
A tireless community advocate, for 30 years Mr. Moore fought for a change in the Canadian government's policy towards accepting minorities. In 1951, in response to the Immigration Department’s stern measures against all West Indians entering Canada, Mr. Moore organized The Negro Citizenship Association and became its first Director.
In 1954, backed by the Negro Citizenship Association, the Canadian Labour Congress, religious groups and twenty other Canadian organizations Mr. Moore led a delegation of 35 people to Ottawa to challenge the Immigration minister directly. In 1962 the Federal Government finally struck down the immigration ruling which used racial origin as exclusionary. He also negotiated with Ontario Premiers George Drew and Leslie Frost for the rights of Blacks in housing and employment. By his actions, Donald Willard Moore changed the face of Canadian society.
Donald Moore was invested into the Order of Canada on April 18, 1990. He died on August 22, 1994 at the age of 102.
Alison Sealy-Smith, Actor
Born in Barbados, Alison has been a professional theatre artist since 1981 when she performed with the Pelican Players, Canada’s ‘first multicultural community theatre’. Since then she has worked with companies across Canada and in Barbados including the Green Room Players, Stage One Productions,Theatre Calgary, Canadian Stage and the Stratford Festival. Her most recent theatre credits include “Cast Iron” (NightwoodTheatre), “The Polished Hoe” (Obsidian Theatre and the Frank Collymore Hall) and her award-winning performance as Lena Younger in Soulpepper Theatre’s production of “A Raisin in the Sun”. She has directed theatre productions for the Company of Sirens,LKTYP, the SaidyeBronfman Centre, the National Theatre School, Neptune Theatre, Black TheatreWorkshop and Obsidian Theatre.
Her most recent film and television credits include “Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures”, “This is Wonderland”, “Da Kink in My Hair”, “Dark Water”, “Honey”, “Talk to Me” “You Kill Me” and “Naturally Sadie”. She was the voice of Storm on the animated series “The X-Men” and the voice of Scarlett on “Delilah and Julius”.
Alison has received five Dora Award nominations and has won two. She is also the proud recipient of a Harry Jerome Award and a Salute to the City Award for her contribution to the Arts in Toronto, a George Luscombe Award for Mentorship and an Award of Excellence from the Caribbean Tales Film Festival.
Alison is a Founding Member of the Obsidian Theatre Company and served as Artistic Director from 2000 – 2006.
The Very Reverend Douglas A. Stoute, Dean of Toronto and Rector (Retired)of St. James Cathedral
The Very Reverend Douglas Stoute was born at Gun Hill, St. George and raised in Barbados, where his father was Commissioner of Police. He was educated at Mrs. Murphy's School and the Harrison College where he excelled in cricket and athletics. He played cricket for Wanderers Cricket Club (BCA cup winners in 1963) and the Barbados Junior Cricket team. He received his post-secondary education at the University of Waterloo (B.A., M.A.), Kings College, Cambridge (Ph.D.) and holds a Doctor of Divinity (Hons Causa) from Trinity College, University of Toronto.
Father Stoute has been Dean of Toronto and Rector of St. James’ Cathedral since 1994, before which he was Curate at St. Paul’s Bloor Street, Rector at Christ Church Bolton and Rector at St. Clement Eglinton. He has taught and lectured at the Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto.
Dean Stoute s married to The Honourable Mary Lou Benotto, Justice of the Court of Appeal of Ontario.
Kevin Weekes, NHL Hockey Player (Retired)
Kevin Weekes was born on April 4, 1975 in Toronto, Ontario. Both of Kevin’s parents, Vadney and Carl Weekes were born in Barbados and immigrated to Canada in the 1970’s. Growing up in downtown Toronto, Kevin was introduced to hockey during neighborhood street hockey games. Kevin began to learn the basics of ice hockey at the age of six, and soon thereafter began playing for the Toronto Red Wings of the MTHL (Metro Toronto Hockey League).
In 1992, Kevin was drafted in the third round of the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) draft by the Owen Sound Platers. Kevin, who also played for the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL, enjoyed a successful junior hockey career. In 1993, Kevin's childhood dream of one day becoming an NHL goaltender was realized, when he was drafted 41st overall by the Florida Panthers in the NHL entry draft.
In 1996, Kevin began his professional hockey career by playing for the Panther’s AHL (American Hockey League) affiliate, the Carolina Monarchs. Kevin also played for the Panther’s IHL (International Hockey League) affiliate, the Fort Wayne Komets, during the 1997-1998 season.
Kevin started his first NHL game on October 23, 1998 against the Ottawa Senators. He was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in 1998 and has also played for the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils during his NHL career. Kevin retired from playing hockey in 2009 and is now a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada.
In addition to Kevin’s on-ice triumphs, he founded and supports Skillz Hockey, a grassroots hockey initiative. In the summer 2005, Kevin hosted his first ever goalie school held in Detroit, Michigan. He sponsors minor hockey players throughout Canada by purchasing equipment and subsidizing their registration costs. Kevin also supports several other charitable causes and initiatives throughout North America.
Kevin accredits his success to diligence, perseverance and dedication. "My dreams are limitless, I refuse to set boundaries for myself," states Kevin. Although he is a Canadian native, Kevin also holds his Bajan culture in high regard. He proudly wore the Barbados flag on the back of his goalie mask as a tribute to his roots.