Vote Now! Top 25 Canadian Immigrants 2017 – Vota Ahora! Top 25 Inmigrantes Canadienses 2017 – Votez Maintenant – مهاجرین کانادایی برتر را انتخاب کنید
Wishing the best for 6 latins and 5 Iranians
Nos meilleurs voeux pour 6 latins et 5 Iraniennes
Nuestros mejores deseos para 6 latinos y 5 iraníes
با آرزوی موفقیت برای شش لاتین تبار و پنج ایرانی تبار
Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award is an annual campaign that recognizes outstanding immigrants who “have come to Canada and have made a positive difference living in the country”. First launched by Canadian Immigrant in 2009, the program takes place online, and nominations are open to all Canadians. The program is divided into three phases: Nominations, Voting, and Winners Announcements.
At the start of each year, Canadian Immigrant invites nominations based on a variety of criteria, which range from contribution to community to professional accomplishments. The award is open to immigrants from all walks of life, be it a community advocate or volunteer, a successful entrepreneur or a cultural icon. A judging panel composed of, leaders who work within the immigrant or ethnic communities determine the shortlist on which the public vote.
Hall of Fame All these honorable eleven candidates (see below their profiles) will be added to COLOMBIRAN's Hall of Fame. For our community of two million Hispanics and Persians across Canada, being top 75 is as valuable as being top 25! Learn More!
Click below to separately vote
for the youth prize candidates
Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award est une campagne annuelle qui reconnaît les immigrants exceptionnels qui “sont venus au Canada et qui ont fait une différence positive vivant dans le pays”. Premièrement lancé par Canadian Immigrant en 2009, le programme a lieu en ligne, et les candidatures sont ouvertes à tous les Canadiens et Canadiennes. Le programme est divisé en trois phases: Nominations, Vote, et Announcement de Gagnants.
Au début de chaque année, Canadian Immigrant invite les nominations fondées sur une variété de critères, qui vont de la contribution à la communauté pour les réalisations professionnelles. Le prix est ouvert aux immigrants de tous les horizons de la vie, que ce soit un défenseur de la communauté ou un bénévole, un entrepreneur à succès ou une icône culturelle. Un jury composé de dirigeants qui travaillent au sein de l’immigrant ou les communautés ethniques déterminent la liste sur laquelle la publique vote.
Temple de la Renommée Tous ces honorables onze candidats (au dessous) seront ajoutés au Temple de la renommée de COLOMBIRAN. Pour notre communauté de deux millions d'Hispaniques et Perses à travers le Canada, être le top 75 est aussi précieux que le top 25! En Savoir Plus!
Prix des jeunes
Cette année, à l’occasion du 150 e anniversaire du Canada, un gagnant sera également récompensé d’une nouvelle section supplémentaire du Prix des jeunes à l’occasion du Prix régulier des entrepreneurs RBC.
Cliquez ci-dessous pour voter séparément
pour les candidats aux prix jeunesse
Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award es una campaña anual que reconoce los inmigrantes pendientes “llegaron a Canadá y hacen una diferencia positiva de estar y en el país.” Lanzado por primera vez por Canadian Immigrant en 2009, el programa se lleva a cabo en línea, y las nominaciones están abiertas a todos los canadienses. El programa se divide en tres fases: Nominaciones, Votaciones y Anuncio de Gagnants.
Al comienzo de cada año, Canadian Immigrant abre la convocatoria en base a una variedad de criterios, que van desde la contribución a la comunidad por sus logros profesionales. El premio está abierto a los inmigrantes de todos los ámbitos de la vida, ya sea un defensor de la comunidad o un voluntario, un empresario exitoso y un icono cultural. Un panel de ejecutivos que trabajan en el inmigrante o comunidades étnicas determinar la lista para votación pública.
Salon de la Fama Todos estos honorables once candidatos (abajo) serán agregados al Salón de la Fama de COLOMBIRAN. ¡Para nuestra comunidad de dos millones de hispanos y persas de todo Canadá, ser los mejores 75 es tan valioso como ser los 25 mejores! Lee Mas!
