Presented to Caribbean organizations / institutions that have achieved outstanding success, or Canadian organizations / institutions, that have contributed significantly to the Caribbean (West Indian) or brought to prominence issues which affect the Region.

BlackNorth Initiative

BlackNorth Initiative

The BlackNorth Initiative is a Canadian non-profit organization founded in June 2020 by Wes Hall, a prominent business leader and philanthropist. The organization was created in response to the ongoing systemic anti-Black racism faced by Black Canadians.

The mandate of the BlackNorth Initiative is to promote advancement and remove the systemic barriers negatively affecting Black Canadians. This includes increasing the representation of Black Canadians in leadership positions, improving economic opportunities for Black Canadians, and addressing the inequalities Black Canadians face in areas such as education and healthcare.

The BlackNorth Initiative has implemented several programs and initiatives to achieve its goals. These include the BlackNorth Initiative CEO Pledge, which calls on Canadian business leaders to commit to specific actions to address systemic racism in their organizations. The pledge includes commitments such as increasing diversity in hiring and promotions, supporting anti-racism education and training and setting targets to measure progress. To date, the BlackNorth Initiative has over 500 organizations that have signed the CEO Pledge.

The BlackNorth Initiative has also established five action committees to address Economic Empowerment, Health, Youth, Education and Mentorship. These committees are composed of business leaders and experts who are working to develop solutions to the specific challenges faced by Black Canadians in these areas.

In addition, the organization has launched the Homeownership Bridge Program, which enables working, lower-income Black families in the GTA with household incomes as low as $65,000 to become homeowners and help build home equity and the opportunity to transfer ownership to the next generation. The BlackNorth Academy is a bespoke C-Suite and board preparedness program. The BlackNorth Connect Program is a platform designed to provide access to internships and job postings for early career recruitment and mentorships and bursaries for post-secondary education. The Work Live Opportunity provides studio/housing space for Black Artists. The BlackNorth Initiative scholarships & bursaries are provided to students in a variety of educational fields or at different academic levels. Fields are journalism, legal or upcoming scholarship for science & engineering.

The BlackNorth Initiative has made significant progress in promoting the advancement of Black Canadians and addressing systemic racism in Canada. While there is still much work to be done, the organization's commitment to creating lasting change is a positive step forward in the fight against anti-Black racism and inequality.

Air Canada

Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest airline, the country’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network.
The carrier was created by the Government of Canada in 1937, at which time it was known as Trans-Canada Air Lines, making it among the oldest airlines in the world. Early on in its history, the carrier began service to the West Indies and Caribbean region, which today remains a very important market for Air Canada.
In 1948, using its new North Star aircraft, Trans-Canada began twice-weekly service flying a circuit from Montreal to Nassau-Kingston-Port of Spain, with Barbados added to the schedule the following year. The region featured prominently in the development of the airline from its earliest days, when it was much smaller and only flew about 530,000 passengers a year – the same amount it now carries in less than four days.
The airline’s service to the Caribbean expanded steadily as the airline evolved into a privately owned, Canadian global champion. This growth reflects not only the demand from Canadian travellers seeking warm weather during the harsh Canadian winter, but also the deep and longstanding family, business and trade relations existing between Canada and the region.
Air Canada prides itself on being an economic driver in the communities it serves. It supports the tourism industry by offering 525 hotels across the Caribbean through Air Canada Vacations, but its activities extend far beyond this. Along with cargo carried on its regular flights, Air Canada also operates cargo freighters to the region. In 2023, Air Canada carried about 7,000 tonnes of freight to-and-from Caribbean markets. The majority was imports to Canada, and the trade included shipments from Canada such as manufactured goods and e-commerce items, and imports such as pharmaceuticals and fruit, herbs and other perishables.
This past winter the airline flew to 28 Caribbean destinations and operated 320 flights weekly. For more than 75 years, Air Canada has served the region, and is committed to deepening furthering this already strong relationship.
Furthermore, for three years, Air Canada has been proud to partner with the University of West Indies, contributing to the success of the UWI’s Toronto Benefit Gala. We recognize exceptional Canadian Caribbean nationals, supporting scholarships for UWI students facing financial challenges. Air Canada is committed to our partnership and supporting the UWI and its students as they achieve new heights.

