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CIECYR Inaugural Awards and Benefit Gala

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The Community Inclusivity Equity Council of York Region’s Inaugural Awards and Benefit Gala being held on Thursday, April 30, 2015, at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel, 600 Highway 7 East, Richmond Hill. Reverend Mpho Tutu, Executive Director of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, and Archbishop Desmond and Leah Tutu’s granddaughters, Nyaniso and Onalenna joined us from South Africa. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, as Chair of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, contributed to this event with a video presentation as he was unable to travel internationally at this time. In attendance was the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission, the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario the Honourable James Bartleman and Chief Donna Big Canoe, Chief of the Chippewas of Georgina.

Read more: CIECYR Inaugural Awards and Benefit Gala

A Celebration of Nelson Mandela

Adriaans & Associates were honoured by a request to assist the University of Toronto with the preparations for "A Celebration of Nelson Mandela" held on Friday, December 13, 2013. We also coordinated a Multi-Faith Community Event as part of the day's activities. Promotional material for these events can be viewed here:

University of Toronto has published an excellent summary description of this amazing celebration here:


UWI 2015 Benefit Gala Toronto

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The University of the West Indies today announced that Mr. Charles S. Coffey, O.C., will be honoured as the inaugural recipient of the G. Raymond Chang Award at the sixth annual The University of the West Indies Toronto Benefit Gala on Saturday, March 28, 2015, at the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. The G. Raymond Chang Award has been established to honour outstanding individuals who exemplify the leadership and ideals of G. Raymond Chang, O.C., O.J. (1948-2014). Mr. Chang was a recognized outstanding business leader and philanthropist who embodied great humility and commitment to his fellow persons. Chang, who passed away in July 2014, was the Gala’s patron for the past five years.

Read more: UWI 2015 Benefit Gala Toronto

University of the West Indies Benefit Gala 2013

UWI Benefit Gala 2013

The University of the West Indies (UWI) hosted its 4th Annual Black Tie Toronto Benefit Gala on Saturday, May 11, 2013, at the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto under the distinguished patronage of Hon. G. Raymond Chang, OJ.

Read more: University of the West Indies Benefit Gala 2013

UWI 2014 Benefit Gala Toronto


The Voice season five winner Tessanne Chin and Jamaican reggae artist Jimmy Cliff among honourees for The University of the West Indies Fifth Annual Toronto Benefit Gala Saturday, March 29, 2014

Toronto, ON – The University of the West Indies today announced that Tessanne Chin, NBC’s The Voice’s season five winner, and internationally acclaimed Jamaican reggae artist Jimmy Cliff are among leaders of Caribbean and Canadian heritage who will be honoured at the fifth annual Toronto Benefit Gala, on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto.
The Patron of the event is The Honourable G. Raymond Chang, OJ, Canadian Jamaican business leader and philanthropist. For the fifth consecutive year Scotiabank is again Lead Sponsor. The Host is noted Jamaican broadcaster and media manager Michael Anthony Cuffe Sr.

Read more: UWI 2014 Benefit Gala Toronto

Annual St. George's College Summer Ball 2012


shld01Adriaans and Associates was the official organizer of this year's Annual St. George's College Summer Ball.

The event was held on August 3, 2012, at Le Parc Banquet Centre in Thornhill, Ontario.

St. George's College has a 160 year history of excellence and support to students in Jamaica. We are very pleased and proud to be selected to support this wonderful organization's Annual Summer Ball.

University of the West Indies Benefit Gala 2012

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$300,000 Raised at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Benefit Gala in Toronto for the UWI Scholarship Fund and the UWI Haitian Initiative

Canadian and Caribbean Industry and Sector Leaders Pave the Way for Future Generations

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Toronto Third Annual Benefit Gala, held Saturday, March 10, 2012, at the Four Seasons Hotel raised $300,000 for the UWI Scholarship Fund and the UWI Haitian Initiative that lends support to rebuild the tertiary education sector in Haiti and assist university students who need to complete their degree programmes. Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind, Executive Director of UWI Institutional Advancement says "The University of the West Indies Toronto Gala 2012 was sold out for the third consecutive year. We are touched by the outpouring of support we continue to receive from the public and private sectors in Canada."

The UWI Benefit Gala in Toronto has occurred annually since 2009 under the patronage of honourary UWI graduate, Chancellor G. Raymond Chang of Ryerson University. The event is a natural extension of the Annual UWI Benefit Gala that has been held for the past 15 years in New York, NY, under the patronage of Honourary UWI graduate, Dr. the Honourable Harry Belafonte. Both events have become staple events for many Caribbean natives, as well as the cities' community and industry leaders.

Read more: University of the West Indies Benefit Gala 2012

Oolagen Youth Mental Health Leave Them Laughing November 2010

On Thursday November 4, 2010, guests and supporters will join Oolagen Youth Mental Health for its Leave Them Laughing inaugural fundraising dinner.

The dinner at the Arcadian Court (401 Bay Street, Toronto) will feature celebrity emcees, and husband and wife team, Colin Mochrie and Debra McGrath. As Oolagen's Patrons, they are both deeply committed to helping raise awareness of Oolagen and the important work they do with at-risk youth and their families. With Deb and Colin in the house, it is sure to be a fun and memorable event.


