2012 Diversity and Planet Africa Awards Gala A Great Success!
By A Correspondent
The 9th Annual Diversity and Planet Africa Awards gala, held on Saturday, October 27th at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Canada, was a tremendous success. The evening commenced with an exclusive, sold out VIP dinner, catered by celebrity chef Selwyn Richards, followed by the awards ceremony, world class entertainment.
International recording artist & four-time Juno and Much Music Video Award winner Kardinal Offishall hosted the awards ceremony, while the VIP dinner was hosted by comedian Jay Martin and Sam Sarpong hosted the After Party. Top notch performances were rendered by renowned dance troop Ballet Creole; a powerful tribute to Whitney Houston by Patricia Shirley and a groovy showcase by Ghana's Hiplife duo Ruff N Smooth.
"We are pleased with the tremendous interest that the Diversity and Planet Africa Awards program has generated. According to statistics regarding the Planet Africa Group website, there were 160,236 hits in October so far, an increase of about 20,000 hits from last year," says Patricia Bebia Mawa, President & Editorial Director of Planet Africa Group. "On the day of the awards, we had 21,200 hits," she says.
Harpreet Sethi honored with "Diversity Award" for Compassion
Businessman and Philanthropist Harpreet Sethi is CEO, Grand Victorian Centre and Radisson Plaza Mississauga. He is also the President of Black Diamond Entertainments & Founder of Sethi Foundation. He has won numerous awards such as 'Hotelier of the Year' by MidWeek Media Group, 'Builder of the Year' by Builders Architect Magazine, 'South Asian Person of the Year' at the MidWeek South Asian Awards, 'Entrepreneur of the Year' by Indo Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Diamond Jubliee Medal by Hon. Harinder S. Takhar, MPP Mississauga, Minister of Government Services on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II". His philanthropic endeavors include presenting a gift of $500,000 as a charity to the William Osler Health Centre. He has also supported various other charities such as Salvation Army ‘Toy Mountain’ campaign, CNIB, Sick Kids Foundation, BAPS, Centennial foundation, Pakistan Earthquake Relief, along with several others charities in Canada and India.
Recipients of the Diversity Awards include RBC Royal Bank President Jennifer Tory; Senator Anne Cools, Markham City Mayor Frank Scarpitti; Toronto Police Deputy Chief Peter Sloly; and Humanitarian Belinda Stronach.
At the gala, Dr. Julius Garvey, a physician and son of the historic leader Marcus Garvey, received the African Legend Award in honour of his father's legacy.
The honour for Lawyer and Civil Rights Activist Charles Roach, was received on behalf of his family by June Roach.
"Guests at the awards got a close-up look at the award-winning Chevrolet Cruze and the versatile
Chevrolet Equinox, which were on display with product specialists giving out information on the vehicles, made available by Chevrolet, a presenting sponsor," says Ms. Mawa. "Ethiopian Airlines, also a Presenting Sponsor, had a booth with information about how the airline is making an impact on the aviation industry, as it now flies direct from Toronto to Africa," she says.
Other sponsors include Ayo and Tayo Alabi of Jodal Healthcare, OMNI Television, Kingsley Jesuorobo& Associates, York Regional Police Service, G98.7 FM, The Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, First Fridays, Moneygram, Lewis Law Professional Corporation, Mosaic Foods and Ontario Black History Society. Youth sponsors include PricewaterHouseCoopers, TD Bank Financial Group, Canadian Association of Nigerian Physicians and Dentists (CANPAD) and Rexdale Community Health Centre.
Guests departed with gift bags staffed with the new issue of Planet Africa Magazine and the premiere edition of Diversity Magazine, which carries profiles of recipients, other inspiring stories, sponsor advertising and other elements. Planet Africa Magazine will hit national and international newsstands on November 12th 2012, while Diversity magazine will be available in the Blue Boxes, transit systems and other avenues across the GTA on November 4th 2012.