Pan American Health Organization

Pan American Health Organization


Founded in 1902, the Pan American Health Organization [PAHO] is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American System and the World Health Organization's [WHO] Regional Office for the Americas. PAHO has been instrumental in helping the Region of the Americas to reach several historic public health milestones- from strengthening national health systems to provide universal access for all, to increasing vaccination coverage and eliminating certain infectious diseases. PAHO has spearheaded regional efforts to eradicate smallpox and poliomyelitis and has helped eight Caribbean countries to eliminate Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and syphilis.

PAHO provides unique technical and scientific expertise, collaborating with Ministries of Health, multilateral organizations, and other development partners to improve the health of the peoples of the Americas. The organization has also had a long and rich history of service to the Caribbean in public health.

Between 1951 and 1962, the country office in Venezuela was responsible for the delivery of PAHO’s technical cooperation in the Caribbean. During the 1960s, newly independent Caribbean states began to join PAHO, with the first country office being established in 1962 in Jamaica. To date, more than 20 Caribbean countries and territories are served by PAHO via eight 1 country offices together with the Office of Subregional Program Coordination based in Barbados.

Between 1967 and 2013, PAHO provided pioneering technical assistance to the Caribbean across numerous subject matter areas through its Office of Caribbean Program Coordination [CPC] and its Specialized Institutions 2 . Currently PAHO’s Office of Subregional Program Coordination actively collaborates with CARICOM, the Caribbean Public Health Agency [CARPHA], the University of the West Indies [UWI], and several civil society partners on a mutually agreed technical cooperation agenda, focusing on those critical and common public health issues, whose resolution are better managed from a collective rather than an individual country approach.

PAHO has contributed significantly to Caribbean preparedness and response to various hurricanes and storms over the years, and in combatting epidemics of yellow fever, dengue, Zika and chikungunya, among others. PAHO has vigorously supported cholera control efforts in Haiti and has assisted countries to address the burden and impact of the noncommunicable diseases
[NCDs] and their risk factors.

Within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, PAHO is working closely with its Member States in the Americas to bolster effective risk communications, scale-up laboratory diagnostic capacities, supply emergency personnel and equipment, strengthen essential health services, and provide leadership and guidance for the vaccine roll out.

PAHO remains a steady partner to Caribbean countries and territories, accompanying governments in the development of strong health systems resilient to disasters and pandemics, as we collectively advance towards a healthier future.

CAMH: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

CAMH: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

CAMH is Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and a global leader in mental health research. We set the standards for care, research, education and driving social change. We leverage these strengths to amplify impact and improve outcomes for people living with mental illness in our community, across Canada and around the world. Now more than ever, the world needs CAMH to lead the way for mental health.

Even before the onset of COVID-19, we were in the midst of a global mental health crisis. According to the World Health Organization, around 450 million people currently struggle with mental illness, making it the leading cause of disability worldwide. Research shows the pandemic has made mental health even more precarious—and that COVID-19 continues to have disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations, including BIPOC communities. CAMH and other organizations must bring an intersectional lens to our work, with every strategy grounded in the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. We are committed to increasing race-based data collection, studying the impact of racism—specifically anti-Black racism—on health, working toward health equity at CAMH, and advocating for barrier-free mental health supports. In fall 2019, we launched Fair & Just CAMH Steering Committee, under the guidance and support from the Office of Health Equity. Through rigourous consultation with key community leaders working with Black populations across the city, they are developing a Fair and Just strategy: Dismantling Anti-Black Racism, the first of its kind at CAMH. The work of the CAMH Horizontal Violence, Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression Working Group, including the Anti-Racism Sub-Committee, will help shape this work.

