Vote Now! Top 25 Canadian Immigrants 2018 – Vota Ahora! Top 25 Inmigrantes Canadienses 2018 – Votez Maintenant – مهاجرین کانادایی برتر را انتخاب کنید
Wishing the best for 12 candidates from our Latin and Persian communities across Canada
Souhaitant le meilleur pour 12 candidats de nos communautés latines et perses à travers le Canada
Deseamos lo mejor para 12 candidatos de nuestras comunidades latinas y persas en todo Canadá
با آرزوی موفقیت برای دوازده نامزد از اعضای جوامع اقلیت فارسی زبان و لاتین تبار در کانادا
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 twelve 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!
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 douze 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!
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 doce 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!
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 در کانادا 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 اسامی کلیه دوازده نامزد افتخارآفرین سال جاری (لیست شده در ادامه صفحه) به تالار افتخارات کلمبیران اضافه خواهند شد. برای جامعه دو میلیون نفری اقوام هیسپانیک، لاتین تبار، 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 تفاوت زیادی ندارد درباره تالار و نحوه درج نام افراد در آن بیشتر بدانید
Career consultant, Ted Rogers School of Management
Country of Origin: Brazil
José Cabral is a career consultant with the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, where he supports the undergraduate bachelor of commerce students in the human resources, global management and health services programs. Before Ryerson, he worked at George Brown College and community agencies such as Dixon Hall Employment Services and ACCES Employment. He is passionate about assisting students with career planning and school-to-work transitions, as well as helping newcomers realize their goals with fulfilling careers. Cabral holds a bachelor of computer science, a post-grad in computer networks, a diploma in career and work counselling, and certificates in project management and HR management. He has more than 25 years of multinational experience in the information technology industry, in organizations such as Hewlett Packard, IBM, Xerox, and EMC Canada. Since arriving in Canada, he worked in the IT field as a consultant and project manager, supporting the implementation of knowledge management systems across Canada and overseas, including Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and South Africa. He embraced the Canadian values long before becoming a citizen, which helped him adjust to the new environment upon his arrival. He soon started giving back and assisting newcomers settling in Canada, as well as youth with their career development needs. As a volunteer, he has helped multiple-barrier facing service users with their employment needs at the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) since 2007. Initially, he taught MS Office and resumé writing and later job search skills. He has also volunteered with Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services (PICS) at a similar capacity. His previous engagements include TIFF and its partner film festivals, such as the Brazil Film Fest and InsideOut. In addition, he was a pre-games volunteer with Toronto Pan Am Games 2015, where he handled protocol and the arrival/departure of delegations from all Latin America. Currently, as a mentor with Hispanotech, he assists internationally trained newcomers integrate into the Canadian society and find meaningful employment. As a board member at the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Businesses and Professionals, he contributes to the student affairs and IT committees, and at the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce, as a member of the education committee, he supports partnerships and promotes cultural exchange between educational institutions in Canada and Brazil. Lastly, at the student affairs committee of the human resources professional association, he assists with events such as the case competition for students and info sessions on campus.
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. In 2017, she was selected as a Toronto Cultural Leader by Toronto Arts Council.
Senior lecturer, Simon Fraser University; founder, Science in Action
City: North Vancouver
Country of Origin: Venezuela
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Sophie Lavieri is an award-winning senior lecturer at Simon Fraser University (SFU). She is the founder of Science in Action, a free science outreach program that has involved more than 1,000 volunteers and has reached more than 100,000 kids, many of them from Aboriginal communities and inner-city schools. Her efforts have helped secure more than $4 million in funding to build a science outreach centre and observatory. As a mother of two and a recent grandmother, Lavieri serves as a role model to women aspiring to achieve impact in the profession while maintaining a commendable work-life balance. In her spare time, Lavieri loves bringing happiness to our elderly by singing at retirement homes with Chemsemble, the choir she founded. Leaving Venezuela in 2000 was not an easy decision. Although her husband and two children had joined her while she was a visiting professor at the University of Florida, they never thought (as probably never did millions of other Venezuelans) that they would have to emigrate permanently. However, in the year 2000, with the turmoil that was starting to develop in Venezuela, and hoping for a better and safer future for their kids, they applied for Canadian residency. They were surprised that it was granted in less than three months, even skipping the interviews! Canada is now home (with capital H) for them. Lavieri was quickly hired at Simon Fraser University. The hiring committee was impressed by her innovative and interactive teaching style, beating out excellent candidates from other top universities. Having taught thousands of university students over the course of her career, Lavieri decided to reach out to others beyond the university confines. Her goal was simple: “to have children of all ages gain an interest in science and to have their parents and teachers involved in the process.” This led to the foundation of the Science in Action program. On the other hand, she also volunteered for Science World’s Scientists and Innovators in the Schools (SIS) program, which allowed her to bring her “portable labs” to remote locations in British Columbia. Her impact in the community has been featured in numerous national and international articles and TV segments. Lavieri has a B.Sc. in chemical engineering, a M.Sc. in biology, a degree in Pharmacy, and a PhD in medicinal chemistry. Her awards include the SFU Faculty of Science and the SFU Excellence in Teaching Awards (2004, 2006), the YWCA Women of Distinction Award (2009), the Waldo Briño – Inspirational Latin Award (2014) from LatinCouver, being named as one of the 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadian (2014) and the Cmolik Prize for the Enhancement of Public Education in BC Honourable Mention (2015). Lavieri works hard every day “to give back to the country that has given so much to her and her family.”
