From left to right: Jully Black, Lu Kala, Julien Christian Lutz and Tonya Williams @Getty Images  


Jully Black, Tonya Williams, Director X and Lu Kala will be the first four award recipients of the 2023 Legacy Awards, to be handed out later this fall. 

The ceremony celebrating Black achievement in film, television, music, sports and culture is returning for a second year on Sunday, Sept. 24.  

Jully Black, a platinum-selling and Juno Award-winning artist, will receive this year’s Icon Award, in recognition of her music, allyship and international impact. Black made headlines in February when she sang Canada’s national anthem at the NBA All-star game, replacing the words “our home and native land” with “our home on native land.” 

This year’s Emerging Artist Award recipient is Lu Kala, a rising artist known for her upbeat songs of women empowerment. Her single, Pretty Girl Era, amassed fans from social media and spent 15 weeks on Canadian radio’s Top 40 charts. 

To recognize his mentorship and the impact he’s had on the visual esthetic and creation of music videos, Julien Christian Lutz, professionally known as Director X, will receive the 2023 Trailblazer Award. Lutz is known for his work with stars like Drake, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar and more.  

Award-winning actress, activist and producer Tonya Williams will receive the Visionary Award, “for her exceptional leadership, contagious tenacity, innovation, activism and fierce dedication to uplifting communities of color.” Best known for her role as Dr. Olivia Winters in The Young and the Restless, Williams created the Reel world Screen Institute to increase opportunities for Black, Indigenous, Asian and people of color in Canada’s screen industries. 

“Honoring Jully, Tonya, X and Lu is a no-brainer for the Legacy Awards,” said event co-founder and executive producer Shamier Anderson. “This year’s recipients all perfectly embody what we stand for: they epitomize Black excellence and are at the top of their game in their respective fields.” 

This year, fans will also be allowed to vote for their favorite Black-identifying Canadian digital content creator for the Fan Choice Digital Content Creator Award, starting Sept. 1. 

The winner will be announced during the Sept. 24 ceremony, which is taking place at Toronto music venue History. 

Canadian musician and TV host Keshia Chanté will host the 2023 Legacy Awards. More honorees, performers and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks. 

“Building community and having community support you is huge,” Chanté said in an interview with CBC News in June. “We deserve to be celebrated … and this is celebrating Black excellence at its highest level. The Legacy Awards truly does that.” 

A 90-minute special of the Legacy Awards will be broadcast on CBC and CBC Gem on Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET. 

From left, Shamier Anderson, Keshia Chanté and Stephan James pose for a promotional photo for the Legacy Awards. Anderson and James are the creators of the awards show, while Chanté will host the 2023 event. On Monday, organizers announced the recipients of some of the ceremony’s trophies. (O’shane Howard/CBC) 

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