Premio de la Juventud
Este año, con ocasión del 150 aniversario de Canadá, un ganador también será reconocido por una nueva sección adicional del Premio de la Juventud junto al Premio RBC a los Emprendedores.
Haga clic abajo para votar por separado
para los candidatos a premios juveniles
جایزه ۲۵ مهاجر کانادایی برتر ، عنوان کارزاری سالانه است که هر سال به همت مجله ” مهاجر کانادایی” و با حمایت مالی بانک آر بی سی کانادا برگزار می گردد
ین مجله در سال ۲۰۰۵ با هدف “اطلاع رسانی، آموزش و ایجاد انگیزه” به مهاجران کانادا و کمک به آنها در شروع زندگی جدید خود درکانادا تاسیس گردید. از آن زمان به بعد، رشد مجله در شاخه های گوناگون آن را به یگانه نام شاخص و نماد چند منظوره تبدیل نموده که زندگی مهاجران را مورد موضوعات گوناگون از مشاغل گرفته تا آموزش و تحصیلات، تا سکونت پایدار در کانادا، تحت تاثیر و الهام بخشی قرار می دهد
این مجله همهساله و از سال ۲۰۰۹ با همکاری بانک مذکور توسط هیئتی از برندگان پیشین، هیئت تحریریهٔ مجله و فعالان کمک به مهاجرین، فهرست مقدماتی ۷۵ نفرهای را از بین نامزدهای معرفیشده به این مجله اعلام کرده و برای گزینش ۲۵ مهاجر برتر به رأی عمومی میگذارد. از معیارهای اصلی گزینش در لیست اولیه، فعالیتهایی چون کارآفرینی یا فعالیتهای اجتماعی عامالمنفعه مهمتر از بقیه هستند
در مرحلهٔ رأیگیری عمومی هر فردی از داخل کانادا میتواند سه کاندید مورد نظر خود را انتخاب نماید و نهایتاً در پایان ماه ژوئن فهرست ۲۵ مهاجری که بیش از سایرین رأی آورده باشند اعلام میشود
تالار افتخارات کلیه یازده نامزد افتخارآفرین سال جاری (لیست شده در ادامه صفحه) به تالار افتخارات کلمبیران اضافه خواهند شد برای جامعه دو میلیون نفری اقوام هیسپانیک و اقوام فارسی زبان کانادا ارزش قرار گرفتن در فرست هفتاد و پنج مهاجر برتر کانادا با ارزش قرار گرفتن در فهرست بیست و پنج نفر نهایی تفاوتی ندارد *** درباره تالار و نحوه درج نام افراد در آن بیشتر بدانید
امسال برای اولین سال و به مناسبت یکصدمین سالگرد تاسیس کشورکانادا، علاوه بر نامزدی برای مهاجران برتر درزمینه جایزه کارآفرینی که همه ساله بطور معمول توسط بانک آر بی سی حمایت می شود، یک برنده بیشتر نیز در بخش جدیدی بنام جوایز جوانان در این رقابت در نظر گرفته شده است
برای انتخاب نامزدهای بخش جایزه جوانان به طورجداگانه
روی شکل زیر کلیک کنید
Entrepreneur, TV host
Country of Origin: El Salvador
In 1986, Alfonso Cuadra came to Canada as a landed refugee from wartorn El Salvador. Even at a young age, he knew he was in a special place and that this country was full of opportunities. He faced challenges, however. At 15, he soon found himself homeless and panhandling in downtown Ottawa. Somehow, Cuadra overcame that struggle, and at the age of 17, created a retail business called Rugged Culture on Rideau Street, that eventually became 15 stores across Canada. By the age of 21, he realized the value of real estate and purchased his first multi-unit income property. In 2009, Reader’s Digest did a seven-page profile story on his life and success. Since then, he has secured a healthy real estate portfolio while maintaining his companies. He is the founder of Cuadra Group, a group of companies involved in real estate maintenance, management, investing, retail, publishing, media and venture capital. His companies include EBikePlus.ca, Key Properties Maintenance and Management, and Success by Design Inc. Cuadra is passionate about sharing his story and inspiring others to create the life they want and to never give up on their dreams. He truly is in the business of changing lives and has a special gift in his ability to connect with people and move them forward. Cuadra is a dynamic leader known for thinking outside the box as he shares his passion through his lectures, workshops, books, TV show and coaching. He likes to say, “You have to dream and plan, but the most powerful thing you can ever do is take action.”
