The first-ever Canadian awards show honoured local Black talent, from the year’s biggest influencer to the best skincare line.
In order to highlight Black creatives and Black-owned businesses across Canada, a new annual fashion and beauty awards event has arrived in the country. The event also places a strong emphasis on developing young talent through workshops and bursary programmes.
The Black Fashion & Beauty Gala was held on Saturday night at Toronto’s Grand Luxe Event Boutique. In response to the “The Phoenix Rises from the Ashes” dress code, a large number of people arrived wearing striking outfits. The evening honoured 11 winners across several categories and was the idea of fashion and event stylist Ann-Marie Daniel Barker of Toronto. The public has previously submitted and chosen the nominees.
The evening began with a red carpet photo opportunity and trays of drinks and passed appetisers in the lobby, where attendees were free to socialise and make connections. The following event was a three-course seated dinner in the ballroom, where Jay Harmony performed live and DJ Randee provided the music for the crowd. Continue reading to see some of the Black Fashion & Beauty Gala’s best moments.
Stacey McKenzie, a Canadian model of Jamaican descent who is also a runway coach, motivational speaker, and television personality, received a special BFBG Trailblazer and Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her career-breaking achievements. McKenzie lip-sang and swayed at the awards podium for almost 30 seconds to Vybz Kartel’s “Ordinary Servant,” urging the audience to pay attention to the stirring words.
“Listening to people say that I couldn’t accomplish certain things based on how I looked and sounded really took its toll on me, and there were moments I was going to quit up and walk away,” she said in her acceptance speech afterward. But I had a spiritual sense that I belonged in the fashion industry. We all face ups and downs and ugly things in life, but what matters is what we learn from them and how we use them, she said. “Remain optimistic about yourself. Respect yourself. Accept yourself. Accept yourself. Do not allow someone to diminish who you are. Do not let anyone else make you feel as though you are limited in your abilities due to the colour of your skin. You are deserving. We are deserving.
She concluded by praising the founding Ann-Marie. “I’ve been in this field for 25 years, and I’ve never seen an occasion like this where Black people, my people, are honoured in the fashion and beauty industries. Working together effectively is crucial for us as a community, and Ann-Marie, you are doing just that. This event you’re doing honouring and highlighting Black community talent is incredible and very essential. Delete this occasion every year. Even if it’s challenging and you want to give up, resist the urge.
Tynomi Banks, a drag performer and Season 1 contestant of Canada’s Drag Race, had the audience in stitches during her on-stage appearance to give the Model of the Year award. Yes, I was successful [on Drag Race]. Got eliminated quite early, so I immediately reserved a Super Bowl advertisement. Booked and blessed!” she exclaimed while laughing loudly. “And the winner is Honey Benjamin,” she said, announcing the prize winner. Because I appear to be an award, I will receive it on her behalf. She murmured, licking her teeth, “Oh, no, wait, she’s here. Later in the evening, the throng was even entertained by some voguing.
The go-to beauty supplier chain in Ontario for Black beauty goods is Cloré Beauty Supply, a key supporter of the BFBG Awards. The store is highly known in the neighbourhood for its selection of textured hair products, hair extensions, wigs, and other items. Clara Jina Kim, the CEO of the family-run company, entered the room and immediately displayed her awe at the magnitude of the event. Ann-Marie Daniel Barker, the creator of BFBG, stood by Kim’s side while she spoke as a result.
This is the first opportunity [we as a firm] have had to visit and address the neighbourhood we serve, said Kim. “Our goal is to expand the neighbourhood we live in and turn this into a franchise serving the Black community. Our aim is to help people who help us through employment, sponsorships, and donations. We appreciate the chance to share our vision with all of you.
See the complete list of BFBG 2022 prize recipients below.