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CALGARY, ALBERTA, Nov. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Three Canadian jewellery design students are travelling to the Botswana capital city of Gaborone this weekend for the De Beers Group Designers Initiative Shining Light Awards.

This is the first time in the Shining Light Awards’ 23-year history that Canadian participants have been able to take part. The three join finalists from three other diamond-producing countries where De Beers Group has operations, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

The Canadian finalists are all graduates from George Brown College in Toronto, ON:

  • Cara Fitzell
  • Edna Milevsky
  • Rana Mireskandari

The three were among over 30 Canadian jewellery design students who submitted entries to this year’s Shining Light Awards competition. Designed to propel the growth of jewellery design, this year’s competition generated more than 100 entries from De Beers Group’s four producer countries.

Students currently enrolled in or recent graduates of recognized jewellery design programs at colleges and universities in Canada were encouraged to submit their designs for this year’s theme “Heroines & Heritage”. Experts in fashion and jewellery from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Italy converged over two days in Gaborone, Botswana, to review designs from talent across all four participating countries.

Winners will be announced at the Shining Light Awards Ceremony to be held in Gaborone, Botswana on November 5, 2019.

Three winners are selected from each country and awarded the following prizes at various internationally recognized jewellery design institutions:

  • First prize : 1 year scholarship at Politecnico di Milano ( in Milan, Italy
  • Second prize: 3 month internship with Forevermark in Milan, Italy
  • Third prize: 1 year scholarship at Akapo Jewellers, South Africa

During a week-long stay in Botswana, all finalists will participate in a variety of activities, including a visit to a diamond mine, a tour of the De Beers Diamond Trading global sorting and sales facility, and a visit to a nature preserve among other experiences.


About the De Beers Group Designers Initiative – Shining Light Awards

This initiative began in South Africa in 1996, to drive beneficiation through skills development for De Beers Group in our producer countries. The main objectives are:

  1. To showcase to the world the wealth of jewellery design talent that resides in our producer countries;
  2. To nurture and promote talented jewellery designers in our producer countries.

The Shining Light Awards are open to all aspiring jewellery design students across Canada, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, primarily those enrolled in Jewellery Manufacturing and/or an equivalent program in a tertiary institution, or those who have graduated from such a program in the last two years. The call for entries was published in January of this year and the finalists were announced in July.

The next Shining Light Awards are scheduled to take place in 2021.


About DeBeers Group


De Beers Group is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, De Beers Group is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers Group employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers Group are committed to ‘Building Forever’ by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers Group, visit


About George Brown College

Toronto’s George Brown College prepares innovative, adaptable graduates with the skills to thrive in a rapidly changing job market. With three campuses in the downtown core, the college blends theory with experiential learning, applied research and entrepreneurship opportunities. George Brown offers 171 full-time programs and 200 continuing education certificates/designations across a wide variety of professions to more than 31,500 full-time students, including 27 per cent international students, and receives more than 65,000 continuing education registrations annually. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates, apprenticeships and degrees. 



Terry Kruger

Sr. Communications Officer

De Beers Group Managed Operations – Canada

Mobile +1 (587) 229 3612

E-Mail –

(Terry Kruger will be travelling with the Canadian students and will be able to arrange interviews with the Canadian finalists, photographs and video from the awards.)

Terry Kruger
De Beers Group Managed Operations - Canada