JIS News

Toronto's new Mayor, Rob Ford, has continued the trend of his predecessors by proclaiming February 6 as Bob Marley Day.

This is the 20th year, and Mayor Ford, who was elected in October 2010, is the sixth Toronto Mayor to officially proclaim the day.

The Proclamation was read at a ceremony held on Thursday, February 3, at Toronto City Hall, and attended by Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Mr. Seth George Ramocan, Canadian government officials and members of the public.

The Proclamation reads:

“Whereas Robert Nesta Marley was born on February 6, 1945, and in his 36 years created a legacy of socially observant music which continues to inspire hope and acceptance around the world.

Bob Marley's brand of reggae music, both powerful and distinct, captivated people of all cultures and continues to be instantly recognisable around the world. His profound influence on the musical and cultural landscape earned him a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and changed the history of popular music.

Through his music, Bob Marley became an advocate for human rights and an international ambassador for peace. His courage to speak out against oppression, poverty, slavery and apartheid earned him a Peace Medal of the Third World from the United Nations and the Order of Merit from his home country of Jamaica.

Now therefore, I, Mayor Rob Ford, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim February 6, 2011 as ‘Bob Marley Day’ and join with citizens of Toronto to salute a great musician and humanitarian”.

Mr. Ramocan noted that the name Bob Marley has brought distinction to Jamaica and having Bob Marley Day proclaimed each year in Toronto is one way of keeping his memory alive.                                                              

The Diversity Business Network, headed by Jamaican-born attorney, Courtney Betty, requests the Proclamation each year from the Mayor.  The group also presents the annual Bob Marley Awards to Canadians who have “demonstrated their commitment to diversity, while helping to build bridges between communities.”    

This year’s awardees include Jamaican-born Member of Provincial Parliament and Minister of Health Promotion, Hon. Margarett Best; Chief Executive Officer of Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Games, Ian Troop; President of Maytree and Chairperson of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council, Ratna Omidvar; Chair of the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance, John Tory; Regional Vice-President of the Royal Bank of Canada, Mark Beckles; Founder of the Diversity Institute, Dr. Wendy Cukier; Chief Executive Officer of Island Mix Restaurant, Kevin Yusef; Diversity Consultant and Founder of TWI Inc., Trevor Wilson; President and Chief Executive Officer of Multimedia Nova Corporation, Lori Abittan; and Founder of Lights, Camera Access, Leesa Levinson.



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