18 Year-Old Jamaican in Canada wins Arts and Culture Scholarship

TORONTO, Canada – Eighteen year-old Daniel Ellis, a second year student at the University of Toronto in Canada, is this year’s winner of the Arts and Culture Jamaica Inc. Scholarship.

The announcement and presentation were made recently, at the organization’s biennial ‘Christmas in the Caribbean’ concert, held at the Hillcrest Christian Church in Toronto, Canada.

Daniel, originally from Jamaica, is studying Theatre Arts. He was one of six students who applied for the scholarship which is open to students of Jamaican heritage who are enrolled in a Canadian university or college and studying either Fine Arts, Design, Literature or the Performing Arts, which include Dance, Music and Drama.

The student who was bitten by the acting bug at an early age, had a small part in the Jamaican movie, ‘Third World Cop’, and was the youngest member of the Cathy Levy Players, spending two years with the company. He has appeared in several television and radio commercials.

Prior to migrating with his parents, Annette and Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis to Canada three years ago, Daniel attended Campion College where he was a member of the School Choir, Drama Club and Rugby team. He attended the Blessed Mother Teresa Catholic School in Toronto, becoming a founding member of the Environmental Friendly Teens Club. He was also the treasurer on the Student Administrative Council and the first recipient of the ‘Generosity of Spirit Award’ for his contribution to the life of the school.

The Founder of Arts and Culture Jamaica Inc., Paula de Ronde, encouraged more students to apply for the scholarship, saying it was just as important “to feed the soul as the body,” and artists help us to do that.

Nigel Smith, Consul at the Jamaican Consulate General, read a message on behalf of the Consul-General, Anne-Marie Bonner, who is also Patron of the organization.

The Consul-General commended the work of Arts and Culture Jamaica, noting that the organization has “promoted the unique and vibrant culture of Jamaica during 2007.”

President of Arts and Culture Jamaica, Cherita Girvan-Campbell, thanked the many supporters and announced that the organization would be hosting an exhibition of works by Jamaican-based artists and readings by Jamaican authors in 2008.

The concert featured David Espeut, the 2005/06 winner of the scholarship, who is studying Jazz, also at the University of Toronto; nine year-old Jesse Ellis who sang ‘Christmas a come me waan mi lamah’; Dave and Norma Coar on the steel pans; a hilarious routine from ‘Blakka’ Ellis and an energetic performance from award-winning singer, Jassette Haughton.

Arts and Culture Jamaica was founded to showcase Jamaica’s arts and culture to both Canadians and Jamaicans, and to support Jamaican artistes.

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