CAMH has led work in the Caribbean for a number of years. Past projects include: a collaboration with the Inter-American Drug Control Commission focused on building capacity of national authorities to monitor and analyze the impact of illicit drugs in the Americas; a partnership with the Pan American Health Organization, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN-León), and National Institute of Mental Health in Panama to enable leaders transition to integrate mental health into primary care in their countries. While these projects ended in 2016; and a project with the University of the West Indies, providing basic and advanced addiction training to 55 health professionals from four Caribbean countries. Our ongoing work includes a youth mental health program that has already been implemented in several countries in Central America, with an eye toward expansion in English-speaking Caribbean countries (Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica). CAMH has reached out to collaborators at the University of the West Indies to explore the possibility of expansion and implementation in these countries, as well as seeking possible funding opportunities.

Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited

Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited

Sagicor is a leading financial services provider in the Caribbean, with over 178-years of history, and has a growing presence as a provider of life insurance products in the United States. Sagicor’s experience and reputation for financial prudence has become a trusted partner for all stakeholders offering a wide range of financial solutions and services, including life, health, and general insurance, banking, pensions, annuities, and real estate services.

The company’s vision “to be a great company, committed to improving the lives of people in the communities in which we operate” is what guides its business strategies. In support of this vision, Sagicor’s leadership approach to corporate and social responsibility (CSR) is simple: to positively influence as many lives as possible through strategic focus areas grounded in the greatest transparency, ethical standards and a steady focused approach. During the last financial year, the Sagicor group of companies contributed over US$1.3M towards sponsorship and philanthropic efforts centered around health, education, community and youth development and sport.

The investment in the creation of innovative solutions and services is a key component to Sagicor’s high customer rating. One such innovation is Sagicor Go”, launched across the Sagicor Group enabling customers to access their policy information as well as general information on insurance from smartphones and tablets. In the US, the electronic application, Accelewriting, is a state-of-the-art automated underwriting programme, providing real-time underwriting decisions within minutes to customers. “SagicorNow” is also another innovative, game-changing programme that allows customers to secure life insurance in less than 20 minutes. As such Sagicor’s independent customer service survey continues to rank Sagicor above global industry average across all business segments.

Sagicor has followed a carefully crafted business strategy, which has seen the company transform from a local single-line life insurance company to a financial services group with a solid regional base, before expanding into the international financial services market. Today, operating in 22 countries, including the USA and Latin America, Sagicor has total assets of US $7.3 billion, and $1.135 billion in equity. This success would not be possible without the commitment and dedication of the 4500-plus team members.

Sharing in a commitment to group goals and strategies, the Sagicor team continues to effectively redefine the company’s offerings and deliver bigger and better results. In turn, this strong performance can be reflected in group satisfaction survey scores which trend positively year on year. The survey results have proved beneficial in guiding the development of team engagement initiatives and corporate branding programmes, as team engagement continues to increase.

In 2019, Sagicor’s shareholders approved the strategic anchor investments of over $400 million from Canadian, Caribbean and other long-term investors into Sagicor Financial through a publicly listed shell company, Alignvest Acquisition II Corporation (Alignvest). This transaction is yet another significant milestone in Sagicor’s storied history, one which has seen Sagicor acquire a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange, bringing to the fore international exposure and greater access to capital to fund growth.



Sandals Resorts is a Jamaican operator of all-inclusive resorts for couples in the Caribbean and part of Sandals Resorts International, parent company of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts, Fowl Cay Resort and several private villas.

YMCA of Greater Toronto

YMCA of Greater Toronto

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity that has been tackling the most critical health and social issues in the GTA for more than 160 years. The YMCA's research-based curricula and programs provide opportunities for personal growth, social development, leadership, and recreation in safe, caring, and welcoming environments - underpinned by a strong and active commitment to diversity and social inclusion.

