The usual contentious debates in council chambers were replaced by smooth reggae vibes Wednesday as the city celebrated Bob Marley Day.

The city has been honouring the Jamaican singer-songwriter and humanitarian on his birthday for the last 22 years.

“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, reading out the proclamation. “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 around the world.”

Following the reading of the Bob Marley Day proclamation Wednesday morning, eight city residents were presented with humanitarian awards.

Toronto-born rapper Aubrey Drake Graham was among the recipients, however he was not in attendance at the ceremony.

Rowan Barrett, a former Olympic basketball player and current executive vice-president of Canada Basketball, won the Bob Marley award for encouraging diversity in sports.

"Our organization has been working tirelessly to open the doors for all Canadians," Barrett told the Canadian Press. "We now have athletes from India, from Eastern Europe and from South America over a range of age groups."

Other award winners included Pamela Appelt, Scott Crowley, Ben Hum, Manuel Rodriguez, Marlon Reid and Pradeep Sood.

Live music was provided by Barrett Brackin and the Band.

With files from The Canadian Press

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