Read more: Oolagen Youth Mental Health Leave Them Laughing November 2010

South African Women for Women - Women's Summit 2010

March 6th, 2010
Registration 7:00am
Sheraton Centre Toronto
123 Queen Street West,
Toronto, ON M5H 2M9

This powerful one day conference includes distinguished keynote speakers, expert panel discussions, and invaluable networking opportunities. The Women's Summit 2010 seeks to empower and improve the status and diversity of business women in corporate Canada. It will cover a number of practical topics, address the challenges faced by women in business and provide insight into many controversial issues.

For further details on the Women's Summit 2010 Agenda and Gala evening, please click on this PDF AGENDA.

University of the West Indies (UWI) Black Tie Gala 2010

February 27, 2010
Four Seasons Hotel,
21 Avenue Road,
Toronto, Ontario

This inaugural Toronto Gala celebrated, supported, and inspired excellence. Dr. the Honourable Harry Belafonte, well-known musician, actor, social activist, and philanthropist, among numerous other notable speakers, was present.

Additional information is available at the UWI Toronto website.

Read more: University of the West Indies (UWI) Black Tie Gala 2010

South African Freedom Day 2008

The South African Community in Toronto, in conjunction with the South African Consulate-General and The Canadian Council of South Africans (CANCOSA), celebrated the Fourteenth Anniversary of South Africa’s democracy on Sunday, April 27th, at the Sheraton Centre Hotel, Dominion Ballroom at 12:00 noon.

South Africans are proud to demonstrate to the world, that a collaborative spirit of forgiveness and nation building has shaped a bright future for our country and all its people, serving as a wonderful example to those striving for a better world. They continue to confront and solve common and ongoing problems. Their courage in this regard enables us to live in harmony and truth irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, racial, religious and gender background. They have extended this message of hope and assertive dignity to people in every corner of the world.

Read more: South African Freedom Day 2008

A Night In Soweto Benefit Gala Featuring The Opera "The Passion of Winnie "


passion of winnie red page1 image1This event featured a keynote address by The Honourable Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The Opera, "The Passion of Winnie," produced by South African born composer and conductor, Bongani Ndodana-Breen, is a moving account of a South African woman’s long struggle against oppression and the triumph of hope over adversity in South Africa.

It charts the journey of the South African struggle for freedom through the life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of Nelson Mandela. It is a story that looks beyond the politics of apartheid and examines an untold personal journey that weaves loss and tragedy with hope and the miraculous birth of freedom in South Africa.

Footprints of Mandela on Robben Island Gala 2006 Invest in a child's Mind

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A rewarding and exciting evening, with a pre-dinner reception followed by exceptional musical performances, dinner and an inspiring keynote speaker

Guest Speaker:

Lionel Basil Davis

A political activist and prisoner turned educator, artist and self proclaimed Ambassador of Peace. Lionel Davis' current vocation as Heritage Educator for Robben Island Museum has provided him with the unique opportunity to live on the site where  he was once imprisoned.

For further information please visit The Robben Island Organization at

Freedom 10 Gala Canadian Council of South Africans (CANCOSA)

On the 10th anniversary of Freedom Day — the anniversary of the first democratic elections in South Africa — over 500 people joined CANCOSA for an unforgettable evening of celebration, featuring South African art exhibits, a dazzling array of talented musicians and performers, a dinner to delight the palate and speakers to inspire the mind.

Speakers included: South African High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Theresa Mary Solomon

Guest speaker: Mark Mathabane, award winning author of "Kaffir Boy" – detailing his experiences of growing up under the South African apartheid regime

Keynote Address: The Honourable William C. Graham

Read more: Freedom 10 Gala Canadian Council of South Africans (CANCOSA)

The Jean Augustine Birthday Brunch


The Jean Augustine Chair in Education in the New Urban Environment will enrich a multitude of activities at York University with research and academic expertise in the areas of educational policy and practice, immigration, community engagement, and cultural diversity.  The chair will support Canada's next generation of teachers, education leaders and researchers working to improve student success and schooling in metropolitan areas.

Jean Augustine has demonstrated an unparallel commitment to equity... Come take a CHAIR - Be part of the celebration and vision of making it happen...

Sunday, September 9, 2007 at La Vita Banquet and Conference Centre

Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (Canada) 2005 event

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At a Toronto fundraising gala Nov. 24, 2005 held by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (Canada), Rae said Mandela’s actions following his release after 27 years of imprisonment under South Africa’s apartheid era established new standards for leadership based on courage, vision, and humility.

His personal honour, love and dedication to the children of South Africa and the world, gave him the courage to instantly transform his own society. He subsequently could easily have been President-for-life, but knew when it was time to step out of politics for the good of the democratic process.

