Celebrating Artistic Excellence!
The Annual Vision Celebration Gala is our most glamourous event of the year, and an official launching pad for Black History Month festivities in Montreal. This formal gathering brings together artists, dignitaries and community members to celebrate the achievements of an individual who has made significant contributions to the Black community through culture and the performing arts in Canada.
The Annual Vision Celebration Gala will be held on Saturday January 27, 2018.
In a moment of levity rarely captured on camera, Sammy Davis Jr and Martin Luther King Jr share laughter.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award: 2018 Recipient!
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award goes to an artist in the community that has elevated their artistic discipline through their work, and the way they proliferate art throughout Canada and beyond. They have gone above and beyond to continue practicing while doing so with a grace and dignity second to none. We are pleased to announce that our 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Achievement Award goes to: Don Jordan! It is with great pride and honour that we pay homage to this fixture in the performing arts community.
Don Jordan is a Montrealer born into a performing family. Don first studied Tap Dance at the tender age of 6, and then began his career dancing during his fathers’ performances at various venues in Montreal. Completely caught by the performing bug, Don pursued his dance training by studying African Dance, Jazz Dance, Classical Ballet, and Modern Dance. Along with his dance studies, Don studied acting and voice which made him known as a triple threat in the performing world.
Don became the first Afro-Canadian performer in Quebec to be a regular on a weekly television show. He has run the full gamut of the dance world, which is reflected in his unique choreographic style. For 22 years he worked for the world’s top fashion designers as a model in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, and was the first male black model to be featured on the cover of a national magazine, Men’s Wear of Canada in 1969. Don was the Co-Founder and Co- Artistic Director of the Dance Factory Inc. in Montreal for sixteen years with partner Phillip Cole and has choreographed for television commercials, video clips, television productions. Some of his choreographic film credits include “2001, A Space Travesty” with Leslie Neilson, and MTV’s “Love Song” starring Monica, and The Reagan’s. Don has also choreographed many theatrical productions throughout Canada and the U.S, as well as for industrial and production shows for the Canadian, Italian, and German Governments.
As an accomplished actor, Don was a member of the repertory theatre company of Revue Theatre for seven years and has been seen in over 60 film and television series, as well as becoming Artistic Director of The Black Theatre Workshop for the 1987 / 88 seasons where he directed productions the like of “For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Was Enuf” and performed in numerous stage productions such as Centaur Theatre’s “Guys and Dolls”. Don’s vocal accomplishments have enabled him to perform in many Musical Theater productions as lead guest vocalist in Gospel choirs, on television, and have performed on three separate occasions at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. As a voice actor his accomplishments are many in cartoons, narration, commercials, and video games such as the lead voice for one of the all-time bestselling games of that genre, Tom Clancey’s “Spinter Cell”. Don was the first Black president of the actors union ACTRA ( Association Of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Artists ) where he sat as president for 9 years and was the recipient of the 2010 Black History Award for achievement in the arts issued by the City of Montreal and The Round Table of Black History Month.
Dr. Clarence Bayne Community Service Award: 2018 Recipient
The Dr. Clarence Bayne Community Service Award goes to someone who demonstrates exemplary selflessness and drive in working for the betterment of our community. We believe that the person deserving of this year’s award is Denburk Reid.
Born in Jamaica, Denburk (aka “Burky”) moved to Montreal at the age of five. While there was no shortage of opportunities to go down a different road, Denburk’s coach-mentors helped him make positive choices. He graduated from McGill University in Economics and Marketing and still holds the distinction of being the all-time leading scorer for the McGill Redmen basketball History. In the fall 2016 he became one of the first male basketball player to be inducted into the McGill Hall of Fame. From 2010 to June 2015, he headed up the Montreal Alouettes’ Community Relations department while raising his own growing family and mentoring youth from diverse backgrounds. Over the past 15 years, Denburk has mentored over 50 teenagers.
Denburk is also the driving force behind the Montreal Community Cares Foundation (MCC), the MCC Awards Ceremony and the Red Rush/Lady Rush Basketball Leadership program. His vision is to inspire and empower all Montrealers, in particular youth, to make a difference by getting involved and giving back to their communities. It’s a vision that fuels his tireless passion for helping others. He wants to inspire and help the youth aspire to be something much bigger than what they see in their immediate surrounding, by giving them opportunities to experience life changing moments.
Youth Awards Recipients: Applications Open!
Over the years, it has been important to us to recognize young and emerging artists’ work. With the generous contribution of TD Bank and Dr. Stanley Aleong & Family we are able to award two young and emerging artists with the Victor Philips Award and the Gloria Mitchell-Aleong awards. Nominations are currently open and run until October 27, 2017. For more information about the awards, click here.
Past recipients of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award include:
2017 31st Winston Sutton: Theatre & Education
2016 30th Jackie Richardson: Theatre & Music
2015 29th Dany Laferrière: Literature
2014 28th Zab Maboungou: Dance
2013 27th Gregory Charles: Music
2012 26th Tonya Lee Williams: Film & Television
2011 25th Doudou Boicel: Music
2010 24th Bertrand A. Henry: Theatre
2009 23rd Ethel Bruneau: Dance [Tap]
2008 22nd Terry Donald: Theatre
2007 21st Charles Ellison: Music [Jazz]
2006 20th Walter Borden: Theatre
2005 19th Jeri Brown: Music [Jazz]
2004 18th Dr. George Elliot Clarke: Poet
2003 17th Djanet Sears: Theatre
2002 16th Anthony Salah I. Wilson: Music [Steel pan]
2001 15th Aldwin Albino: Music
2000 14th Michelle Sweeney: Music [Singer]
1999 13th Austin Clarke: Writer
1998 12th Anthony Sherwood: Actor
1997 11th Lorraine Klaasen: Music [Singer]
1996 10th Salome Bay: Music / Actor
1995 9th Dr. Daisy Peterson- Sweeny: Music
1994 8th Professor Trevor Payne: Music
1993 7th Dr. Oliver Jones: Music [Pianist]
1992 6th Dr. Clarence Bayne: Theatre & Educator
1991 5th Dr. Dorothy Wills: Community / Arts
1989 3rd Charlie Biddle: Music [Jazz]
1988 2nd Ranee Lee: Music / Actor [Jazz]
1987 1st Oscar Peterson: Music