Internationally renowned Canadian soprano, Measha Brueggergosman, will be honoured with an African Canadian Achievement Award (ACAA) for excellence in the arts and entertainment this weekend.
The ACAA pays tribute to and recognizes African-Canadians who have excelled in their professions and have contributed to the development and uplift of their community and country.
Past ACAA recipients in the Excellence in Arts/Entertainment category include Canadian R&B and jazz artists, Salome Bey, Jackie Richardson, Liberty Silver and Molly Johnson; jazz icon, the late Oscar Peterson; jazz pianist, Joe Sealy; actresses Tonya Lee Williams and Arlene Duncan; critically-acclaimed author, Austin Clarke; fine artist, Neville Clarke and photographer, Michael Chambers.
Brueggergosman has performed at Canada Day celebrations from Parliament Hill and the opening ceremonies of the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, sharing the stage with Bill Gates and former U.S. President, Bill Clinton.
Brueggergosman’s performance of the Olympic Hymn at the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games was viewed on television by more than three billion people. She has given a Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II and has sung for the Prince of Wales, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Queen Sonja of Norway, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Michaëlle Jean.
During the ACAA gala ceremony, 12 other high-achievers will also be honoured:
• Marie Critchlow, an accountant and president of Just Incredible, will receive the Excellence in Business Award.
• Chris Bullen, York Region Police Inspector and former President of the Association of Black Law Enforcers (ABLE), will be honoured for Excellence in Law.
• Nathan Downer, a news reporter and anchor at CP24, will receive the Excellence in Media Award.
• Dr. Virginia Nsitem, a chiropractor who specializes in pain management, will receive the Excellence in Medicine Award.
• Ontario MPP (Don Valley East) and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Michael Coteau, will receive the Excellence in Politics Award.
• Dr. Everald Lewis, founder and President of Rhema Studies of Theology Association, will be honoured for Excellence in Religion.
• Former CFL quarterback and businessman, Chuck Ealey, will be recognized for Excellence in Sports.
• Raphaelita Walker, venerable volunteer and Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) member, will be honoured for Excellence in Community Service.
• Dr. Gervan Fearon, Dean of Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, will be honoured for Excellence in Education.
• The Youth Achievement Award will be presented to Cherith Burke, a fast-rising fashion designer.
• Toronto Police Service’s Chief Bill Blair will be honoured with the Founder’s Award.
• The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Pamela Appelt.
The African Canadian Achievement Award gala ceremony will be held at the Jane Mallett Theatre, inside the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front Street East, at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, February 9. Tickets are $40 for adults, $20 for students (under age 18).
For more information call, 905-686-8868.