Full disclosure, I had a complete Wakanda Forever moment at the inaugural Legacy Awards, Canada’s first-ever nationally televised show to celebrate and honour Black Canadian talent.
The 90-minute celebration was a first of many firsts, a show-stopping night of Black excellence made possible by “two dudes from Scarborough—the ends,” actors and Black Academy co-founders Shamier Anderson and Stephan James.
After seeing little to no people of colour celebrated at Canadian award ceremonies, they decided things needed to change, which they did with help from the CBC at the 2,500-person state-of-the-art entertainment space, History in Toronto.
And the entertainment was on point, from Kardinal Offishall and Shantel May’s electric opening performance of “Number One” to audience members getting treated to Randy’s iconic Jamaican patties. No one was left behind.
R&B fans savoured the legendary Deborah Cox belting out “Beautiful U R” and watched Savannah Ré glide through “Solid.” There was even an interesting Rock and R&B collaborative mash-up of Andra Day’s “Rise Up” by Jully Black, Melanie Fiona, Fefe Dobson, and Sate.
Topping the night was seeing the tearful TSN sportscaster Kayla Gray (winner of the Jamil French Award) and unstoppable actress and filmmaker Fabienne Colas (winner of the Visionnaire Award) get their flowers because, in the words of Lizzo, “It’s about damn time.”
This is a great step towards improving the representation of Black Canadians in the media. And hopefully, it will lead to more diversity on our screens.
If you missed The Legacy Awards nationwide broadcast, fear not. You can watch the show on YouTube or stream it on the free CBC Gem app.
ByBlacks Rating System
BBBB Extremely Good
B Don't bother watching