Canada’s awards for immigrant achievers tell inspiring tales

Canada’s RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigration AwardsCanada’s RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigration Awards

Canadian immigrants are achievers too! Upon choosing Canada immigration, they had confidence in themselves and realized the potential in one of the most popular countries amongst immigrants around the world: Canada.

Canada recognizes the achievements of immigrants who came to invest and work in Canada with the Canadian Immigrant Awards. This award recognizes the contributions of immigrant academics, activists, and entrepreneurs to Canada.

The RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award considers the overwhelming number of votes that were cast a testament to the important contributions that immigrants have made to Canada.

Of the top 25 winners, 2 were selected for the Entrepreneur award and the Youth award. Here are those 2 winners.

Tareq Hadhad

He got the RBC Entrepreneur Award recognizing his excellence in entrepreneurship. The founder of Peace by Chocolate, a small kitchen operation he set up initially in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, has now successfully turned his chocolate company to a peace mission. He donates 3% to 5% of his company’s profits to the Peace on Earth Society.

Maryam Yaqoob

She received the RBC Youth Award for her work in mentoring refugee youth and co-founding the Calgary STEM Cell Chapter. It’s quite an honor to have a Doctor of Medicine student at the University of Calgary to be so inspiring and enterprising.

The winners will:

  • Receive a ceremonial gift package and a commemorative plaque
  • Be featured in the Canadian Immigrant magazine

Other winners are:

Ajibola (Jibs) Abitoyen

  • She has origin in Nigeria, Abitoyen.
  • She’s founded a clothing store named Divineity Fashion. It brings business to women and families in Nigeria.
  • She’s a councilor for the City of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
  • She donates a portion of the money from her fashion line to an organization that helps survivors of domestic abuse.

Shahab Anari

  • He emigrated from Iran to Toronto.
  • He’s a mentor for Futurpreneur Canada.
  • He’s co-founder of North Star Success. It’s a personal branding agency that helps coaches and consultants.
  • He hosts free seminars and webinars on professional and personal development.

Samer Bishay

  • He’s the President and CEO of Iristel and Ice Wireless. It’s Canada’s leading provider of wireless and wire line IP services.
  • He immigrated from Egypt. He currently lives in Markham, Ontario.
  • He’s an Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Armed Forces’ 34 Signal Regiment.

Kanwar Dhanjal

  • He emigrated from India to Canada.
  • He’s the former President of the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce
  • He’s now the CEO of Just Instruments Inc. It specializes in instrument calibration.
  • He’s currently the Director of the Brampton Board of Trade.

Serena Chan

  • She came to Toronto from Hong King.
  • She holds 16 professional certifications.
  • She’s a partner in the IBM Financial Services sector in IBM Global Business Services.
  • She was also named one of Canada’s Top 50 women in FinTech recently.
  • She’s a 4-time IBM Redbook author.

Sharmarke Dubow

  • He immigrated to Canada from Somalia.
  • He’s a City Councillor in Victoria, B.C.
  • His contributions include:
    • Starting a renters advisory committee
    • Help in making public transit free
    • Initiating reconciliation dialogues between Indigenous and newcomer community members
    • Standing up for the addition of affordable housing in Victoria

Isaac Garcia-Sitton

  • He immigrated to Toronto from Spain.
  • He’s currently working on his Ph.D. in Education.
  • He’s the inaugural Executive Director, International Student Enrolment, Education, and Inclusion at Ryerson University.
  • His Ph.D. topic is Language, Culture, and Teaching at York University.

Virginia Guiang-Santoro

  • He came to Canada from the Philippines.
  • He works to protect the rights of live-in caregivers in Manitoba.
  • He’s the founder of the Filipino Domestic Workers Association of Manitoba (FIDWAM).

Basavaraj Halli

  • He immigrated from India.
  • He’s the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of GoFor Industries Inc.
  • His company has expanded into 60 major urban markets in Canada and the USA.
  • His company provides last-minute, last-mile delivery services to the construction industry.

Hamza Haq

  • He immigrated from Pakistan.
  • He’s an actor.
  • He’s currently starring on the CTV as Bashir ‘Bash’ Hamed in the medical drama “Transplant”.
  • He has acted in Indian Detective, This Life, Quantico, and the Art of More.
  • He has a Bachelor of Arts in film studies and a Minor in Law from Carleton University.

