Miss Universe Canada, Nova Stevens joins Toronto Sport Club to lead its new Social Economic Equality Initiative along with influential members of the BIPOC Community.
For Immediate Release: Toronto Sport Club (TSC), Canada’s leading private sports viewing and entertaining venue announces the creation of “SEE”: Toronto Sport Club’s Social Economic Equality Initiative. This newly minted program endeavors to support Toronto’s diverse business community led by TSC’s Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Team with Miss Universe Canada’s Nova Stevens at the helm. Together with Ms. Stevens, the committee includes entrepreneurs Junior Jones, Marlon Durrant, producer/publicist Iain Christiansen and TSC Founder, Zlatko Starkovski.
“It’s an honour to join the team at Toronto Sport Club and lead this forward-thinking initiative. As a woman of colour who understands how BIPOC businesses and entrepreneurs have been marginalized, the creation of SEE is integral; bringing these individuals together to share ideas, network and thrive” states Nova.
In addition to her role representing Canada, Nova, a South Sudanese refugee, and cofounder of the Black Freedom Society views her role leading SEE as a natural extension of her commitment to empower the BIPOC community
“Toronto Sport Club was created to celebrate sport, the athletes and the fans embracing our similarities while respecting our differences. The creation of SEE is a natural extension of TSC and I look forward to this exciting chapter in our club’s future” states TSC’s founder Starkovski.
Upon the TSC re-opening its doors in Spring 2021, SEE will host BIPOC businesses and entrepreneurs, providing them with complimentary corporate suites. As the season progresses, TSC’s Diversity and Inclusion Team will roll-out business and networking programs that will carry through 2022
The Toronto Sport Club was specifically designed as a fun COVID-19 safe environment to enjoy viewing live sporting events. Located inside the historical Exhibition Grounds, the 32,000 square-foot space venue features specifically designed suites, complying with all municipal and provincial health bylaws. The interior layout is designed to ensure that the tables and suites are a minimum of six feet apart and are equipped with all the luxuries of a private arena/stadium box. With more companies working from home, TSC has also become a “home office” away from home for members to host meetings, brainstorming sessions and client/employee appreciation nights.

The businesses that qualify for "SEE" include:

  • • Sole Proprietorship
  • • Partnership
  • • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company
  • • Cooperative
  • • Service Provider
  • • Trademark
  • • Syndicate
  • • Association
  • • Foundation

“Bridging the gap between equality and business”

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Nova Stevens

Dynamic, resilient, persistent, and full of life, this is how those who know her best would describe Nova. However, asked to describe herself, Nova would emphasize resiliency and the power of faith in being able to change your circumstances. After her family fled a brutal civil war in South Sudan, Nova was sent alone to Canada at age 6 to be able to have a better life. Leaving behind her mother in a UN camp in South Sudan and her father and siblings in Ethiopia, Nova uses her new chance at life in Canada as a driving factor to one day reunite her family. As Miss Universe Canada 2020, she would like to use this platform to help her family reunite after all these years.
By the young age of 15, with the help of the Youth Transition program in Alberta, she had already forged a life for herself, living independently, finishing school and learning the importance of guidance for youth. At age 18 she earned the manager position for the program because of her maturity and her drive to give back. Being separated from her family and growing up without her parents in Canada, Nova is acutely aware of the importance of fostering healthy development of children and youth from all walks of life. While continuing to work towards reuniting her family, she is continuously looking for opportunities to serve young Canadians as she is so grateful for the opportunities that being Canadian has given her. Nova is a co-founder and one of the spokespersons for ‘Freedom March Vancouver’ and ‘Black freedom society’ whose mission was to eradicate hate and racism experienced by black and indigenous people of colour in our world today. On August 1st, during their Emancipation Day march, Nova and Shamika announced that they had the city of Vancouver declare August 1st as Emancipation Day with an official document signed by the Mayor of Vancouver, Kennedy Stewart. Her goal now is to have it recognized nationally.
Growing up, Nova shined as a natural leader. On June 19th, 2020. Nova co-organized a peaceful protest/march for Black Lives Matter march; which brought more than 15,000 people together. This was not the beginning of Nova’s leadership initiatives. Having been involved with youth leadership programs throughout high school, she championed the
importance of education for youth and helped their families foster that environment. She has experienced the importance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle to promote both mental and physical wellness. As such she has always excelled in sport, competing competitively in volleyball, track and field, and basketball. This led to a full basketball scholarship out of high school. She continues to maintain an active lifestyle and practices mindfulness to remain focused on her goals – which, as you can imagine, are as big as her personality!
Through her persistence and disciplined goal-setting she has become an activist for Black Lives Matter as well as an actress and published international model working in the fashion capitals of New York, Paris and Milan. She is currently working as a model and actress who can be seen in the following tv shows: See, Motherland and Magicians. She can also be found in commercials for Dairy Queen, Toyota Corolla, Jared’s Jewelry and Macy’s. Nova’s smile can light up any room and her charisma has established her as a sought-after spokesperson for Freedom March Vancouver.
As part of her commitment to the Miss Universe cause she has been passionately studying and raising awareness about ‘Feed it forward’ a Canadian not-for-profit with two main goals: to feed Canadians that are food insecure, and to reduce food waste. Its mission is to make a difference in the lives of fellow Canadians who are in need of assistance with securing nutritious food and regular balanced meals. Nova looks forward to bringing her confidence and passion to the Miss Universe stage this year. While continuing to give back, she also hopes to use this opportunity to shine a light on the issue of inequality and racism experienced by people of colour. Most importantly, she hopes that now that she has won the national title and your hearts, it would encourage other young African Canadians to see the beauty in themselves.