Writer; co-founder, Sick Muse Art Projects
Country of Origin: Colombia
Paola Gomez is a trained human rights lawyer, community organizer, public speaker, artist facilitator, writer and dreamer. A member of PEN Canada’s Writers in Exile and an advocate, Gomez is involved in causes such as ending violence against women and forced migration. Her works integrate arts, community engagement and anti-oppressive frameworks. Gomez is the co-founder and director of Sick Muse Art Projects. In this role, she has developed an innovative way of integrating conversations about identity, inclusion and community engagement into community art programs. Though Sick Muse Art Projects and with her partner, Alex Usquiano (a Colombian-born photographer), they have developed a micro-grant program to support community arts in rural regions of Colombia, through this work Gomez promotes reconciliation and acceptance for Colombians affected by years of armed conflict. She facilitates creative writing workshops for women who are survivors of sexual violence, women who have experienced inter-personal violence and for refugees/newcomers to Canada. Her work is oriented to empower women and to create spaces for women’s stories to be heard. Gomez writes poetry, essays and short stories. As a community leader, researcher and emerging curator, she has contributed to the access and visibility of other Latin American artists in the Toronto arts scene. Gomez is part of the TAC 2017 Cultural Leaders Lab and is a well-known community arts facilitator who develops a variety of community art programs aiming to support newcomers, refugee kids and women where topics such as identity and inclusion are at the centre of the arts engagement. Gomez has co-curated the Art of Non-Violence Collective art exhibits and curated For Love to Frida and Other Women, Mientras Las Hojas Caen and Daydreaming, among others . Gomez was awarded the 2008 Toronto Community Foundation Vital People grant in recognition of her exceptional community initiatives. The Canadian Centre of Victims of Torture (CCVT) awarded her with the Amina Malko Award for her work in supporting refugee women in Canada. Most recently, Gomez was awarded with the 2016 City of Toronto Human Rights Awards (Constance E. Hamilton) on the Status of Women.
Retired nursing professor
City: Nepean, Ontario
Country of Origin: Haiti
In 1956, at the age of 19, Myrtha Lapierre left Haiti for Ottawa, Ontario, in order to complete her post-secondary education. She subsequently earned her nursing diploma, along with a bachelor’s in nursing education, and a master’s in education from the University of Ottawa. She became the very first black French-speaking woman to earn a degree from the University of Ottawa. She also received certificates for human resources management, intercultural communications and conflict resolution. Lapierre went on to teach nursing for 45 years. Lapierre was also the first black Francophone nurse in the Ottawa region. Lapierre is the epitome of the immigrant success, not just because she has achieved so much professionally, but also because she always helps struggling foreign students and immigrants. Through Lapierre’s volunteer work, she empowered 1,000 immigrant women studying nursing to succeed in the provincial education and health systems. She has also facilitated cross-cultural sensitization to students, teachers and service providers, from La Cité Collégiale to community health centres. She facilitated discussions on attitudes held by Canadian-born staff toward Afro-Caribbean people affected with sickle cell anemia and/or HIV/AIDS. She worked on committees that collected and sent medical supplies to Haiti. During all this time, she managed to juggle motherhood, a full-time job and continue her advocacy work in the community. Now retired, Lapierre started a fund at the University of Ottawa that helped educate Haitians and other immigrant professionals who are attempting to gain professional recognition and designations in Ontario. The YWCA designated her as a Woman of Distinction, and she was honoured by the Black Canadian Scholarship Fund. She was also the honoree at a gala held by the Haitian community in Ottawa, celebrating 45 years of teaching and volunteer work. She has received letters of commendation from the Governor General, the prime minister, the Ontario premier and the Ottawa mayor. To top it all off, October 25th was declared “Martha Lapierre Day” via a municipal order. She used that date in 2008 to launch the fund at the University of Ottawa.