Entrepreneur, Educator and Researcher, founder CMX Partnerships, Admissions Manager at Study Group and Associate Faculty at Royal Roads University.
Country of Origin: Mexico
Juan Navarro is an educator, researcher and an entrepreneur. He enjoys promoting Canada as a great destiny to study, to do business and to partner with. He has extensive experience connecting opportunities, developing business and making things happen. Navarro is considered a business leader and expert on topics related to global trade, international education, entrepreneurship and finance.A As an entrepreneur, with his company CMX Partnerships, he has dedicated his efforts to promoting the construction of collaborative agreements, introducing and representing Canadian Institutions with counterparts abroad and organizing trade missions to visit British Columbia. As an entrepreneur, he successfully ran an international trade company together with his wife named Arriba Mexico Food Company, which introduced new authentic Mexican flavours to British Columbia and was recognized as one of the top 10 companies during two years in a row in the Small Business BC awards (2016 and 2017). As a researcher, his analytic reports have contributed to promoting a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges that Canada has in front in particular with the Asia Pacific Region and Latin America. His research projects have been issued by leading universities, research centres and institutions. For instance, he completed a special report for the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada with the goal of being presented by Canada´s delegation during the International meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in Peru in November of 2016. His last research project entitled “Canada and Associate Membership in the Pacific Alliance: an important part of a Global Trade Strategy”, which did with a Former member of Foreign Affair Canada, was issued in January 2017) by the School of Public Policy of the University of Calgary. As an educator, Navarro participates actively in business conferences and educational forums locally and abroad sharing his business acumen, his research outputs and his life experience. Currently, Navarro serves as admissions manager for the study group in the International Study Centre located at Royal Roads University. In addition, Navarro served as an associate faculty at Royal Roads University where he teaches finance courses for undergraduate and graduate programs. Navarro is always loonic Literature Tour in BC initiative to promote Hispanic literature in British Columbia. In 2016, Navarro supported thinking for ways to contribute to society and to volunteer for good causes. He founded the Mexican Forum in 2015. It aims to create synergies and to develop high-profile initiatives between Canadian and Mexican institutions and professionals. He is the founding president of Society of Mexican Talent of British Columbia, a non-profit organization that brought together Mexicans, Canadians and other people living in the province and interested in fostering strategic initiatives into the knowledge economy between these two nations. Navarro also volunteers as a mentor of young entrepreneurs for Futurpreneur Canada. He also organized the Hispae United Way of Greater Victoria different ways. For example, his company Arriba Mexico Food Company donated 30 per cent of one day’s sales to this institution and supported campaigns such as the Raise the Red. Navarro is the winner of the Founders’ Award from Royal Roads University (2015). The Founders’ Award is presented to one student in each graduating cohort of a degree program, in recognition of having exemplified the qualities of leadership, sustainability and personal develot.
