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Toronto galas celebrate creativity and academic achievement

AGO Creative Minds at Massey Hall: Art and Truth, Toronto

On April 4, four artists came together on one stage to tackle the topic of art and truth. Now in its third year, the Art Gallery of Ontario’s panel-discussion event Creative Minds at Massey Hall continues to examine contemporary culture though the eyes of creators. The discussion was streamed online and broadcast on CBC Radio, and the CBC’s Anna Maria Tremonti was tasked with moderating this year’s panel, which consisted of celebrated writer Salman Rushdie , performance artist Andrea Fraser, filmmaker Charles Officer and musician Iskwé , who opened the evening in song. The annual event is a feat of collaboration brought together by four of this country’s leading cultural institutions: the AGO, Massey Hall, CBC Arts and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and is underwritten by Jonas and Lynda Prince. What is the meaning of truth and what role does art play in it? That and more was explored, and afterward, at the legendary Centuries Bar & Lounge in the bowels of Massey Hall, a cocktail reception was given for arts leaders, makers and patrons to celebrate a brilliant evening of conversation and ideas.

The Creative Minds panel on stage at Massey Hall.

Courtesy of AGO

Lynda Prince with Eleanor and Francis Shen.

Courtesy of AGO

Yvonne and David Fleck with Nichole Anderson Bergeron.

Courtesy of AGO

Ninth-Annual University of the West Indies Toronto Gala, Toronto

A few nights later, on April 7, the University of the West Indies hosted its ninth-annual benefit gala in Toronto. The evening gathers Canadians to raise funds for the only pan-Caribbean tertiary-level institution (it was established in 1948 as a college of the University of London and attained university status in 1962), which has 45,000 students at a bevy of campuses including ones in Barbados, Jamaica, Antigua, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. To date, more than $1-million has been raised at the event, which has provided some 400 students with scholarships. The evening also honours an individual of Caribbean heritage who has made their mark globally with the Luminary Award, given this year to Susan E. Rice, who served as National Security Advisor and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in the Obama and Clinton administrations. Others including Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri and educator Dr. Avis Glaze were recognized for their commitment to education in the Caribbean, joining a list of past honorees including religious leader and human-rights activist Desmond Tutu and author Malcolm Gladwell.

Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri.

Tom Sandler

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Wesley Hall, Cheryl Francis, consul-general of St. Lucia to Canada, and Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Tom Sandler

Mary Suzanne Lamont and Margaret McCain.

Tom Sandler

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