TORONTO – The first-ever Legacy Awards took over downtown Toronto on Sunday night, highlighting the bounty of Black excellence across Canada. With stars including Deborah Cox, Fefe Dobson, and Jully Black shouting out The Brandon Gonez Show on the Black Carpet, we caught up with some of the biggest talent in Canada.
Founding The Legacy Awards
First, the team caught up with the founders of The Black Academy and hosts of The Legacy Awards, Scarborough-born brothers Stephan James and Shamier Anderson. They shared what legacy they are hoping to create with their work.
“Starting with tonight, I think it’s important, starting with this incredible moment in Canadian history, to be able to showcase Black individuals on the national stage,” shared Shamier Anderson.
When asked what it meant to create such a legacy as brothers, Stephan shared that while Shamier is his “real-life brother”, blood isn’t everything.
“Look, Shamier is my real-life brother, but I look around even on this red carpet and see my brothers in spirit and my sisters in spirit,” explained James.
On the Black Carpet at The Legacy Awards
Some of the stars gracing the Black carpet shared what the inaugural award show showcasing Black talent means to them.
“It’s amazing, it’s important. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and this is the first of its kind in Canada, this is amazing,” shared singer Fefe Dobson.
“It just feels like a wonderful moment not just for myself but to be in this space, to be here with all of these folks that I’ve looked up to, that I admire, that I’m friends with,” explained writer and producer Amanda Parris.
“To see us all dressed up, looking good, celebrating each other. And to know that this was put on by two young guys from the ends? I don’t know, I’m just really proud,” Parris continued.
The Legacy Awards: Claiming Space
“It’s eye-opening. Because the production quality is at the highest, the talent is at the highest, the swag is at the drippiest. So at the end of the day, I think it’s very clear that we’re not in these spaces because they feel sorry for us, we’re in these spaces because we’re talented and we should be here,” shared Tyrone Edwards, host of eTalk.
“It feels incredible, it feels beautiful. I think the best part about it is that I’m community, so a lot of people look at me, and I hope they can see that this is possible,” shared Randell Adjei, Ontario’s first Poet Laureate.
“I’m here to just support and help to inspire all of these incredible artists from this country that are coming up,” shared songstress Deborah Cox.
She also shared a personal anecdote about how her love life has impacted her body of work.
“The idea with music is that music is supposed to come from truth. So as long as it comes from that place in your heart, a truthful place, you know? And you’re honest with it? Then you’re authentic and that’s important,” Cox shared.
We also caught up with Jahmil French Award winner, Kayla Grey.
“It’s surreal. I tell people’s stories and I help them to tell other people’s stories so to be honest I never expect to be the story,” shared Kayla Grey, adding that it was an odd experience.
“But I think that I’m getting to this place of learning for myself and growth, and taking my flowers,” she continued.
The Legacy Awards: Spilling the Tea with Jully Black!
We also had the pleasure of meeting the “tall caramel man” that our friend Jully Black hinted about on a recent Hennessy Conversation. Mr. Mysterious is none other than Tychon Carter-Newman himself.
“This is Tychon Carter-Newman. He’s the only Black winner of the Big Brother franchise, ever,” Black bragged beside a blushing Carter-Newman.
“He also has his Master’s in urban development,” Black continued, laughing. She added that we need to know she’s with a smart Black man, not just a pretty face!
We caught up with Savannah Re, Michelle Jean, Arisa Cox and so many more incredible Canadian stars on this episode of The Brandon Gonez Show. Let us know in the comments, what was your highlight of the night?