First proclaimed in 1992 under former mayor Art Eggleton, Bob Marley Day celebrates the Toronto’s diversity on the late reggae singer’s birthday.  February 6th 2013 marks the 22nd year the City has held Bob Marley Day, a day used to honor Torontonians “acting in the diversity spirit of Bob Marley’s One Love — who have worked hard to make our city a better place for all” Bob Marley Day Committee chair and founder Courtney Betty explained.


Being the largest city in a country with as many ethnic backgrounds as Canada has brings with it great responibility, one of which is finding ways to bridge the gap between the many groups of residents contained within its borders.  Bob Marley day provides city officials with one of the most recognizable faces in the past half century to help unite its many cultures, and promote a positive message while paying tribute to one of the great humanitarians of recent memory.  Toronto has a large Jamaican population but the name Bob Marley crosses almost all cultural boundaries and is recognized through all of the cities diverse communities.


Bob Marley as a man was leaned upon to unite the entire country of Jamaica through some of the most violent and corrupt political campaigns the island has ever seen, and did so without regard for his own life (surviving a 1976 assasination attempt).  In the years since his passing Marley’s message of peace and love has been spread around the world, and his name has become sunonimus with positivity.


“As a world ambassador of reggae music, Bob Marley was seen as the first  international superstar to emerge from the developing world,” Toronto Mayor Rob  Ford said  “The commanding and unique sound of his  music captivated people of all cultures, broke music barriers and helped to  introduce reggae music to the world. To this day, his music continues to be  loved by many and is instantly recognized”


Among those receiving honours on Wednesday were Toronto rapper Drake( who was unable to attend the ceremony),retired Canadian citizenship judge Pamela Appelt and Canada Basketball assistant GM Rowan Barrett.

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