Harmony Award Banquet

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The sounds of jazz lured people inside the banquet hall, and the ceremony began with a special tribute to the Honourable James Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. The room was decorated with pictures of social harmony drawn by the children of Lester Che Junior Public School and Highland Heights Junior Public School. Shortly after the opening of the banquet, the guests listened Toronto's new Mayor elect David Miller praise the work of June Callwood, the Harmony Scholarship recipients and the Harmony Movement. Miller exclaimed, "The Harmony Movement is special and I think symbolic of what makes our city so great."

Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (Canada) Tribute Gala 2004

The 2004 Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (Canada) Gala was held at the Metro Toronto Convention centre in Toronto, the event paid special tribute to Nelson Mandela Children's Fund founder and chair –Nelson Mandela. The evening attracted approximately 600 people, many travelling from across the country to attend.

The event featured performances by a number of well-known Canadian musicians, including accomplished steel drum player Mark Mosca, internationally renowned pianist Naida Cole, the talented Andrew Craig Quartet and the indomitable Jackie Richardson.

Well known actor and civil rights activist Mr. Danny Glover delivered the keynote address, paying special homage to Mandela. He also spoke very passionately about the need for world citizens to live their lives in such a way that we change the lives of the less fortunate around us. That we commit to helping others, and be mindful of the sacrifices others made on our behalf.

One of the highpoints of the evening was the auctioning of one of ten limited edition BMW 325i “Democracy Cars”. The car was built in South Africa and contains a titanium plate bearing the autograph of Nelson Mandela. The car was auctioned for $55,000, which will be used to further the work of the fund in South Africa.

South African Women for Women (SAWW) Annual Awards 1996-2010


Each year, since 1997, Adriaans & Associates has produced a unique Awards ceremony to honour South African women globally.

SAWW honors women who have served their communities in education, health, the arts, and liberation movements. Each event calls on the audience to share in the wisdom of empowerment and to join SAWW in recognizing the many unsung heroes.

This annual gala event is also a celebration of South African Women's Day. It is the highlight of the SAWW year and the organization's main fundraiser.

Speakers have included Stephen Lewis, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daught Rev. Mpho Tutu amongst others. Previous venues include the Arts & Letters Club, The Sheraton Hotel and The Elgin Theatre. Entertainment has featured a wide range of musicians — from highly acclaimed soloists to an entire theatre production — specifically selected to reflect that year's particular focus.

For further information please visit South African Women for Women at

Phelophepa Healthcare Train Fundraising Gala 2002


"For most people, a train going through the neighbourhood is a nuisance. For millions of South Africans, it's salvation."

On Friday, September 20th, 2002 a fundraising Gala Dinner in aid of the Phelophepa Health Train was held at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. Over half a million rand was raised for this valuable project.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the keynote speaker, he and his wife, Mrs. Leah Tutu, shared their story of hope and their account of this very unique project in South Africa.

Mrs. Tutu serves on the Board of the American Friends of Transnet Phelophepa and graciously agreed to come to Toronto to promote the good work the train does in South Africa.

This gala event was presented under the auspices of The Canadian Friends of the Phelophepa Health Care Train, and under the distinguished patronage of the South African High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency André Jaquet. Mr. Trevor Wilson, President of T.W.I. Inc., served as the Dinner Chairman and Mrs. Mary-Anne Chambers, Senior Vice President, Electronic Banking, Scotiabank, graciously agreed to serve as the Deputy Chair.

The event was produced by Adriaans & Associates AND T.W.I. Inc. in conjunction with Literature for Life, a community-based organization dedicated to promoting literacy and education for young unwed mothers.


University of the Western Cape, No Future Without Forgiveness Gala Dinner 2002

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More than half a million Rand was raised in aid of the University of the Western Cape derived from the proceeds of a most exciting gala event — the No Future Without Forgiveness dinner in Toronto, Canada.

The Most Reverend Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Nobel Peace Prize recipient was the special guest speaker and he thanked SAWW for their most generous gift.

No Future Without Forgiveness was presented under the auspices of South African Women for Women, the Law Society of Upper Canada and under the distinguished patronage of the South African High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Andre Jaquet, and South African Women for Women patron Madame Leila MacKenzie, Honourary Consul General of Senegal.

The proceeds from the gala will support the University of the Western Cape which is committed to offering quality education to all South Africans. It will especially provide support for the Faculty of Women's Studies and the Faculty of Law.

For further information please visit South African Women for Women at

Toronto Images and Voices of Hope with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

On Thursday September 19 a small group of those who lead the Toronto media and journalism community met for an informal exchange with His Grace the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The gathering was sponsored by Images and Voices of Hope – Toronto.

Gathered together in one room were seven of the senior leaders of the Canadian media, including Haroon Siddiqui, Editor Emeritus of the Toronto Star, John Cassaday, President of Corus entertainment (the largest radio station owner in Canada) and Kirk Lapointe, former Senior Vice President of CTV News. There were also two youth representatives of media and communications, two representatives of the IVOH Toronto Planning team: Isabelle Gauthier, the coordinator, and sister Gayatri Naraine of the Brahma Kumaris, as well as the international director for IVOH, Judy Rodgers. Finally, but not least, the High Commissioner for South Africa joined the group as well as the internationally renowned living image of Hope - His Grace the Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

South African Women for Women


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