Book launches are often low-key affairs: authors read or speak to a captive audience about their latest book, and then there is a bit of schmoozing and signing before the night wraps up. We drink wine, we eat nibblies, and we’re home in bed by midnight.
This was not the scene at the Drake Hotel last week in Toronto, where Wes Williams, better known on the Hip Hop scene as Maestro Fresh Wes , launched his first book, Stick to Your Vision. With Start from Scratch on the tables to keep the retro beats playing into the wee hours of the night, Wes’s friends and fans packed the Drake Underground to toast the Scarborough native and his new venture.
In Stick to Your Vision, Wes shows young people how to define their vision, how to achieve it, and what to do once they’re there. He offers useful tips and advice, inspirational stories and quotes, and exercises that will keep them moving towards their own vision. In this video, Wes explains Stick to your Vision in his own words.
It is no wonder that he is an inspiration to young urban Canadians. Wes is an inductee to the Scarborough Walk of Fame, a Gemini-nominated actor, recipient of the 2003 Reel World Film Festival Trailblazer Award and two Juno Awards, and his albums have reached gold and platinum status. Wes’s first album, Symphony in Effect, was the first Canadian rap album to receive platinum certification and made Wes the first hip hop artist to go platinum in Canada. More than 20 years after release, Symphony in Effect remains the best selling Canadian rap album of all time. Wes has performed for former Canadian prime ministers Chretien and Mulroney, as well as royalty such as Queen Elizabeth II. He continues to support several charitable organizations, such as Toronto Plays For Haiti, War Child, Save the Children, Covenant House, Special Olympics, Battered Women’s Support Services, and the African AIDS Society.
Personally, I love to see celebrities give back to their community and really try and make a difference. Especially when they can throw a great party!