Ceremony held to honour Guyanese in Canada
From Frederick Halley in Toronto
May 23, 2004
THE Guyana Consulate in Toronto yesterday evening honoured several outstanding Guyanese nationals who have contributed towards the promotion of their homeland in this North American city.
The gala ceremony was held at the Travelodge Hotel and Conference Centre and marked the beginning of month-long activities to commemorate Guyana's 38th Independence anniversary celebrations. A Guyana Festival, which takes place from June 18-20 will bring the curtains down on the celebrations.
The awards were created three years ago to acknowledge the contributions of Guyanese nationals towards the promotion of Guyana, the Guyanese heritage and culture and are seen as providing role models for the current and future generations.
According to Guyana's Honorary Consul General, Mr. Danny Doobay, the awards are seen as a fitting tribute to highlight the achievements of the recipients and also to make a wider statement to both the Guyanese community and to the wider Canadian community as a whole.
A panel of judges consisting of eminent professionals from within the Guyanese Community in Canada has evaluated the nominees and selected the winners. Among the guiding criteria for selection were strong moral character, strong leadership and community-building efforts of the nominees.
In previous years, the selections were done by the Festival Committee, but according to Doobay, the nomination process has been opened this year to include submissions from the general public.
The nine categories for the 2004 awards include - Outstanding Business Person; Outstanding Community Organisation; Community Service; Heritage and Culture; Academic Excellence; Special Achievement; Leadership and Youth.
Meanwhile, the Festival Committee has decided on a change of dates for the annual three-day outdoor celebrations from May to June to capitalise on better weather conditions. The change of date locates the Festival in much warmer weather conditions, thereby removing the uncertainty that has surrounded the event in previous years.
In anticipation of warmer weather, the Festival Committee has increased the number of outdoor activities. The highlights of this year's festival, to be held at the L'Amoreaux Community Centre, 2000 McNicoll Avenue, Scarborough, are the Guyana Trade Show, the Cultural Show and the Celebrity Cricket Match featuring Guyana’s national cricket team and a Canadian XI.
The Trade Show will feature