Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Scarborough Street Name to Honour Black Radio Pioneer

[I am sharing the following press release that I received from Toronto city councillor Michael Thompson's office today (Feb. 28)]

Scarborough Street Name to Honour Black Radio Pioneer

B. Denham Jolly launched his memoir, "In the Black: My Life" published by ECW Press.  Photo credit: Fitzroy Facey

Nikeshia Ducent and Matthew Gray, assistant to Mr. Jolly, at the launch of "In the Black: My Life" inside Miss Lou's Room at the Harboufront Centre during Kuumba, Toronto longest-running celebration of Black History Month on Feb. 11, 2017.

Hon. Jean Augustine and Councillor Michael Thompson at Mayor John Tory's Black History Month Reception at Toronto City Hall on Feb. 22, 2017.

On the final day of Black History Month, the City of Toronto today authorized the naming of a street in a new Scarborough sub-division in honour of a Black pioneer in Canada’s radio broadcasting industry.

“Jolly Way” will commemorate the exceptional contributions to Canada of Brandeis Denham Jolly, a Jamaican-Canadian businessman, publisher, broadcaster, civil rights activist and author.

Jolly Way is located near the southwest corner of Midland Avenue and Ellesmere Avenue, in a residential neighbourhood under development by the Goldman Group.

It is most appropriate that approval to name a street after Mr. Jolly has come through today, the last day of Black History Month 2017,” said Councillor Michael Thompson, Chair of Toronto’s Economic Development Committee. “Mr. Denham [Jolly] has been instrumental in giving voice to the culture, achievements, challenges and aspirations of Toronto’s Black and Caribbean communities when few channels for such messages were available.”

In his long and distinguished career, Mr. Jolly published the newspaper Contrast, founded and led the Black Business and Professional Association and spoke out on social justice issues as a member of the Black Action Defence Committee. Jolly launched Canada’s first Black-owned radio station, Flow 93.5, which actively promoted Canada’s Black musicians and provided opportunities for Black Canadians in the radio industry.

In 2005, Flow won the Station of the Year Award in the Contemporary Hit Radio category at the Canadian Music Week Industry Awards.

Mr. Jolly has served on the Board of the Toronto International Film Festival. He is the recipient of the Black Media Pioneer Award, the African Canadian Lifetime Achievement Award and the Canadian Urban Institute’s City Soul Award. In 2007, he was presented with a Black History Award from the Markham African Caribbean Association.

Temporary street signs for Jolly Way are being prepared, with permanent signs slated for installation when subdivision construction is complete.

On Friday, March 17 at 6:30 p.m., the author will sign copies of his new memoir, "In the Black: My Life," at the new location of the bookstore, A Different Booklist, at 777/779 Bathurst Street in Toronto.

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