Black History Month gala showcases spirit of diversity

Angelique Francis backed by her family, belts out one of her blues specials Photo copyright Black Ottawa Scene

Saturday 24 February

Over 300 people from Ottawa’s diverse community were at the Marriott Hotel on Kent Street Saturday to participate the 2018 Black History Month gala hosted as usual by the Global community Alliance under the leadership of Yomi and Kelly Pratt. Ottawa’s best and finest were there with an array of VIP’s: Mayor Jim Watson; Ontario Attorney-General Yasir Naqvi; MP’s Greg Fergus, Natalie Des Rosiers and Andrew Leslie; MPP’s Marie-France Lalonde and John Fraser; chairperson of the Ottawa Catholic School Board, Elaine McMahon and Acing President Black History Ottawa June Girvan  A totally awesome musical performance was provided by the effervescent singer-songwriter Angelique Francis backed by her family, father on percussion, sister Kira on baritone saxophone and sister Kayla on tambourine and vocals.  Ottawa’s favorite pastor, Rev Anthony Bailey delivered a most inspiring keynote speech under the theme: Essence of community building. The event kicked off with an invocation by Nigeria’s newly arrived High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Adeyinka Asekun. Highlight of the evening was a video-linked good will message from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Among the award winners was our own Ililli Ahmed who received the RBC Royal Bank 2018 Black History Month essay competition winner; an addition to the Black History Ottawa Community Builder award she had received earlier in the month.

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