Country of Origin: Mexico
From the beginning when Mexican-born Jorge Mora started working for an IT helpdesk, he kept his dream alive of obtaining his accounting designation and working in the financial industry. It took him years, several jobs and two moves (from Toronto to Saint John and then to Halifax), but he did it. Mora understood early on that networking was paramount to be successful in this country. He was able to land a position as fund accountant with Mitsubishi UFJ Fund Services, then as an accountant with Nautel Limited and finally his dream job, where he is employed currently — as a fund accountant with Fiera Properties Limited. In the meantime, he worked hard for almost two years in order to get his CPA accounting designation. Mindful of all the help he received as a new immigrant, Mora is paying it forward. Volunteering with the Halifax Partnership as a connector, he talks to new immigrants or recent university graduates about what it takes to make it in the accounting field in Halifax. He is also a professional mentor with the Immigrant Service Association of Nova Scotia. In this role, he advises new immigrants who are about to arrive or have just arrived in Nova Scotia about starting their professional life in Canada in the accounting field. Mora knows what it means to counter adversity having dealt with bullying for most of his teenage years making it hard for him to be self-assured and confident. He says that the biggest challenge as an immigrant was not coming to a new country, but dealing with the remnants of a difficult past that left scars on his psyche. Since then he has found wonderful friends who helped him on his journey of recovery. Mora, who became a Canadian citizen in 2013, is the proud recipient of the Pay it Forward award from the Halifax Partnership for making the successful jump from Connectee to Connector. He is also a volunteer for CPA Canada’s Financial Literacy program. He believes that helping Canadians become financially savvy improves the quality of their lives, and Canada becomes an even better place to live.
Daniela Navia – Colombia
TOP 75 CANADIAN IMMIGRANTS 2017
Researcher, community advocate
Country of Origin: Colombia
Daniela Navia has worked as a research consultant for the Alberta government’s arts sector since November 2015. Through research and evaluation, she ensures that a $27 million budget support the arts in different communities across the province. Additionally, she engages in research projects examining the social and economic impact of arts engagement and advocates for marginalized communities (particularly newcomers and indigenous people) as a priority during policy-making. Navia is an accomplished young professional, with seven years of experience conducting community-based research locally and internationally for public and non-profit organizations in Canada. Drawing from her experiences as a young Colombian-born immigrant, Navia began her career in global health research and focused on helping Canadians better understand health inequities in lower-income countries to shape effective health interventions. From 2008 to 2011, Navia travelled to the Dominican Republic and Ethiopia as part of a research team. She worked with families and health workers to better understand their experiences with health interventions for child growth monitoring and pediatric HIV/AIDS. By complementing quantitative data with the lived experiences of those affected by health issues, she highlighted potential gaps in health interventions that could be addressed. As she developed her research skills, Navia mentored students and inspired them to conduct research that was socially responsible to disadvantaged communities. Over time, her research developed a local focus as well, and she began carrying out projects that would shed light on health inequities within Canada. It was through this work that Navia began employing artistic methodologies to build a better understanding of the lived experiences of disadvantaged communities. Navia worked on projects with men living with HIV in an assisted care facility, incarcerated women and with vulnerable youth. Each of these projects utilized participatory visual methods. Research participants created a creative project based on their experience, utilizing photography, video and drawing to help tell their stories. In 2011, Navia began working as a research assistant at Wood’s Homes, a mental health agency for children and families. In her position, Navia helped build an evaluation framework to examine the outcomes of vulnerable children and families receiving services. She also conducted a research project with youth who ran away from care placements, focused on better understanding their experiences in care. This research project helped shaped her future graduate research. From 2013 to 2015, Navia carried out her graduate research entitled Uncovering Colonial Legacies: Voices of Indigenous Youth in Child Welfare (dis)Placements. The project focused on building an understanding of how colonialism shapes the experiences of indigenous youth, who make up two-thirds of children in care in Alberta. This project has been recognized as a very important contribution to the social sciences for bringing attention to an important issue in an innovative way. Navia’s research was rooted in working with youth to tell their stories collaboratively and allowing their creative voices to take centre stage. 