This commitment manifests itself in the YMCA of Greater Toronto's partnership in the recently released Black Experience Project, its outreach initiatives to welcome and support Syrian refugees to the GTA, as well as its focus on using the Social Determinants of Health to guide the design and execution of its wide-ranging programs, including child care, employment services, education and training programs, immigrant services, youth leadership development, outreach and intervention, health and fitness programs, camps, youth housing, and volunteer development.

Serving the population of the City of Toronto and the regional municipalities of Durham, Peel, York, and Halton plus Dufferin County, last year the YMCA of Greater Toronto made 557,540 connections with people across 438 locations. Along with the support of donors and community partners, the YMCA's 5,734 full- and part-time employees and 5,268 volunteers are dedicated to delivering diverse and inclusive programs that build healthy communities.

The YMCA of Greater Toronto believes that everyone in the GTA should have the ability to realize their potential to stay healthy - physically, socially, and mentally. This critical mission means many things, including serving all ages and income levels, ensuring that children and youth have equal access to opportunities, and valuing the diversity of people and communities as assets that contribute to the social, political, and cultural enrichment - of the YMCA, the Greater Toronto Area, and beyond.

GraceKennedy Limited

GraceKennedy Limited

On February 14, 1922 Dr. John Grace and Mr. Fred William Kennedy established Grace, Kennedy & Company Limited in Kingston, Jamaica to carry on a general mercantile, shipping and insurance business.

Today it is known as GraceKennedy Limited, one of the Caribbean's largest groups of companies with over 2,500 employees. Publicly listed on the Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchanges, it is the parent company for over 40 subsidiaries with operations spanning Jamaica, other Caribbean countries, Belize, the USA, UK, Canada, and Africa operating mainly in the food and financial services industries.

The Food Trading Segment, GK Foods, comprises six factories which produce a number of products under the flagship Grace brand, other GraceKennedy-owned and also some third party brands; marketing and distribution companies in Jamaica and overseas; as well as retail outlets through Hi-Lo Food Stores supermarket chain in Jamaica. The GraceKennedy Group distributes food products bearing the Grace brand, other GraceKennedy-owned brands, and the brands of its principals in over 40 countries around the world. In Jamaica, Africa, Canada, Belize, the USA and the United Kingdom, the company distributes its offerings through fully-owned subsidiaries based in these locations. For the rest of the world, its products are marketed and sold through independent distributors.

The Financial Services segment, GK Financial Group, comprises commercial banking, general insurance, insurance brokerage, investment banking, remittance, cambio and bills payment services businesses.

The company's insistence on the high quality of its products and services, as well as being true to its founding principles of honesty, integrity and trust, has made it a household name in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean.

Committed to being an exemplary Corporate citizen and mindful of its responsibility to give back to society, GraceKennedy has contributed generously to Jamaica's development through the years. In addition to providing financial assistance to a host of worthy causes, GraceKennedy has institutionalised its programme of support through its two Foundations. These are the Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation (Grace & Staff) and the GraceKennedy Foundation.

Grace & Staff offers assistance to under-resourced communities located in proximity to GraceKennedy operations. Established in 1979, Grace & Staff has directly reached more than 10,000 community residents. At present nearly 600 students receive support through the homework centres as well as tuition bursary support, career guidance and counselling.

The GraceKennedy Foundation, established in 1982, focuses on giving assistance in the areas of education and protecting the environment. In addition to the award of annual scholarships and bursaries to students, the GraceKennedy Foundation contributes to long term thought leadership and innovation in workforce development and social and environmental management through the Professorial Chairs in Management and Environmental Management at The University of the West Indies. The professors have supervised over 50 Masters and PhD students in areas critical to national development including migration, environmental management, sustainable tourism, and Caribbean regional integration.

GraceKennedy's subsidiaries based outside of Jamaica are also actively involved in giving back to communities wherever they are located.

Food for the Poor Inc.

