Saturday 27 February
Over the past few years, Global Community Alliance (GCA) has become a symbol of unity for Ottawa’s multicultural and multi-ethnic population. GCA’s prime movers, Yomi and Kelly Pratt were in form as they led their seventh Diversity gala, at the Sheraton Hotel in celebration of the 2016 Black History Month . This much coveted annual event featured an eclectic mix of inspirational speeches, awards, entertainment and dance, along with the delicious food for which the hotel is well known. Participants included top officials from the various school boards, politicians, community leaders, and individuals from the various ethnic communities in the city. Notable among these were MPP Marie-France Lalonde, MPP Hugh Fraser, Catholic School Board director Toni Amico, with renowned MC Toni Francis in charge of the busy evening’s activities. Proceeds from this year’s event went to relief of victims of the recent hurricane in Dominica. In past years, the Pratts had donated the proceeds from the gala variously to Ottawa’s premier Black community organisation, Black History Ottawa, and for victims of the earthquake that devastated Haiti some years ago.
The surprise of the evening was the award of the United Way Community Builder award to Yomi Pratt, much to the delight of the guests, who rose in applause of this fitting acknowledgement of the selfless commitment Yomi had shown over the years in serving the people of Ottawa as a community leader, volunteer and philanthropist.