By NAN ET Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Feb. 24, 2022: The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, (CARAS), will award the 2022 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award posthumously to a Caribbean cultural promoter, described as one of the most influential voices in Canada’s Black entertainment community.
Jamaican immigrant Denise Jones, who passed away in December 2020, spent a lifetime championing Afro-Caribbean culture in Canada. The award will be presented at the JUNO Opening Night Awards Presented by Ontario Creates on May 14 as part of this year’s annual JUNO Awards festivities,streaming on CBC Gem and cbcmusic.ca/junos
Jones, through her company Jones & Jones Productions, also established the internationally renowned JAMBANA™ One World Festival and was the founding Chair of the Reggae Category for the JUNO Awards.
She died after being diagnosed with brain cancer but leaves behind an incredible legacy of supporting Afro-Caribbean culture in Canada and worldwide. Throughout her career, Jones received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban Music Association of Canada, the Bob Marley Memorial Award for her work in entertainment, a Government of Ontario Community Service Award, a Ministry of Citizenship Ontario Government Award, an African Canadian Achievement Award, and a Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in Entertainment. She was also named one of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women in 2018.
Denise Jones will forever be an important and respected figure in the Canadian entertainment industry,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards. “She leaves behind an inspiring legacy and we are honored to recognize her devotion to championing Black culture and artists throughout her career.”
Jones emigrated to Canada from Portland, Jamaica in the 1980s before earning her BA in Communications and Theatre from the University of Windsor. She went on to serve as a theatre critic/arts reporter for CBC Radio in Sudbury and then as an Executive Director for the Peel Multicultural Council, where she later resided. Jones’ roots in entertainment, along with her passion for championing underrepresented art-forms and artists, inspired her to create Jones & Jones Productions with her husband Allan Jones in 1987.
Jones & Jones is widely known as one of Canada’s premiere marketing and entertainment companies, lifting and amplifying Afro-Caribbean communities nationally and abroad while helping organizations and institutions authentically connect with the ever-changing cultural landscapes around them.