Milton Ortega, an immigrant from Ecuador, dedicated his academic and professional career thus far to the advancement of others and the pursuit of social justice. His numerous involvements on advisory boards, research projects and leading his own organization to better serve newcomers, all portray an individual that excels in his career, and strives to better support his community and other newcomers to Canada. Ortega moved to Canada 10 years ago, and for the past six years has served as executive director of the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA). With his efforts, operations of the organization grew and expanded services beyond Alberta to lead to AAISA’s inclusion on settlement efforts on a regional level, and as a recognized voice on the national stage. Prior to his life in Calgary, Ortega completed his international relations degree in Ecuador with honours. Upon graduation, he received full scholarships to continue his academic endeavours in Oregon. He completed a master’s in public administration from Portland State University, and received many awards and accolades for his scholastic pursuits. In 2008, Ortega relocated to Canada to launch his career in a new country. Initially working at an electronics retailer to support his family, he spent his non-working hours community building through his volunteer work. In an advisory capacity, he spent time volunteering as the former vice-president and director of policy with the United Nations of Canada Calgary Chapter, and with the Institute of Public Administration of Canada as the director of programs, and still made time to coach his daughter’s soccer team for several years. After a couple years working with local post-secondary institutions, Ortega joined the non-profit sector in his drive to advance social justice. Since then, he has aimed to empower systems that provide for the community. He collaborates with multiple organizations on a local, regional and national level to advance the lives of newcomers, and to advance the sector that supports them. He currently serves on the advisory council for several committees — such as the committee for community grants with the Calgary Foundation, the Canadian Council for Refugees, advisory committee member for Pathways of Prosperity, and on the board of governors for Immigration Research West, University of Calgary Newcomer Research Network and served as invited editor for the 2015 Canadian Diversity Journal and participated with the University of Calgary’s Public Interest Clinic.
Founder of Joy of Less; manager of recruitment and admissions at UBC’s Sauder School of Business
Country of Origin: Brazil
Marina Ramalho is the founder of Joy of Less consulting. Through the company, she helps clients to change their consumption habits and reduce clutter in their homes (and in their lives) through in-person coaching and online courses. She founded the business in 2016 after becoming the first certified KonMari Consultant in Canada. She has been the subject of a front-page feature in the Vancouver Province, and featured in the Vancouver Sun, Chatelaine magazine and on CKNW radio. In addition, she is actively involved in social media groups supporting live-in caregivers from Brazil and other countries. She has been a mentor to caregivers making the transition to life in Canada. She herself came to Canada as a live-in caregiver, an experience that was both rewarding and very challenging. Making the transition to a professional career is not easy, and she had to persevere through many of the challenges faced by recent immigrants. Her ability to stay positive and find ways to break open doors is a testament to her strong will. It was her experiences as a caregiver that actually spurred Ramalho’s interest in home organization. Her intimate view into family relations revealed the powerful, and often negative, role that “stuff” can play in the home. Whether it’s battles over messy rooms or massive credit card statements, the accumulation and storage of more and more seemed to lead to less and less happiness. When she read Japanese author Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Ramalho realized the solution to this problem. The book details the KonMari Method, which provides a step-by-step process to liberate yourself from accumulation. In August 2016, in New York City, Ramalho joined the first-ever cohort of non-Japanese trainees in the KonMari Method. Ramalho has also been committed to volunteering, using it as a bridge to integrating into the community. Shortly after she arrived in Canada, she was a volunteer at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, serving as multilingual VIP support in the operations centre. Her favourite volunteer role was at the annual Canada Day immigration ceremony at Canada Place where she witnessed the joy of new Canadians taking their oath of citizenship — an experience she hopes to share with them shortly. Ramalho is also a passionate advocate of international education, and she serves a manager of admissions and recruiting at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. She currently recruits students from around the world and this year visited Africa, Latin America, Russia and Southeast Asia on recruitment trips.
Bernardo Riveros was born in Bogota, Colombia, in 1968. He holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising and marketing from Jorge Tadeo Lozano University, and has more than six years of experience in Colombia in the advertising industry. He also holds a certificate in film production from New York University. He came to Canada as an international student in 1996 not knowing that Canada will become his permanent home. Today, Riveros is the co-founder of International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC), one of the largest and most prestigious private English schools for international students, with locations in Toronto and Vancouver. ILAC gives direct and indirect employment to more than 1,800 people in both cities. Riveros is also a certified coach, teacher and speaker with the John Maxwell organization. Riveros has a passion for helping other immigrants which is why since his early years in Canada, he has served at different not-for-profit organizations. He was the director and president of the Colombian Canadian Professional Association (CCPA) for five years. He is the chair for CanadaForward Foundation, an organization that focus on leadership development for unprivileged communities in Canada and other countries. Riveros has received numerous awards including the New Pioneer Award from Skills for Change, the Ten Most Influential Hispanics in Canada from the Hispanic Business Alliance and Award of Excellence from Colombia Abroad.
