The 41st Anniversary of the Canadian Ethnic Media Awards Gala was a starry, starry night for all in attendance. Joyful guests gathered at the Holiday Inn Toronto – Yorkdale, on Friday, November 15, 2019 to toast the winners of this year’s Journalism of Excellence Awards, and to congratulate Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine, P.C., C.M., C.B.E., recipient of the prestigious Seirhey Khmara Ziniak Award.
The evening opened with a reception giving celebrants an opportunity to meet and greet the winners, presenters, sponsors, and members who had gathered to recognize the stellar performances of their peers and to applaud their well-deserved awards. Please see list of winners below.
The evening was marked by the presence of many well-known and highly-respected special guests who offered brief remarks and presented the awards. They included Marco Mendicino, M.P., newly appointed federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; members of the Ontario NDP Caucus, the official opposition party of Ontario, led by Deputy Leader Sara Singh; Dr. Lillian Ma, Executive Director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation; the former Mayor of the City of Mississauga, Hazel McCallion; Domenic Campione, President of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council; the Mayor of the City of Brampton, Patrick Brown; and Karen Thorn Stone, CEO of Ontario Creates.
Among the many plaudits and salutations gracing the evening was a moving, yet loving tribute to a founding member of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association, the incomparable Vera Ke Plawuszak, who had passed away in October. CEMA Chair Madeline Ziniak presided over the tribute, and gift presentations to Vera’s daughters, Ulana and Tania, from CEMA, and from fellow founding member, Irene Chu.
Outstanding performances by young singer, Alexi Couto; and Jadoo Entertainment Dance Company brought the full house to rapturous applause and solidified the star quality of the evening.
Once again CEMA enjoyed the support of its major sponsors, Ontario Creates, Canadian Ethnocultural Council, ALLINBRAND, Canadian News Wire – Cision, and Webnews Printing Inc. Special thanks to Kelly Colasanti for Production and Technical guidance and support. And, a huge tip of our hat to the unstinting assistance provided by our volunteers: Natasha Bronfman, Gayle Chapryk, Alice Cheung, Christine De Francesco, Laura Frutti, Michael Rescigno, Lisa Warner and Sjoerd Witteveen.