Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Fabienne Colas, Kayla Grey among Legacy Awards honourees

Olympian Andre De Grasse, broadcaster Kayla Grey, and film festival founder and diversity advocate Fabienne Colas will be recognized at the inaugural edition of The Legacy Awards this Sunday, the country’s first-ever major celebration of Black talent.

The live 90-minute telecast is set to air this Sunday, Sept. 25 on CBC and CBC Gem at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. AT/9:30 p.m. NT) from Live Nation’s new Toronto venue HISTORY.

Andre de Grasse

De Grasse, the most decorated male Olympian in Canadian history, will receive the Athlete of the Year honour for both his accomplishment in sport and his contribution to the Black Canadian identity. In 2018, he established the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation, committed to inspiring and empowering youth through access to sport, education, and healthcare. De Grasse was born in Scarborough and raised in Markham, ON.

Kayla Grey

Grey, the host and co-executive producer of TSN’s The Shift with Kayla Grey, is being recognized with the Jahmil French Award, named for the late actor who passed away in March 2021.

Grey became the first Black woman to host a flagship sports highlight show in Canada when she made her SportsCentre debut in 2018. In addition to regularly anchoring SportsCentre, she also reports courtside for TSN’s live coverage of the Toronto Raptors.

Fabienne Colas

Colas will receive The Visionnaire Award for her tireless work showcasing Black Canadian storytellers as the founder of 12 film festivals including the Montreal International Black Film Festival, Canada’s largest Black film festival. As chair of the Fabienne Colas Foundation, she also promotes and awards grants to independent films and artists. In 2015, Colas was recognized by Quebec’s National Assembly for her contribution in the fight against racism and discrimination in Quebec.

This year’s award recipients were decided upon by The Legacy Awards’ Advisory Committee comprised of industry specialists in music, film, TV, and pop culture and The Black Academy, the Toronto-headquartered organization founded by Scarborough actor/producer brothers Stephan James and Shamier Anderson, who are co-executive producing and hosting Sunday’s awards show.

Shamier Anderson & Stephan James

“Andre, Kayla, and Fabienne are leaders in their respective fields and in our community,” said James, in a release. “My brother and I are thrilled that The Legacy Awards are recognizing their amazing accomplishments, their dedication to their work, and their passion for the community. Between them, the performers, presenters, and our guests, there will be a staggering amount of Black talent all in one room. Sunday night is going to be dope.”

“The inaugural Legacy Awards will see the culmination of a big dream Stephan and I had years ago and the hard work of the incredible teams at Insight Productions, CBC, and The Black Academy,” added Anderson. “We’re so pumped that our community is coming together for an unprecedented night to celebrate Black Canadian talent. But for us, this is not just a moment; The Black Academy is working year-round to honour and empower Black Canadians and to ensure younger generations are inspired by all the incredible Black talent this country has to offer.”

Performers added to the awards show lineup include Randell Adjei, Fefe Dobson, Melanie Fiona, Shantel May, Alicia Mighty, in addition to previously announced performers Jully Black, Deborah Cox, Keysha Freshh Izzy-S, Kardinal Offishall, SATE; Savannah Ré, and DJ 4KORNERS.

Presenters include comedian/actor King Bach, former Governor General Michaëlle Jean, actors Jordan Alexander and Amanda Brugel, and media personalities Arisa Cox, Brandon Gonez, Kathleen Newman-Bremang, Amanda Parris, Odario Williams, and Tyrone Edwards.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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