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Viola Desmond Awards and Bursary Ceremony

As part of the Black History Awareness series at Ryerson, the Viola Desmond Awards showcase talent from students, staff and faculty while raising awareness of the diverse and little-known stories and contributions of past and present Women of African descent in the building of Canada.

The annual event recognizes the contributions of outstanding Black Canadian Women to the Ryerson campus and in the community. Named after Ms. Viola Desmond, this event celebrates the catalyzing efforts she made towards achieving human rights for Black people in Canada.

For more information about Viola Desmond, the application process, deadlines and recipients, visit the Viola Desmond Day Awards and Bursary page.


Viola Desmond Awards Ceremony

Join us in celebrating the work and achievements of accomplished Black women from Ryerson University and the greater Toronto community at the annual Viola Desmond Awards ceremony.
  • WHAT:
    Viola Desmond Awards Ceremony
  • DATE:
    March 02 2020
  • TIME:
    5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
  • WHERE:
    Podium (POD) 250
  • OPEN TO:
    The Office of the Vice President, Equity and Community Inclusion is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact the office at 416-979-5379 in advance of the event if you have any particular accommodation requirements.

We invite you to submit your nominations

Deadline: February 07, 2020

In 2020, the Viola Desmond Awards Ceremony will be presented to five females in the Black community: a faculty member, a staff member, a current Ryerson student and a local area female high school student who plans on attending post-secondary education after graduation. The current student and the high school awards each include a bursary.

Last year we introduced, a deserving Ryerson alumna to also receive an award.

All nomination forms must be submitted with a 500-word letter of support.  The letter can be included in this form or sent to on February 7, 2020 by 5 p.m.

How to nominate:

  • Review the award eligibility criteria detailed on our website.
  • Submit a nomination by filling out the Viola Desmond Awards Nomination Form. Nominations for these five awards will be accepted until February 7, 2020 at 5 p.m.
2019 - Viola Desmond Awards & Banquet Dinner
2018 - Viola Desmond Awards & Banquet Dinner
2017 - Viola Desmond Reception with special guest Wanda Robson

Viola Desmond Award Nomination Deadline

  • WHAT:
    Viola Desmond Award Nomination Deadline
  • DATE:
    February 14, 2016 - February 15, 2016
  • TIME:
    All Day