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Superstar Divine Brown to Headline Harry Jerome Awards

Toronto, Canada – April 15, 2017 – The Black Business and Professional Association’s (BBPA) 35th annual Harry Jerome Awards, “Beyond Excellence,” will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd, Mississauga, ON. The event will feature the incomparable Juno Award-winning R&B and soul singer, Divine Brown.

2016 Harry Jerome Media Award winner, Patricia Jaggernauth, Weather Specialist and Remote Reporter for Toronto’s Breaking News, CP24, will host this year’s event.

According to Shawn Cuffie, Entertainment Director of the 2017 Harry Jerome Awards and Executive Producer of the renowned Black Diamond Ball, “This year’s entertainment will be a showstopper.”

Chair of the Harry Jerome Awards, Michelle Richards, said, “This night will not only highlight our amazing 2017 recipients, stake-holders and powerful influencers, it also impacts the lives of our next generation. We are getting ready to embark on a night of celebration, high energy entertainment and an impressive space of ambiance and tantalizing eatery.”

The evening’s red carpet will be hosted by Juno Award winning producer, Roderick Brereton and a surprise guest host. Festivities will include a VIP reception, entertainment by ONQ Live Entertainment, Sage, the TD Dancers, and the Swag After Party.

The BBPA Harry Jerome Awards was established in memory of Harry Jerome, an African-Canadian Olympic athlete, scholar and social advocate. Presented by TD Bank, the Awards honour the accomplishments of the African-Canadian community in the categories of Academics, Arts, Athletics, Leadership, Business, Entertainment, Professional Excellence, Health Science, Technology and Innovation, Community Service, Lifetime Achievement, Diversity, Trailblazer, Social Advocacy, Volunteer, Public Advocacy, Youth Advancement, and the President’s Award.

This year’s honourees include:

  • Rev. Dr. Audley N. James (Lifetime Achievement Award)
  • Harriet Thornhill (Youth Advancement Award)
  • Dr. Everton Gooden (Trailblazer Award)
  • Keith Spence (Professional Excellence Award)
  • George Frempong (Business Award)
  • Isobel Granger (Public Advocacy Award)
  • Leanne Prendergast (Leadership Award)
  • Sharon Riley (Entertainment Award)
  • Gabrielle Fletcher (Academics Award)
  • Dr. Barbara Trieloff-Deane (Diversity Award)
  • Wesley J. Hall (President’s Award)
  • Chris Campbell (Volunteer Award)
  • Andre De Grasse (Athletics Award)
  • Ron Cunningham (Community Service Award)
  • Dr. Juliet M. Daniel (Technology and Innovation Award)
  • Cheryl Nembhard (Social Advocacy Award)
  • Fabienne Colas (Arts Award)
  • Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi (Health Sciences Award)

The following individuals will be honoured posthumously in recognition of their immense contributions to the community:

  • Dr. Trevor Ian Robinson – Honorary Mention
  • Raphaelita Walker – Honorary Mention
  • Dr. David Bell – Honorary Mention
  • Dr. Inez Elliston – Honorary Mention

The gala’s fundraising festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. and the show runs from 6:30-10:30 p.m.Tickets are $200 and can be ordered online at or by calling 416-504-4097.

About the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA)
Founded in 1983, the BBPA is a charitable organization whose mission is to advance Canada’s Black community by facilitating the delivery of programs that support business and professional excellence, higher education and economic development. The BBPA presents the Annual Harry Jerome Awards, the BBPA National Scholarships and the National Black Business and Professional Convention (NBBPC), alongside workshops and programs at the BBPA Centre of Excellence.

For more information and updates, visit the official BBPA Harry Jerome Awards website at, call 416-504-4097 or email The BBPA maintains an active social media presence on Facebook @thebbpa, Twitter @thebbpa

Media Contact:

BrandEQ Group
Nadine Spencer
P. 416-281-1515 / 416-708-0521

Carl Edmonson
P. 416 281 1515

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