Mike Hurley

  • He’s immigrated from Ireland.
  • He’s been a lieutenant of the Burnaby Fire Department.
  • He’s also been the former President of the Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund.
  • He’s the Mayor of Burnaby BC.
  • He has received the Diamond Jubilee Medal and Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.

Shanthi Johnson, Ph.D.

  • She immigrated from India.
  • She’s a professor and Dean of the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health in Edmonton.
  • She has dedicated her research career to falls prevention in seniors.
  • She’s a leader in the fields of health promotion and healthy aging.
  • She has also researched social isolation especially among immigrant and refugee seniors.

Meryam Joobeur

  • She immigrated from Tunisia.
  • She’s a graduate of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal.
  • Her film, Brotherhood, received 75 prizes at 150 festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • She’s a writer and director.
  • She was nominated for an Oscar in 2020.

Conny Lo

  • She immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong.
  • For the Baby Caden Koo Memorial Fund, she has raised around $200,000. It was founded by her in memory of her son.
  • She’s the Associate Director at SickKids Foundation.
  • She leads the fundraising and promotion of global child health in the Chinese community.

Jakub Martinec, Ph.D.

  • He immigrated from the Czech Republic.
  • He’s the Artistic Director and conductor of the National Boychoir of Canada.
  • He’s the founding Artistic Director of the Atlantic Boychoir.
  • He’s the Director of Choral Activities at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s.
  • He has performed all over the world.

Adeola Olubamiji, Ph.D.

  • She immigrated from Nigeria.
  • She is the founder of the STEMHub Foundation. It’s a non-profit organization.
  • She’s a scientist who specializes in metal and 3D printing.
  • The organization promotes the engagement of minorities and women in STEM careers.

Fariba Pacheleh

  • She emigrated to Canada from Iran.
  • She’s also the chairperson of BCIT School of Computing PAC.
  • She’s the Director of the Project Management Office for the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.
  • She provides strategic advice and assistance to BCIT.

Bruce Poon Tip

  • He immigrated to Canada from Trinidad &Tobago.
  • He’s the founder of G Adventures. It’s an award-winning small group adventure travel company.
  • It’s a pioneer of community tourism, also the world’s largest small-group adventure travel company.
  • He’s a bestselling author based in Toronto.

Dr. Henry Reis

  • He immigrated from Brazil.
  • He’s the CEO and owner of Integra Eyecare Centre. It’s an innovation hub in Burnaby, BC.
  • He’s the co-founder and CEO of OSDx.
  • His company developed the first AI corneal imaging device in the world.

Arlene Ruiz

  • She immigrated to Canada from the Philippines.
  • She contributes to:
    • Make a Wish Foundation
    • ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor)
    • Children’s Wish Foundation
  • She’s the owner of Alexene Immigration and Employment Services Inc. It’s a licensed immigration consultant and recruiter.

Krishana Sankar, Ph.D.

  • She emigrated to Toronto from Guyana.
  • She’s an award-winning and published Doctoral Fellow in the faculty of medicine.
  • She’s the founder of GradWriteSlack.
  • She’s the communications lead and operational strategist with COVID-19 Resources Canada.
  • She’s looking to better understand and improve treatment for type 1 diabetes.

Harsh Thakkar

  • He immigrated from India.
  • He’s also an advocate for international students.
  • He’s the Manager of DIVERSEcity Interpretation & Translation Services. It’s a social enterprise.
  • He leads a team of 300+ interpreters and translators to promote cross-cultural communication in British Columbia.
  • He has volunteered with the Canadian Cancer Society.

Halia Valladares Montemayor

  • She immigrated from Mexico.
  • She’s a faculty member at Thompson Rivers University.
  • She’s also a Professor at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
  • She’s a managing partner at Global Trading and DS, Inc.

RBC has donated $50,000 to Windmill Microlending, in honor of the award winners. Windmill Microlending is a charity helping internationally trained newcomers pay for the Canadian credentials they need. The donation used to support the re-accreditation of 50 internationally trained immigrants in the profession of healthcare. They have fought COVID-19 on the frontlines.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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