Nominees in the category of Creative Arts and Design
Joseph Osei Bonsu
3D Animation, 2006
Digital Media Arts, 2005
Visual artist Joseph Osei Bonsu's work promotes diversity and equality in a way that captivates young people and teaches them to treat others with respect. He is co-founder of Heroes of the World, a superhero cartoon series featuring 1,200 characters from different countries. He also collaborated with Olympic champion sprinter Andre DeGrasse on an illustrated book called Race With Me! In 2022, he was commissioned by Spoken Soul TO and the City of Toronto to create superheroes for the Scarborough Heroes Exhibit for Black History Month. He has also lent his talents to the CBC, CIBC, TD Canada Trust and ArtXperiential.
Bachelor of Music, 2014
Matthew Burnett has become a sought-after global producer in the music industry, highly regarded for his Grammy-nominated and Juno-nominated (and winning) work. One of his earliest achievements was his production of "Not Afraid," the lead single on rapper Eminem's seventh studio album, Recovery, and the 16th song in Billboard Top 100 history to debut at No. 1. The co-founder of independent record label Golden Child Recordings, Burnett has enriched the Canadian music scene and cultivated the rise of artists such as R&B superstar Daniel Caesar. He’s produced for world-renowned artists like Drake and Lil’ Wayne, all before turning 25.
Ecosystem Management Technology, 2012
Rochelle Byrne, the executive director of A Greener Future, takes centre stage in the powerful environmental documentary, Shoreline: The Paddle Against Plastic. As producer, Byrne embarked on a remarkable 430 km paddle journey across Lake Ontario, using her passion to raise awareness about the detrimental impact of plastic on the environment. Amidst the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic that hindered public cleanups, her determination shined as she paddled 18 days along the shores of Lake Ontario. Shoreline showcases the profound connection between recreation and environmental stewardship, inspiring individuals to join the effort in creating a greener environment for future generations.
Eric Chan (eepmon)
Interactive Multimedia and Design, 2008
Computer Engineering Technology, 2003
Eric Chan (eepmon) is a world-renowned digital/NFT artist and consultant whose work sits at the intersection of fine arts, design and technology. His fusion of art and computer code and the traditional and the modern – as well as the artistic and the commercial – demonstrates his unique ability to create in the ever-changing landscape of modern, contemporary society. He is nomadic, adventurous and embraces uncertainty. His digital artistry engages the world and enriches his life with new perspectives and discovery. His works have been seen in fashion, comics, museums and exhibitions worldwide.
George Brown College
Fashion Techniques and Design, 2017
Lesley Hampton is the owner, fashion designer and creative director of the Lesley Hampton fashion company. She is an Anishinaabe artist, model and speaker who is passionate about increasing Indigenous representation in the world of fashion and changing stereotypical beauty standards and body types. That passion led her to be one of six Indigenous Canadian designers invited to represent Canada at 2023 Milan Fashion Week. Hampton cites her college education as being instrumental in facilitating her success in the fashion industry. Through her design work, she continues to be a voice for Indigenous representation and body positivity in fashion.
St. Clair College
Dan Janisse is an award-winning photojournalist for the Windsor Star. Using photos to tell and illustrate stories, Janisse has worked for 25 years to illuminate the communities of Chatham, Windsor and Essex County. He believes photography and photojournalism can share powerful stories about individuals and systems in the community.
Theatre Arts Performance, 1989
Music Industry Arts, 2013
Award-winning vocalist, songwriter and hip hop/rap artist Haviah Mighty has secured many firsts in the Canadian music industry: first hip hop artist and first Black woman to win the esteemed Polaris Music Prize, first female artist to win a Juno Award within the Rap Album/EP of the Year category, and only Canadian to be nominated for the BET Hip Hop Award for Best International Flow in 2022.
A role model and supporter of young Black entrepreneurs, Mighty in 2022 gave her $10,000 in Prism Grand Prize winnings and one-on-one time to support 10 different Black business owners.