20 youth participated in the project and used painting, drawing, photography, dance, sculpture and beading as a way to share their experiences. Youth also shared their stories with public audiences, presenting across Canada and exhibiting their work in an art exhibit. In 2016, the documentary (Dis)placed based on the research project, premiered. Navia is an active member of her community and has dedicated much of her time to giving back. She began volunteering in high school, providing translation and interpretation services for Immigrant Services Calgary, a local non-profit serving new immigrants. During her studies at the University of Calgary (U of C), Navia was an active volunteer at the Women’s Resource Centre, which serves as a community hub for students. As the team lead for events and education, Navia co-ordinated community events, speakers and helped provide students with a safe and inclusive space to gather and study. She organized a variety of community events including a weekly “do-it-yourself” series, as well as team meetings and volunteer training. In her current community work as part of the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) Youth Advisory Committee, Navia mentors a group of 15 newcomer youth ages 14 to 24 in Edmonton. They share their experiences, gain leadership skills and become advocates for their communities thanks to her. The CCR Edmonton Youth Network is one of 13 youth-led projects across Canada that bring newcomer youth together, discuss issues that they face and find strategies to tackle them. Navia facilitates youth involvement in leading local initiatives that empower their communities, including the recently held Newcomers are Lit Youth Gathering. The youth will be representing Edmonton at an upcoming national Youth Action Gathering in Winnipeg. Navia graduated from U of C, with a bachelor of health sciences honours degree and a master of arts degree in sociocultural anthropology. She received a number of grants to carry out her research, including the Canadian Institute of Health Research HIV prevention Seed Funding (valued at $25,000), the Alberta Centre of Child, Family and Community Research Westbury Award (valued at $20,000), and the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network partnership grant (valued at $11,180). Her research has won numerous awards, including the Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award, the J.B. Hyne Research Innovation Award, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Storytellers contest award, and the University of Calgary Chancellor’s Graduate Medal. Most recently, Daniela received the Western Association of Graduate Studies Distinguished Thesis award for Biological Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering. She is also a published writer, with nine peer-reviewed publications on topics including the experiences of indigenous youth in care, the effectiveness of sexual health interventions on women and early childhood development programs in low income communities.
TV personality, speaker
Country of Origin: Venezuela
Ninela Sanchez is Venezuelan, born in Caracas in 1993, yet a very proud Canadian citizen. Sanchez considers herself an ambitious, charismatic, self-driven individual with a great passion for life. Being spiritual, positive and a leader are one of her many virtues. Growing up with a humble family in a bicultural environment has taught her to survive difficult challenges and master two languages: Spanish and English. Sanchez started to merge in the beauty pageant world and several charities campaigns from a very young age. Her persistence and consistency lead her to win Miss Venezuela Kid 2002 and Miss Canada Latina 2014-2015. Her preparation and commitment after been crowned Miss Canada Latina, also lead her to place in the top 10 semi-finalist at the international pageant, Miss Latin America of the World. Sanchez, also placed Top 20 in the Miss Universe Canada 2016 pageant out of 62 delegates from across the country. Transcending to other achievements, and travelling from east to west in Canada and several parts of Latin America, highly representing the Latin Canadian woman, has made Sanchez become a public figure. Shortly afterward, Sanchez was tapped as co-host of Hey Latino TV, a family-oriented program for the Hispanic community. During this time, Sanchez also presented special commercials for Rogers TV, Breakfast City TV, Carassauga-Latin Pavilion and worked on several modeling projects, including commercials for Archie’s Mango, Singer Henry Vivel, Panamania for the Panamerican Games-Toronto 2015, Rosred Collection, Ideally Yours Boutique, Nina’s collection boutique, JEP Agency INC, Univision Canada and other well-known Canadian brands. Sanchez currently works for Univision Canada. As well, she has passed to be the national state director of the Miss Canada Latina franchise in Canada. Sanchez supports and runs a yearly campaign to raise funds for Autism Canada, Operation Smile and the Canadian Bullying organization; in order to become a platform to educate and build awareness about these important causes. Sanchez always strives to give of her hospitality to other communities in need of help, and loves to teach others the importance of “in unity there is much strength.” One of her personal objectives is to continuously influence her generation by being a leader in her community, and bringing the message of “beauty with purpose” by impacting lives in a positive way. She defiantly believes that love conquers all. Sanchez graduated with an advance diploma in business administration marketing from Sheridan College, and has a certificate in public speaking and communications.
