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February 3, 2005
City of Toronto launches awards in honour of Black History Month
The City of Toronto and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
celebrated Black History Month this evening with a call for nominations for the
Michael "Pinball" Clemons Community Leadership Awards.

These annual awards promote visionary leadership in Toronto communities,
recognize the contributions made by African Canadians, and are supported by
Toronto Parks and Recreation and CIBC to commemorate Black History Month.

"Black History Month is a wonderful opportunity for Torontonians to celebrate
community leaders who have contributed so much to our city," said Mayor David
Miller, who attended the festivities held at St. Lawrence Hall and proclaimed
February 2005 as Black History Month. "All Torontonians should be proud of
these recipients."

The awards are aptly named in honour of Toronto Argonauts' Head Coach Michael
Clemons. As a prominent Canadian sports figure, his significant contributions
and commitment to community initiatives have made him a role model for young
African Canadians, on and off the football field. These awards will celebrate
achievements of Torontonians of African descent and who embody Clemons'
community spirit and activism.

"One of the greatest privileges in life is the opportunity to serve your
community," said Clemons. It is equally important to honour those who choose to
make this extraordinary commitment to our society. I am infinitely grateful to
the CIBC and the City of Toronto for joining me in celebrating our local

The awards recognize one man and one woman in each category. In addition,
special one-time awards will be presented in 2005 to a male and a female high
school student who have shown leadership in building safe neighbourhoods in
areas targeted by the Mayor's Community Safety Plan - Jane/Finch, Jamestown and

Award recipients will be selected through a public nomination process. The
public is encouraged to nominate Toronto residents of African descent who have
enriched Toronto's diversity through a demonstrated track record of community
leadership. Award information, eligibility criteria and nomination forms are
available online at

At the conclusion of the selection process, a special ceremony will be
scheduled to present the awards.

For other Black History Month celebrations in Toronto, check:

Media contacts:
Ken Jeffers, Parks and Recreation, Manager Access and Equity,
Economic Development, Culture and Tourism media hotline,



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