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Artistic director, Academy of Middle Eastern Dance
City: North Vancouver
Country of Origin: Iran
Pooneh Alizadeh is the award-winning artistic director of the Academy of Middle Eastern Dance (AMED). She established the academy in North Vancouver in 2004 and it continues to be a leading school of Middle Eastern dance in the Vancouver area and beyond. Alizadeh immigrated to Canada in 2000. She brought with her a strong leadership and dedication to Middle Eastern folk and classical dance forms from her cultural heritage. Her academic background includes a masters’ degree in art from Tehran University. She is an accomplished performer, master instructor, choreographer, director and producer. She has utilized her artistic passions and expertise to help community, seniors, handicap and develop innovative performance and teaching programs. Pooneh Alizadeh has volunteered, performed, and train performers at a wide range of venues and events. Pooneh Alizadeh uses dance movements as a form of therapy — a true full body and soul workout! She strongly believes that dance can play an important role in creating a feeling of relaxation and peace, in developing healthy relationships and behaviors, creating better self-image in her students and releasing negative energy overall. She believes that every person has the right and deserves to feel good about themselves, to accept who they are and to be happy. Named a B.C. Culture Ambassador in 2016 by City of North Vancouver, Alizadeh uses her art to create connections within her community. Some of her efforts include: organizing and leading a large group of artists at the Culture Day 2015 to 2017 in North Vancouver; organizing and choreographing a large group for Canada Day Parade from 2013 to 2017 in collaboration with Canadian Iranian Foundation; and participating in many local festivals such as Caribbean Day Parade and Festival , North Shore Folk Festivals, Korean Folk Festivals, Greek Festivals, Diwali Festival and Chinees Festivals and beyond. She is volunteering and performing monthly in senior houses, hospitals, schools, mental hospitals, etc. She always thinking how she can help deaf people to feel the music and enjoy the melody and rhythm of music. she was studying to learn the sign language for making correct dance routine for deaf people. Her dance with the sign language is designed to introduce disable people to the joy of music, understand the melody and the rhythm of the song and poetry, empower them to explore dance movement in a way that are stimulating and creative. She wrote articles and had several interviews about dance and health in North shore news. She always helps, inspire and motivate others by her passion in Vancouver through her volunteering workshop in different places, such as hospitals, community events, senior houses, schools, mental hospitals and much more. She was performing and train performers in First Norouz Celebration in Parliament (Hall of Honour) in Victoria. She has the privilege of organizing and participating in more than 20 very large community events, Also very well-known artist with all social medias. She has a very strong network through all social media. Teaching Dance in different community Center across BC and her own studio for the last 15 years. She is a very active volunteer in Vancouver. She has conducted informal dance workshops for organizations serving seniors, youth and kids. These have a positive impact on participants – often enhancing social interaction and a sense of sharing and well-being across cultures. Examples include Senior houses in different places in Vancouver, lions gate hospital, Vancouver General Hospital. She was Volunteering in RCMP(Community Police) for 1 years.
Country of Origin: Iran
Mohammad H. Asadi Lari is a student, researcher, social entrepreneur and youth engagement advocate with a strong-rooted passion for health care and educational initiatves. He immigrated to Canada in late 2013, in the middle of grade 12. Throughout his time in Canada, he has lived with and relied on the crucial support of his younger sister, Zeynab, and cousin, Saba. He was awarded with the Governor General Academic Medal upon graduating from Ecole Alpha Secondary School in Burnaby, B.C. He went on to pursue the sciences program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). His time as an undergraduate student allowed him to further the volunteer and civic work he was doing at local community and health care centres as a high school student. Through his community-related work, he’s helped organize inter-faith dialogues between Muslim, Jewish and Christian students — the first of its kind on campus, as well as teaching at weekly school in a North Vancouver mosque. The hallmark of his work in Canada has been as the co-founder and managing director of STEM Fellowship, a non-profit focused on providing mentorship and experiential learning opportunities to high school and undergraduate students, particular those with backgrounds that are traditionally under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Over the past three years, the organization has grown to almost two dozen campuses and even more high schools in almost all of Canada’s provinces. Their work has been endorsed or supported by the federal government, leading non-profits and charities, academic and research institutions, corporations and banks. Asadi Lari has also led or advised youth-focused initiatives with the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Red Cross, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Science World BC and the League of Innovators, all of which have helped him connect to like-minded youth from coast to coast. During his undergraduate degree in the honours physiology program at UBC, he has engaged in various fields of research, most recently in neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). He hopes to pursue a career as a clinician-researcher, balancing his passion for serving individuals in need of care, with the necessity of innovation in technology and practice. One of his favourite things about the Canadian psyche is its global mindedness. He is grateful for the many opportunities he’s had over the past years and hopes to build on them to serve the most vulnerable in society.
