EDWARD FORDE - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
Owner of Northernex. / Community Person at ACCA
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
As for me, I have run this company for about 10 years. It has had its ups and downs, but I enjoy everything I do. We work with sports and athletic groups providing their uniforms, promo items and event help.
What's your inspiration and how do you get motivated?
When I was in high school, I was given a flyer for an outdoor 3-on-3 tournament and thought I would enjoy running events myself one day.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
I got to where I am now by not quitting. It has been a lot of work and you can expect a lot more soon. We are launching a new website in a couple months that include event market research and a new online shopping cart.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered for just being a guy who liked to help out. I have worked as a cooking instructor and in social services. Teaching and helping people are high on my list of things to do.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
To be honest I work a lot and don’t really have the answer for a good balance yet; but it’s coming. I have my business during the day. I cook part time at night and I’ve sit on the Hamilton Afro Canadian Caribbean Association (ACCA) board of governors for the last 10 years. Just busy!
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
My favorite food could be anything. I have been in the food industry some way or another for almost 20 years. Music, anything jazz or blues. I am currently trying to learn how to play the trumpet.
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
I am one of those people who try to look at people as just people. I learned a lot working with different clients from child and youth, adults with mental illness and homeless men over the years; but as a black person, it has been some different experiences. Most of the time, I just stand out at 6'10. I even had pretty long dreads for 13 years but cut them off last year; most people are a bit scared of me at first!
What is the Black community doing right or wrong in Canada?
What I think the black community does wrong is that they are too divided. They are not like other cultures that come to Canada and are close or help each other. They are divided by what island they come from, what part of Canada they come from and how they look.
Do Blacks support black music, events and businesses?
Blacks do support black music a lot; events and business to a point. As I said before, we are too divided as a culture.
Some claim we have musical artists in Canada that are as good or better than those in the US?
I would say it all depends on exposure. Same as sports, we might have the best of the best, but Canada as a whole, does not put its money behind its people like you see in the States. We have hidden gems all over this country.
Mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Artists?
Molly Johnston, Oscar Peterson and Jack Soul
What’s your understanding of Black History in Canada?
I have a pretty general understanding of black history in Canada. From talking to the older generation at ACCA and being around the association for so long, you learn a few things.