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Conductor, composer, pianist
Country of Origin: Iran
Maziar Heidari is a well-known Iranian-Canadian conductor, composer, pianist and educator. He is a co-founder of Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto (ICOT), is an active member of the Ontario Registered Music Teacher Association, a member of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association, an associate composer with the Canadian Music Centre, a pianist for Orchestra Toronto, and a professional member of the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). He has collaborated with the most prestigious ensembles, organizations and festivals in Canada, such as the National Ballet of Canada, the Cathedral Bluff Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Tirgan Iranian Festival, Nuit Blanche, Orchestra Toronto and Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra. As a former assistant conductor for Hart House Orchestra and University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Heidari’s experience informed the vision that became ICOT. Under his leadership, ICOT introduces Iranian classical music to Canadian public spheres, and bridges the two cultures through music and art. Heidari has designed multi-level programs for ICOT in the past few years and has successfully been recognized in the classical music industry. There are several annual performances by ICOT in which Heidari tries to provide an authentic arena for young and talented musicians who are looking for an opportunity to gain experience and connect to the market. With more than 50 collaborative projects, which have been performed by almost 200 musicians, Heidari has been considered an entrepreneur in the music industry by both Iranian and Canadian communities. As a former teacher assistant at the University of Toronto’s music faculty, he honed skills that have helped him supervise and teach over 100 students, both in his private studio and with many other organizations throughout Toronto. Since 2015, Heidari has organized and co-ordinated an original program where newcomer musicians from the Middle East are introduced to the Canadian music industry. Heidari’s most recent collaborative project took place in different cities in Canada. He held a concert for peace, in which several musicians from Middle Eastern countries collaborated with Canadian professional artists to welcome Syrian refugees. In this project, Heidari brought artists from different parts of the Middle East together and conducted a concert that conveyed an important message: no matter what political challenges there are, art brings us all together in peace and there is no place better than Canada to share this message. Heidari has been a finalist for the Neighbourhood Arts Network TELUS Newcomer Artist Award.
Country of Origin: Iran
Born in Iran, Canadian immigrant Yasher Hezaveh is currently a Hubble Fellow at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University in California. These fellowships are awarded to postdoctoral researchers whose research is deemed exceptional and are in line with NASA’s activities in the field of scientific research on cosmic origins. His research is primarily centered on strong gravitational lensing of high redshift, dusty galaxies, with a special focus on mapping the detailed distribution of dark matter on small scales in lensing halos. This lensing magnification can be used as a natural telescope to study some of the farthest objects in the universe with high spatial resolution. He explains that the gravity of massive galaxies in the universe can bend the light coming from other galaxies that are farther away, producing multiple images of the background galaxies, like a mirage. This results in magnified images of the background sources. Ultimately, his work is providing invaluable clues to the nature of dark matter, which scientists believe makes up a large portion of the universe, even though it cannot be directly observed as it does not emit light or energy. In 2016, Hezaveh discovered an invisible galaxy, a story that was covered by BBC Earth. Prior to coming to Stanford, he completed his PhD at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and his honours degree in physics and astronomy at University of Victoria in B.C. His research, conducted as part of his PhD dissertation entitled Strongly lensed high redshift dusty star forming galaxies Discovered in millimeter wide area surveys, was selected by Québec-Science as one of its top 10 discoveries of 2013.