Co-Founder and COO, Canada Newcomers and Immigration Association
City: North York, Ontario
Country of Origin: Afghanistan
Ahmad Feroz Hematyar is the co-founder and COO of Canada Newcomers and Immigration Association. The organization is helping refugees to settle down in Canada and provides a wide range of settlement services. They have processed the refugee applications for more than 650 families (Syrian, Iraqis, Afghans and Eritreans), two-thirds of whom have settled as permanent residents in various parts of Ontario. He’s managed to raise large amounts of donations to support the sponsorship and settlement of these refugees in Canada. He has co-ordinated and formed partnerships with a number of non-profit organizations, settlement providers and offices of MPs. Hematyar has been involved in many other community activities and also helped out as a translator and interpreter for newcomers in Ontario. He is also the co-founder and country representative for the Afghan Youth International Council (AYIC) in Brampton, Ontario. He’s also been an active volunteer with the Afghan Association of Ontario.
Country of Origin: Iran
Aminollah Sabzevari works as Crown Counsel with the Department of Justice Canada in Edmonton, Alberta. A successful young lawyer, he is also an active volunteer, mentor and athlete. Sabzevari 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. 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, 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. He 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. He 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, he captained an intramural ultimate frisbee team and won several intramural and club squash tournaments. After finishing his studies, Sabzevari completed a clerkship with the Provincial Court of Alberta in Calgary. He currently practises tax, immigration and Aboriginal law with the Department of Justice. He has conducted proceedings in the Court of Queen’s Bench, the Court of Appeal of Alberta, the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal. While he currently works as a lawyer, he has a science background and has volunteered for the past 10 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. He 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. Sabzevari 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.
P.E.I. Connectors Program Officer
City: Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Country of Origin: Afghanistan
Ali Siadat is from Iran and moved to Canada in 2011. He is an electrical engineer, and also studied courses in business administration and tourism and hospitality. Prior to immigrating to Canada, he organized inbound tours for international visitors to Iran, opened and managed an educational institute specializing in various academic disciplines, and served as a business consultant. He also worked for the Iran Broadcasting Organization, producing, writing and hosting several regional and national television series. Since moving to P.E.I., he has become an entrepreneur and an active community member. First, he worked in the manufacturing industry as a machine operator. His hard-working personality helped him get promoted after working for only four months. Then he established Lady Saffron Persian Cuisine (first Persian cuisine in the province), which operated out of the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market. Since 2012, he has worked as the event manager for the P.E.I. Persian community. He is also a City of Charlottetown Newcomer Ambassador and a volunteer with the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada. Siadat joined the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce in 2016 in the role of P.E.I. Connectors Program officer and has been serving clients since then. P.E.I. Connectors is an initiative of the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce that serves immigrant entrepreneurs across Prince Edward Island. As program officer, he provides one-on-one advisory and support services to clients who are new immigrants, in the development and execution of their business plans. Services are provided at all stages of the client life cycle, from intake, to exploration/research, to opening/launch and after-care support. He also organizes workshops and information sessions throughout the year, to familiarize clients with the local business environment, helping immigrant entrepreneurs succeed in their business in their new home, Canada. As a community volunteer, he was involved in a worthwhile project called “Get Swabbed.” This registered potential bone marrow and stem cell donors to fill a growing gap in the national registry. He has also been actively involved in the Diversecity Multicultural Street Festival since 2011. Sharing cultures and being involved with cultural and multicultural events is always on his to-do list! Siadat was awarded as the best New Islander in 2017.
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