Vision 2020

Saturday February 1, 2020

The Black Theatre Workshop takes great pride in bringing Montreal our prestigious annual Vision Celebration Gala. An official launching pad for Montreal’s Black History Month celebrations, the event serves to pay homage to outstanding Black artist changemakers who contribute to the development of arts in Canada, while celebrating the vision of growth, solidarity and unity inspired by the great historical and contemporary figure, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement will be awarded to:

H. Nigel Thomas

H. Nigel Thomas was a teacher in St. Vincent, his home island, before moving to Montreal where he taught English and French in high school and elementary school. He went on to teach as a professor of U.S. Literature at Université Laval in Quebec City for 17 years.

Dozens of his essays in literary criticism, his short stories, and poems have been published in journals and anthologies world wide. He is the author of several essays in literary criticism and eleven books—five novels: Fate’s Instruments,  No Safeguards, Return to Arcadia, Behind the Face of Winter; three collections of short fiction: When the Bottom Falls out and Other Stories, Lives: Whole and Otherwise, How Loud Can the Village Cock Crow and Other Stories; and two books of literary criticism: From Folklore to Fiction: A Study of Folk Heroes and Rituals in the Black American Novel and Why We Write: Conversations with African Canadian Poets and Novelists. His sixth novel, Easily Fooled, will be published in 2021.

In 2000 he received the Montreal Association of Business Persons and Professionals’ Jackie Robinson Award for Professional of the year; and, in 2013, Université Laval’s Hommage aux créateurs.  In 1994, he was a finalist  for the QSPELL Hugh MacLennan Fiction Prize; in 2015, a finalist for Paragraphe Bookstore Quebec Writers’ Federation Hugh MacLennan Fiction Prize; in 2015, a finalist for Prix Carbet des lycéens. He is featured in Who is Who in Canada and Who is Who in Black Canada.

The 2020 Dr. Clarence Bayne Community Service Award will be presented to:

Leon Llewellyn

Leon Llewellyn is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Montreal. He obtained from Concordia University in Montreal, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1974 and a Diploma in Art Education in 1975. He has worked as a high school art teacher for 35 years, encouraging his students to examine the relationship between art and experience. He retired from teaching in 2012 and has since worked with seniors at the Cote des Neiges Black Community Association as an art instructor. During that time he worked with teens and seniors on an inter-generational project that explored cultural roots and identity.

In 2018, Llewellyn donated his original photographs, drawings as well as archival textural material to Concordia University’s Special Collections Archives. This material provides a unique  slice of Montreal  black history between 1969 and the  late 1970s and includes his contributions to UHURU, Focus Umoja, Black Theatre Workshop, The Negro Community Center and the Black Community Central Administration of Quebec.

Some of his cartoons from UHURU, a black newspaper which emerged from the 1969 computer riot, were displayed last February’s at the Protests and Pedagogy conference at Concordia University’s 4th space.

In 2019 Llewellyn donated an original drawing for the promotion of the BCRC’s 100 Years of Living History.

Taking place on Saturday February 1, 2020

at the OMNI Hotel, 1050 Sherbrooke St W.

Early Bird Tickets: $125 ($35 tax deductible)
Deadline for the Early Bird Tickets:
November 30, 2019
Regular Price:
 $135 ($45 tax deductible)
Table of 10 people: 

Tickets are on sale now

Four ways to purchase a ticket:

Purchase online at Brown Paper Tickets
To send an Electronic Money Transfer:
By Credit Card call 514-932-1104

Please mail cheques to:

Black Theatre Workshop
432-3680 rue Jeanne-Mance
Montreal, QC H2X 2K5

Young Artist Awards:

Every year at our Vision Celebration Gala, we honour two young artists for their outstanding contributions to the performing arts. The two awards are:

Victor Phillips Award ($2000)

** deadline extended until Dec. 13th! **

  • Black youth under 20 years
  • Enrolled in an Academic Program
  • Achieved excellence in the performing arts
  • Resides in Greater Montreal

Apply Now!

Gloria Mitchell-Aleong Award ($1000)

(applications now closed)

  • Black artist 20 – 35 years old
  • Achieved excellence in the performing arts
  • Resides in Greater Montreal

Apply Now!


Young Leaders’ Table

Black Theatre Workshop offers a sponsorship for five young leaders from the Black community (and a guest!) to attend the Vision Gala. Learn more about the Young Leaders’ Table!

Past recipients of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award include:

2019 33nd Fabienne Colas: Film
2018 32nd Don Jordan: Dance, Theatre & Education
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
1990 4th Rufus Rockhead (posthumously): Music [Jazz]
1989 3rd Charlie Biddle: Music [Jazz]
1988 2nd Ranee Lee: Music / Actor [Jazz]
1987 1st Oscar Peterson: Music

Buy Tickets Online!