George Brown grads won international jewellery design competition in Botswana

Recent graduates of George Brown College’s jewellery programs made a big mark on the international stage representing Canada at the De Beers Shining Light Awards in Botswana—one winning the jewellery design competition and two others named runners up.

The designers were flown to Gaborone, Botswana for the Shining Light Awards gala ceremony on November 5, 2019. The theme for this year’s competition was “Heroines & Heritage.”

The Shining Light Awards showcase jewellery design talent from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and for the first time in 2019—Canada. A winning design was chosen from each country and Canada’s top design—a set including a diamond pendant, earrings, bangle and ring—was created by Cara Fitzell (2019, Jewellery Arts). Botswana’s First Lady Neo Masisi presented her award (pictured top right). 

Two runners up were also chosen from each nation and George Brown alumnae also took those honours. Edna Milevsky (2019, Gemmology) and Rana Mireskandari (2019, Jewellery Arts) were recognized for their outstanding designs.

Fitzell’s top finish comes with an amazing reward—a one-year scholarship at Politecnico di Milano ( in Milan, Italy. Milevsky won a three-month internship with diamond company Forevermark in Milan, and Mireskandari received a one-year scholarship at Akapo Jewellery in South Africa.

Another exciting announcement was made at the Shining Light Awards—Canada will be the host country in 2020.

As part of their weeklong trip to Botswana, our grads got to visit a diamond mine, a diamond global sorting and sales facility and a nature reserve.

Congratulations to our graduates!