Broadcast Performance and Digital Media, 2019
Angela Onuora is a women’s champion for equity and the founder and chief creative officer of This Naija Girl Studios. A first-generation Canadian immigrant from Nigeria, she attended college to gain the training, network and confidence to tell African and women’s stories through the lens of her new Canadian reality. Her award-winning documentary film, Operation Lights Out, was created as a result of her college projects. She used the campus venture lab to jump start Studio D-20, a women-in-filmmaking collective, and The RISE Class, a social enterprise for aspiring filmmakers. Onuora’s creative work is being showcased and recognized around the world.
Journalism - Print, 1993
Jody Porter was an award-winning journalist who dedicated her career to raising awareness of social justice issues that impacted Indigenous people and communities. Following a decades-long career that culminated with her role as a senior reporter with CBC Thunder Bay, she died on July 19, 2022, from ovarian cancer.
In recognition of her extraordinary work and talent, Porter won numerous awards over the years — including being one of the few non-Indigenous journalists to receive the Debwewin Citation from the Anishinabek Nation for excellence in reporting on First Nations issues.
Culinary Management, 2015
Tre Sanderson has combined his love of cooking with his passion for his Caribbean heritage. Infusing that combination into every dish he creates, he has made a name for himself as one of Canada's best young chefs.
In 2022, Sanderson appeared as a contestant on the hit TV show Top Chef Canada and became the first Black chef to win the competition. In 2023, he received awards and recognition from Restaurants Canada and Kostuch Media.
He has also given back to his alma mater with a special pop-up dining event, where he mentored the young culinary students studying there.
Advanced Fine Arts Diploma, 2016
Broadcasting - Radio Television and Film, 2012
As a Canadian TV personality and drag queen, Mark Suknanan knows what it's like to be out front—to pave the way for others. As his alter-ego, Priyanka, he won the premiere season of Canada's Drag Race in 2020. He is also the first Indo-Caribbean to win the title in the worldwide broadcast franchise. Previously, under the moniker of Suki, he worked as a YTV host on The Next Star and The Zone. Determined and optimistic, he's honoured to be a role model as a successful gay, brown man.
Graphic Design, 2009
Registered graphic designer Jennifer Taback is a partner and thought leader with northern Ontario-based Design de Plume, a women-led, Indigenously-owned, award-winning creative agency that creates inclusive and accessible designs for social good. Under her leadership, the team at Design de Plume has completed significant Indigenous-focused design projects for the federal government, the CBC and John Hopkins University, among others. Taback is an in-demand industry speaker on topics like the decolonization of design. She is also an active member of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers, where she works to facilitate greater participation in the sector by members of marginalized groups.
Restaurant, Culinary and Catering Management/Manager, 2012
Electrical Course, 2008
Chef Amede Thompson took a college culinary arts program on a whim and it ignited his career. He has worked with hundreds of chefs in many kitchens across Canada, developing his own style of Canadian Indigenous cuisine and writing a cookbook. Thompson is now living his dream as a sous chef at one of the top hotels in the world: the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Not only is he changing people’s ideas of Indigenous cuisine, he is working towards modernizing the chef profession, putting a larger emphasis on training and mentoring. He has inspired and nurtured dozens of Indigenous and non-Indigenous chefs-in-the-making.
Law and Security Administration, 2003
St. Lawrence College
Graphic Design, 1994
Tim Warnock is an illustrator, graphic designer, visual effects and concept artist and entrepreneur, running his own creative design company catering to the television, film and video game industries. His notable achievements include collaborating with Industrial Light & Magic on the visual effects in blockbuster films such as The Avengers, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Pacific Rim. He also co-created the concept art for Amazon Prime’s TV series, The Expanse. Through his company, North Front Studio, he has collaborated with Riot Games on Legends of Runeterra and worked with Riot’s world-building team.
Public Relations and Corporate Communications, 2012