April 22, 2010

Cyril Dabydeen Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

The Guyana Awards Council (Canada) is very pleased to announce the winners of the prestigious Guyana Awards (Canada) which will be presented at the 10th Guyana Awards Gala on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at On the Park Centennial Ballroom, 1095 Leslie Street, Toronto, Ontario.

An independent panel of eminent judges selected the 2010 Award recipients from the many nominations submitted. The panel was composed of the Honourable Justice Vibert Lampkin, retired Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice; Gale Lee, Program Manager for Asia and the Caribbean, CESO and former Acting Ambassador to Brussels; and Ken Singh, President, Atlas Cargo and member of the Advisory Council, York University.

The Guyana Awards (Canada) recognize the outstanding achievements of distinguished individuals and organizations in the Guyanese-Canadian community, and their sterling contributions toward the promotion and development of Guyana, Guyanese heritage and culture. The high calibre of this year’s awardees will instill a greater sense of pride in the Guyanese-Canadian community and provide positive role models for our youth.

The premier event in the Guyanese community in Toronto, this year’s Guyana Awards Gala commences at 6.00 p.m. on Saturday, May 29 with a Cocktail Reception, followed by dinner and presentation of the Awards and Scholarships.

The Guyana Awards Council invites you to celebrate with the “Who’s Who” in the Guyanese and wider Toronto communities on Saturday, May 29th. The Guyana Awards Gala is the official kick-off of the annual Guyana Independence Celebrations, initiating a host of events across Canada that culminates in the Guyana Festival from June 19-20.

Tickets for the Gala are available at $100 each and may also be purchased by tables of ten. For tickets and information, contact Felicia Kwang, Guyana Consulate, 416-494-6040 X23, or Bert Bacchus at 905-770-3785.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: MR. CYRIL DABYDEEN: Author, Educator and Race Relations Practitioner

Berbice-born, Mr. Cyril Dabydeen is a distinguished, and the most prolific, Guyanese-born writer—poet, novelist, short story writer, literary critic—in Canada, as well as an educator and noted race relations practitioner

Mr. Dabydeen’s work has been published for over 30 years. His 20 books include two signal anthologies of Black- and Asian-Caribbean-born writers, and he has appeared in prestigious literary magazines and anthologies in a dozen countries. He has written over 100 book reviews, numerous op-ed articles and essays, and has done hundreds of public readings across Canada and worldwide.

Cyril Dabydeen was appointed official Poet Laureate of Ottawa (1984-87). His novel, Drums of My Flesh, won the Guyana Prize for Literature 2006/7, and was nominated for the prestigious IMPAC/Dublin Literary Prize and the City of Ottawa Book Prize. He achieved Ottawa's First Heritage Award for Writing and Publishing (2000) and the Canada Council of the Arts Award, among others.

His work is studied in universities, and scholarly papers on Cyril Dabydeen have been presented in Canada, USA, UK/Europe, Australia, India, and the Caribbean. He is the only Guyanese to have twice juried for Canada's prestigious Governor General's Award, and he also adjudicated the renowned Neustadt International Prize for Literature (U/Oklahoma).

A committed educator since in Guyana, Mr. Dabydeen has taught in Canada for about 20 years and won the 2007 Part-time Professor of the Year Award from the University of Ottawa.

From 1990-99, Cyril Dabydeen managed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Race Relations Program, travelling to over 30 towns/cities to liaise with communities. He coordinated FCM's National Action Committee on Race Relations, and administered the City of Ottawa's Advisory Committee on Visible Minorities to City Council (1984-89), fostering racial equality.

Included in Canada's Who's Who, Cyril Dabydeen was recently nominated for an Order of Canada.

For further information, please contact:

Danny Doobay, Honorary Consul General of Guyana, 416-494-6040 Ext. 29

Felicia Kwang, Consulate Assistant, 416-494-6040, Ext. 23.

April 19, 2010


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