The evening commenced with an exclusive, sold out VIP dinner, catered by celebrity chef Selwyn Richards, and hosted by the comedian Jay Martin. The dinner was followed by the awards ceremony. International recording artist, Kardinal Offishall hosted the awards ceremony. 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.There was an after party, which was hosted by Sam Sarpong.
Patricia Bebia Mawa, President & Editorial Director of Planet Africa Group. said:
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,"
This year's Planet Africa Award recipients include Senator Don Meredith; National Bank Managing Director Ray Williams; Hollywood Actress Vivica A. Fox; Dream Maker Corporation CEO Isaac Olowolafe; Grace Foods Chairman Douglas Orane; Black Health Alliance President Dr. Christopher Morgan; Nathaniel Dett Chorale Founder Brainerd Blyden-Taylor; Professor Grace-Edward Galabuzi; Olympian Shelly Ann Brown; Actors Majid Michel and Zack Orji; Bell Canada Associate Director Frances Delsol; student Geoffrey Kasonde; BBPA President Pauline Christian; Scientist Dr. Abraham Katampe and youth advocate Rev. Alvin Nicholson.
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; Businessman and Philanthropist HarpreetSethi 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 departed with gift bags stuffed 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.
Rogers Communications is set to air the awards show in a one-hour special telecast on November 10th from 5 to 6 pm on its OMNI 1 channel.