The prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award is given to a person who has a measure of distinction in Canada and has made significant contributions to the development of Black performing arts.
For over thirty-five years Tonya Lee Williams has been such an individual. Nominated for two Emmy Awards and winner of two NAACP Image Awards, an ACTRA Award of Excellence, a Harry Jermone Award, an African Canadian Achievement Award, a Planet Africa Award for Media and Entertainment, Ms. Williams has been instrumental in reflecting positive images from the Black communities and reaching millions of viewers through her roles as, Olivia Winters for the past twenty-three years on The Young and The Restless; as Maxine on Vision TV’s She’s The Mayor; as Karen in Lifetimes Double Wedding, as Ruth in Clement Virgo’s film Poor Boys Game, and other film and tv shows.
We remember Tonya in her early years in Canada on the Wear A Moustache milk commercial campaigns, Polka Dot Door, dancing on Boogie, hosting the Miss Teen Canada Pageant, hosting Welcome to My World and starring as Belinda on Check It Out. Also her early years in Hollywood on Hill St. Bues, Falcon Crest, What’s Happening Now, Gimme A Break to mention a few.
In 2001 Ms. Williams brought much needed attention to artists of colour when she Founded ReelWorld Film Festival. Based in Toronto, ReelWorld screens films from the Aboriginal, Asian, Black, Latino, Middle Eastern, South Asian and other multi-racial communities. The festival now in its 12th year has given a voice to many artists in Canada and around the world.
The Vision Celebration kicks off with cocktails at 5:30pm, with dinner, dancing and entertainment from 6:30pm onward. To purchase tickets call the Box Office at 514-932-1104 ext. 226 – for more information on Black Theatre Workshop www.blacktheatreworkshop.ca.