The Legacy Awards will award the inaugural trophies to Andre De Grasse, Kayla Gray and Fabienne Colas, organizers announced Friday.
Founded by brothers Shamier Anderson and Stephan James through their organization The Black Academy, the new awards ceremony aims to honor black Canadian talent and will award the first round of awards this weekend.
Track sprinter De Grasse is a six-time Olympic medalist and took home three medals – bronze, silver and gold – at the 2022 games. He was the first Canadian ever to do so. By winning that gold, he also became the first Canadian in 93 years to win the men’s 200 meters since the appearance of Canadian track star Percy Williams in 1928.
De Grasse will receive Athlete of the Year for “his achievement in the sport in Canada … and his contribution to the Black Canadian identity,” according to a press release.
Kayla Grey, a TV host and co-executive producer of SportCentre’s The Shift with Kayla Gray, receives the Jahmil French Award. That trophy, named after the late Canadian actor best known for his role in Degrassi: the next generation, is awarded to a “rising star” in the Canadian media world.
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Gray, who was the first black woman to host a flagship sports highlights show when she took on her current role in 2018, was chosen for “her undeniable talent and activism.”
And actor, filmmaker and film festival founder Fabienne Colas receives The Visionnaire Award. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Colas has since managed seven independent film festivals in Canada and the United States through her Fabienne Colas Foundation.
Also announced Friday were additional performers for the awards, airing Sunday, September 25 at 8 p.m. ET on UKTN Gem. They are Fefe Dobson, Randell Adjei, Melanie Fiona, Shantel May and Alicia Mighty. Jordan Alexander, Amanda Brugel and Tyrone Edwards were announced as additional presenters.
Previously announced performers include Deborah Cox, Kardinal Officall and Jully Black.
“The inaugural Legacy Awards will be the culmination of a big dream Stephan and I had years ago,” Shamier Anderson said in a press release.
“For us, this isn’t just any moment; The Black Academy works year-round to honor and empower black Canadians and to ensure younger generations are inspired by all of the incredible black talent this country has to offer.”
For more stories about the experiences of black Canadians – from anti-black racism to success stories within the black community – visit Being Black in Canada, a UKTN project that Black Canadians can be proud of. Read more stories here.