Food for the Poor Inc.

ood For The Poor (FFP) was founded by Ferdinand Mahfood. His vision was instrumental
in guiding the charity as it became the most significant relief organization in the Caribbean
and Latin America. Robin Mahfood, who has extensive experience in business management
and an in-depth knowledge of the Caribbean, assumed the Presidency in 2000 and provides
the leadership for Food For The Poor during this time of unprecedented growth.

Created to help destitute people in Central America and the Caribbean, Food For The Poor has forged a spirit of
cooperation between churches of the First World and churches of the Third World. Established as a 501(c)(3) charity,
FFP collects funds from North American and European benefactors, purchases goods cost-effectively on the world
market, ships the items duty-free and arranges for their distribution to the poor through churches, missionaries and
charity organizations.

Food For The Poor follows the principle that education and self-help must fortify charity work so recipients learn
to break the cycle of poverty. FFP supports programs that teach recipients how to raise livestock and develop small
businesses, and provides agricultural assistance to independent farmers.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much
more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. Founded in 1982,
the interdenominational Christian ministry serves the poorest of the poor. Thanks to its faithful donors, the organization’s
programs are providing housing, healthcare, education, fresh water, emergency relief and micro-enterprise
assistance, in addition to feeding hundreds of thousands of people each day.

Since its inception in 1982, Food For The Poor has provided more than $11 billion in aid (more than half of which
was provided in the last six years) and has built more than 100,000 housing units for the destitute. From January to
June 2015, Food For The Poor constructed 5,138 housing units for families in need of safe shelter. Total fundraising
and administrative costs in 2014 comprised less than 5% of our expenses. More than 95% of all donations go directly
to programs that help the poor.

In a 2014 survey of the 50 largest U.S. charities, Forbes magazine rated Food For The Poor the seventh-largest recipient
of private support. With a charitable commitment ratio of 96%, and a fundraising efficiency of 97%, Food For
The Poor received the highest possible ratings from industry observers such as Ministry Watch, and is also proud to
meet the extensive standards of America’s most experienced charity evaluator, the Better Business Bureau.

Food For The Poor’s mission is to link the church of the First World with the church of the Third World in a manner
that helps both the materially poor and the poor in spirit. The materially poor are served by local churches, clergy and
lay leaders who have been empowered and supplied with goods by Food For The Poor. The poor in spirit are renewed
by their relationship with and service to the poor through the direct ministry of teaching, encouragement and prayer.
Ultimately, FFP seeks to bring both benefactors and recipients to a closer union with the Lord.

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival

North America's largest outdoor festival, Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival generates over $338 million in economic benefits for the city of Toronto. The festival is one of the largest Carnivals in the world drawing an estimated 1.1 million people each year. The Parade alone draws over one million people, making it the best-attended single day event in the history of Canada.

Aside from the parade, Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival also consists of several other events such as the Junior Carnival and Family Day, the King and Queen Showcase, Pan Alive, the Gala, Art Exhibits, International Rugby League match between Canada and Jamaica for the annual Carnival Cup, and Carnival Island to name a few.

Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival is more than a festival; it is an intrinsic part of Toronto's identity as the world's most multicultural city. The emotional nature and the connections that the festival inspires are fertile ground for creating long lasting relationship with a targeted demographic. It's important to make the connection from the festival to the organization. It's personal, it's a part of who they are, it's family.

International interest in the Festival comes from New York, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Ohio, London (UK), Ghana, Nigeria, Japan and parts of China. The festival continues to host journalists from England, Australia, Israel, Guyana, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Grenada, St. Kitts, the Bahamas, Barbados, the United States, China, Taiwan and Japan.

Original and authentic
Loyal audience
Economic driver
Mass appeal

Living Art - Stunning costumes at the King and Queen Showcase, Junior Carnival and Marquee parades in a cosmopolitan Toronto
Performance Art - Capturing the original music composed annual in its diverse forms - soca, calypso, pan, and chutney music
Ritualism - Motivating artists, designers, carpenters, engineers, bandleaders, masqueraders, calypsonians, pannists, and participants to present their Living and Performance Art every summer


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