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The Black Shoulders Legacy Award Winner




The Black Shoulders Legacy Award steering committee is honoured to announce the 2023 winners: Robert Ball (Stratford), Ghislaine Doté (Vancouver/Montreal), Peter Fernandes (Toronto), Dela Ruth Hini (Kelowna), and Anthony Santiago (Vancouver).

Each recipient has been awarded a $5,000 honorarium towards training and other opportunities to enhance and grow their artistic craft. Watch the video below and click above to learn more!





This award will allow me time to be able to write, explore and research, as well as for me to take classes and workshops, be mentored and coached.


Bio: Born and raised in Toronto, Robert first found his love of performing at Claude Watson Arts Program and later studied part time at Humber College. Most recently, Robert appeared in Chicago at the Stratford Festival and was cast as Brent in the new musical Here’s What It Takes. Other credits include: The Soul of Motown, Dreamgirls and Songs For A New World at the Chestnut Street Playhouse in Norwich Connecticut (which earned him a Best Actor in a Musical nomination by Playbill.com). He has traveled to over 60 countries as an artist as well as a featured vocalist and headliner with Royal Caribbean International. Robert has been a part of various Musical Theatre readings and workshops working with Tony Winner Lillias White & Grammy Nominee Carol Woods naming a few. He has sung background for Kim Burrell and opened for artists Mary Mary, Cece Winans, Gordon Chambers, Keshia Chante, Shawn Desman and many more. Robert has also recorded his own music, releasing the EP “Need” & single “Breathe” and touring such events as Brooklyn Pride, DC pride and Jamaica Pride. Robert’s original music has been on the hit TV show ‘Degrassi’ and has played on radio in Europe, Canada & the US.


What piece of art, by a Black artist, inspires you?

Not sure I can pick one at this moment, I am currently very inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and namely the Queer artists and influencers of that time.


What does it mean for you to receive this award?

It’s humbling, it’s validating in that I am being seen for my artistic merit and aspirations. That I’m being see for my capability and potential as a creator of art and not only as someone who embodies & performs it.



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