Founder and CEO, Broadband TV
Country of Origin: Iran
Shahrzad Rafati is the founder and CEO of BroadbandTV, an innovative media and technology company that drives success for online video creators by leveraging its premium media brands, proprietary technology and massive online reach. Recognized by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business, Rafati is credited with pioneering both the technology and business model that made peace between large entertainment entities like the NBA and their fans that were uploading premium content online. Rafati has been the spirited drive and energy that has propelled BroadbandTV to success. She has personally brokered successful deals with major media companies, music publishers, telcos, professional sports leagues and internet giants. Today, BroadbandTV is the world’s largest distributor of short form content, generating 24.4 billion monthly impressions across its owned and operated library and brands as well as its network of 86,000 content creators. BBTV is also the third largest video property in the world — in terms of unique viewers — following only Google and Facebook. When compared to the top two, BBTV’s unique video viewership is 50 per cent the size of Facebook, and 30 per cent of Google’s, showing that nearly one out of every three people that consumes video content across Google sites, including YouTube, is watching BBTV content. Rafati has been broadly recognized by numerous industry and community groups for her contributions to the media industry and entrepreneurship. In 2014, the Vancouver Economic Commission appointed her to its board of directors and the World Economic Forum welcomed her as a Young Global Leader (YGL). Most recently, she was named one of the Hollywood Reporter’s 20 Most Powerful Women in Global Television, awarded Person of the Year by the British Columbia Technology Association and named to TheWrap’s Innovators List. In 2015, Rafati was awarded Woman of the Year by the Business Intelligence Group, named a Young Influential by Adweek, and Variety Magazine included Rafati in its Power of Women list. She is also a graduate of YGL Oxford Module: Transformational Leadership at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and is actively involved with Founders Forum. Rafati is a highly sought-after speaker for a number of industry events. Speaking engagements to date include Dreamforce alongside Marc Benioff, Mark Cuban, Chris Sacca, will.i.am and Brian Moynihan, the CEO and chairman of the Bank of America; the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, VidCon, Web Summit, MIPCOM, CES, Newfronts, Financial Times Digital Media, DMEXCO, Business Insider’s IGNITION, Collision, NAB Show and TEDx Vancouver. Rafati is also a known thought leader in the entrepreneurship and media and technology space, having regularly contributed to Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and Wired. In 2013, Rafati closed a strategic partnership and investment with RTL Group, Europe’s largest entertainment network, and a unit of Bertelsmann, one of the world’s largest media companies. In addition to BroadbandTV’s achievements, Rafati actively pursues ways to encourage social change. She is the co-founder of the world’s first Chopra Yoga in partnership with Dr. Deepak Chopra and has investments in a broad portfolio of businesses.
