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Grammy winning artist Shaggy to perform at THE UWI’s virtual Toronto Gala Awards on May 22

For Release Upon Receipt - Friday, May 7, 2021

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is pleased to announce that two-time Grammy award winning recording artist Shaggy will perform at the Virtual Toronto Benefit Awards 2021, on Saturday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Caribbean)/6:00 p.m. (Jamaica).

Shaggy - Orville Richard Burrell - from Kingston, Jamaica has sold over 30 million albums to date. He has racked up no fewer than eight singles in the Billboard Hot 100, including two that went to No. 1, as well as seven albums on the Billboard 200, with four in the Top 40.

A phenomenal philanthropist, especially for children, this year marks the dancehall reggae artist’s second appearance at the Awards. In 2015, he received the Toronto Gala’s Luminary Award and closed the event with a surprise live performance of some of his biggest hits. On that occasion, he raised CAD $33,000 for the University’s scholarship fund. Following the Awards event, Shaggy partnered with The UWI on a number of outreach projects, including presenting a keynote in the Reggae Talks series, hosted by the Department of Literature in English.

The University of the West Indies Toronto Benefit Awards supports the University’s Scholarship Fund, and the signature event honours leaders and organizations of Canadian and Caribbean heritage, or those whose body of work have impacted the Caribbean region. This year’s honourees include:

• Dr. Graça Machel and Ms. Naomi Campbell – Luminary Award
• Mr. Denham Jolly, C.M. – G. Raymond Chang Award
• CAMH: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – Chancellor’s Award
• Mrs. Wendy Beckles, Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Professor Kevin Fenton – Vice-Chancellor’s Award

Hosted by CBC News Anchor Mr. Dwight Drummond, The UWI Toronto Benefit Awards, since its inception, has provided over 600 scholarships to students in financial need. This year’s appeal for scholarship funding is even more critical than ever. The event, which is the largest fundraiser for The UWI, in Canada, due to the pandemic health and safety guidelines, the UWI Toronto Benefit Awards 2021 will be streamed online. Registration to access and watch the gala celebration is free.
To register for the 12th annual UWI Toronto Benefit Virtual Awards, log on to:


About The UWI
The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

Ranked among the top universities in the world, by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. In 2020, it earned ‘Triple 1st’ rankings—topping the Caribbean; and in the top in the tables for Latin America and the Caribbean, and global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old). The UWI is also featured among the top universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

For more, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)


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