Marlon Durrant

Founded in 2000 by Marlon Durrant, Md Bespoke is a Torontobased bespoke clothing company devoted to creating excellent custom garments to fit the needs and lifestyles of its clients. Oneon-one consultations in an intimate studio setting located in Yorkville, Toronto, provide clients with the attention and atmosphere they need to build a bespoke wardrobe. Although Md Bespoke was built on custom shirts, our product and service offerings have grown to include custom suiting, outerwear, pajamas and boxers. However, throughout Md’s expansion, Marlon has maintained his original vision of providing clients with the best possible private lifestyle experience
As an extension of Md Bespoke’s core values, which includes building and fostering unique relationships, Marlon Durrant has recently become the Toronto Sport Club Culture and Diversity representative in effort to bridge the gap between black business and entrepreneurs in corporate Canada.

Junior Jones

Respected by industry peers, Junior Jones is a well-travelled lifestyle influencer based in Toronto with several years’ experience of attendance and involvement in events. As a seasoned entrepreneur, senior level business development executive and lifestyle specialist he has successfully combined skills from these worlds to deliver entertaining experiences while showcasing brands. In the corporate world, he has been involved with some of the biggest digital content distribution deals in North America and Europe with clients like Rogers, Bell, Shaw Media, NBA, NFL, NHL, UFC & Euroleague. Corporate experience also includes conference management and virtual event sales in a wide range of industry verticals. In the entertainment space, Junior Jones is often sought after to help oversee events by top venues, event planners and agencies for his unique, savvy management style and marketing approach. He has been a special guest host for a number of events within the industry and is recognized for his consistency in delivering best in class experiences. Currently, Junior Jones is working with consumer brands across Canada to help them effectively engage with a diverse community of tastemakers, entrepreneurs, professionals and cultural influencers through his company Junior Jones Group.
@officialjuniorjones @juniorjonesgroup

Iain Christiansen

With 20 years of experience in television and film production,
Iain is best known for his 15 years working on 388 episodes of
Canada’s longest-running drama series Degrassi. He
campaigned for the series and helped lead it to four Primetime
Emmy nominations as well as the prestigious Peabody Award. As
the Director of Publicity and Talent Relations, he oversaw all forms
of media for Degrassi’s various iterations as well as launching
The L.A. Complex, Instant Star and Open Heart. Through his work
with the Degrassi franchise, he oversaw the show’s commitment
to school-building projects in Kenya, India, Ecuador, Ghana
and Nicaragua. In addition to this role, he also produced several
tangential projects, most notably Drake’s 2018 music video “I’m
Upset”, currently with 102 million views.

Zlatko Starkovski

President & Founder, Toronto Event Centre & Toronto Sport Club
In the past 15 years, Zlatko has overseen and managed hundreds of events attracting millions of visitors to Exhibition Place, working in partnership with the City of Toronto Zlatko and Toronto Event Centre completely renovated an iconic historic building and developed it as a new destination for major events in Toronto. He is widely accredited with revolutionizing the entertainment and hospitality industries in Toronto. Zlatko’s mission was clear from day one: to attract a global audience and provide them with an experience that truly reflects the culture and ongoing innovation of Toronto. This vision was supported by his strong relationships with a diverse array of athletic superstars, world business leaders and movie stars – all while working with some of the most renowned sports organizations, public relations agencies, marketing firms, and media outlets in the world
Zlatko’s work extends directly to the local community. In 2007 his team refurbished the dilapidated basketball courts nearby and made a safe space for youth to gather. This inspired the creation of the “Celebrity Classic”, a basketball tournament featuring celebrities and Toronto youth coming together to promote the idea of “safe play, safe space”. He has also hosted an annual single-donation food drive, which over the past 10 years, has collected and delivered over two million pounds of food to a variety of Toronto food banks.
Over the years his team has partnered with various organizations to raise over tens of millions of dollars for charity. Key events that Zlatko has hosted and produced include the Pan American Games Bid Launch Party, the Grey Cup/Toronto Argonauts Festival, Team Canada’s Olympic send-off for the Women’s basketball team, the “Night to Shine Gala” for Toronto General and Western Hospital, the Annual Stems of Hope Gala in support of children with neurological disorders, “The Motion Ball” for the Special Olympics and the “Rally for Sick Kids”. In 2012, Zlatko was appointed to the advisory committee for the 16th annual Toronto Crime Stoppers Chief of Police Dinner Gala, a major fundraiser for Toronto Crime Stoppers, and has served as Honorary Chair of the Police Chief’s Gala in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

www.torontosportclub.com

membership@torontosportclub.com

(416) 595-5554

“Bridging the gap between equality and business”