From the moment I entered the lobby of the Globe and Mail Centre, I knew that this evening, celebrating the achievements of outstanding women, was going to be something very special.

As I signed in at reception and walked the red carpet along with several VIP guests, we noted the pomp and circumstance befitting a royal reception. Dashing volunteers in tuxedos and white gloves escorted us to a private elevator. Arriving on the 17th floor, I was confronted with the breathtaking view of Toronto’s Waterfront. Yes, this was going to be a historic night!

The cavernous reception area was crowded with Toronto’s elite, representing the diversity of our great City. It was exciting to see how the Waterfront Awards were able to bring together people from so many different professions and backgrounds. You could sense the altruism in the room, as everyone conversed about how it was time for women to be recognized for their achievements.

As for the entertainment, Wanda Ryan orchestrated what can only be described as spectacular lineup of awesome musicians, dancers and artists. Did I mention that this was a first class event?

Before the awards commenced, Hurricane Hazel McCallion, winner of the Legacy Lifetime Achievement Award, stormed the stage and danced to the thundering performance of violin versus drums. Doesn’t of cell phone cameras captured the moment. This really set the tone for the evening.

As a Co-Chair of the event, I had the privilege to deliver the opening speech, along with Karim Mirshahi, who was nearly speechless. No doubt he was overwhelmed, as it was an amazing opportunity to address such a wonderful crowd. To be in the company of such amazing women, including Ellen Campbell by the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness, was also an honour. I will never forget her thought-provoking speech.

Both Aida Memisevic and Jagger Gordon were spectacular Emcees, keeping the energy and momentum of the awards ceremony exciting. Anyone familiar with watching the Academy Awards will appreciate how the Waterfront Awards, broadcast live to an international audience, was a resounding success.

If I had space, I’d mention everyone by name, making this event possible, especially the volunteers. But that is fine; dodn’t I already mention something about altruism?

This event was SOLD OUT. I’m guessing that there are a lot of people whi like celebrating women’s achievements, besides us. And that’s a really noble thing.

Until next year, I remain… humbled by the Waterfront Awards.



  1. Hazel McCallion, recipient of the Legacy Lifetime Achievment Award, with Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie
  2. Nikki Monique, presented with the Sports and Fitness Award
  3. Melissa DiMarco with her parents holding the award for Folm & Television and Digital Arts
  4. Vivian Shapiro, accepting the Award for Philanthropy

  1. Violin vs. Drums,
    performed by Ali-Reza Firoozi and Sahab Habib
  2. Linda Yi, entertaining guests upon arrival st reception
  3. Guests attending the Awards Ceremony
  4. Scott Sutherland, with friends Valerie Dubail, Stacey Ginou and Maya Kamden Martial

  1. Actress Dominique Smith with friends Ilana Markarov and Fereshteh Sammi
  2. Jack Von Spade and Layla Ryan
  3. Emcees Jagger Gordon and Aida Memisevic
  4. Mike Bullard, TV and Radio Personaloty with Miss Canada and Valerie Muriel, Jack Krosinski, Dorothy Guerra and sister Ida
  5. Guests enjoying culinary delights