Vice-president, TAC Sports
Country of Origin: Iran
Adib Razavi, vice-president of Toronto Athletic Camps (TAC Sports), was born in Iran, and moved to Canada when he was 12 years old. He was a good student and also very involved in sports, local activities and community service. Razavi graduated from Langstaff Secondary School and entered York University as an undergrad, majoring in business and environmental science. Later, he enrolled in some courses at York, Schulich School of Business in the MBA program. When Razavi immigrated to Canada with his family, in addition to acclimatizing to the Canadian weather and culture, he faced numerous challenges as an immigrant. For example, he had to support the integration of his non-English speaking family members within Canadian society, find his own identity at school and among his peers, and juggle his time between his educational pursuits and financial independence. These experiences inspired him to develop TAC Sports, a sports and educational academy that not only specializes in providing outstanding sports and educational opportunities to varied communities, but also works in close collaboration with provincial and federal governments to support at-risk youth and families. TAC started off as a small after-school program with 30 students at two school locations. Within a year, it expanded to 20 school programs, including numerous holiday camps. At present, TAC offers programming in French, arts, robotics and sports with offerings of more than 160 school programs in six communities (Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill, Mississauga, North York and Aurora). TAC touches the lives of more than 30,000 students a year, and more than 10 per cent of them have free access to TAC programs based on need. Razavi’s small business has impacted diverse communities in many ways by not only providing educational and developmental opportunities to children, but also by supporting at-risk youth and challenged neighbourhoods. Razavi operates TAC in collaboration with the provincial government’s Career Foundation and Summer Job Internship Programs. These programs provide mentorship and employment opportunities to at-risk youth from low-income earning families. By providing training and employment prospects, TAC extends opportunities for self-exploration to graduate and undergraduate students to help them with choosing a career path that suits their temperament. In the past three years, approximately 250 students have utilized these programs through TAC, which, at present, provides temporary/seasonal employment to approximately 50 individuals. Razavi believes that saving at-risk youth by giving them life opportunities is an outstanding achievement and a just reason for celebration. From the perspective of a sports hub, Razavi and his team touch the lives of young children (from three to 16) by helping them achieve their full potential at school and in their physical health. TAC’s star-development system is measurable and outcomes-focused, providing children from diverse backgrounds a unique place to collaborate, learn and grow. Through innovative and family-oriented programs, he aims to improve children’s health and promote youth activity in the GTA. Razavi is also committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to play and benefit from sports participation. He does his best to accommodate those with special needs, and he strives to create lasting, nurturing relationships with the youth of the amazing GTA community.
Country of Origin: Iran
Aminollah Sabzevari works as Crown counsel with the Department of Justice Canada in Edmonton. He started his legal practice with the DOJ after completing a clerkship with the Provincial Court of Alberta in Calgary. A successful young lawyer, Sabzevari is also an active volunteer, mentor and athlete. He makes a positive impact on his community. Sabzevari currently volunteers with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, an organization that provides free legal advice to people with low income in Edmonton. He also volunteers as a mentor with the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. Sabzevari immigrated to Canada from Iran as a young child. He remembers how it was like first arriving in Canada and the friendship and support provided by fellow Canadians. After he learned English, his first volunteer position was as a translator for other ESL students in his class. Sabzevari grew up in North Vancouver, B.C., where he volunteered for the Recreation Commission and the Harvest Project. During his studies at the University of British Columbia, he volunteered for the Safewalk program, the Speakeasy program, the International House and the UBC hospital. He worked as a residence advisor for several years, helping both domestic and international students living on campus. Sabzevari was very involved in intramural sports, captaining teams and winning championships for soccer, ultimate frisbee, squash, badminton and flag football. Sabzevari also excelled in academics, earning scholarships and working as a research assistant for the dean of the law faculty. For his community involvements, he received a British Columbia Community Achievement Award, the preeminent award for volunteering in British Columbia. Sabzevari completed a master of laws in health law at the University of Alberta. His graduate studies were supported by a Law Foundation of British Columbia graduate fellowship, the Honourable N.D. McDermid Graduate Scholarship, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Health Law, Ethics and Policy Training Program. Sabzevari volunteered with the campus Safewalk program and in outreach programs to students and the community with the faculty of graduate studies. He worked as a residence advisor and was elected the first president of the Graduate Residence Student Council. While at the U of A, Sabzevari captained an intramural ultimate frisbee team and won several intramural and club squash tournaments. While Sabzevari currently works as a lawyer, he has a science background and has volunteered for the past nine years as a science fair judge for regional science fairs in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. He judges individual projects for general awards and participates in committees that determine external scholarships. Sabzevari enjoys judging at science fairs for the opportunity to meet the students, learn about their projects, and promote an enduring understanding and appreciation of science. He acts as a mentor for current law students and students interested in a legal career. He remains involved in sports, playing squash, badminton at the University of Alberta Badminton Club, and ultimate frisbee in the Edmonton Ultimate Players Association.
Throughout all his involvements, Sabzevari strives for excellence and continues his personal belief of contributing to the community.
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