The 7th Annual RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards honours outstanding
contributions from a diverse pool of world-renowned talent in the
culinary, medical, educational and entrepreneurial fields
TORONTO, June 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Two celebrity chefs/restaurateurs, Vikram
Vij and Susur Lee, have been named among this year's RBC Top 25
Canadian Immigrants, the people's choice program that celebrates
inspiring Canadian immigrants. Presented by Canadian Immigrant magazine, other winners from the food world include Shasha Navazesh, who founded
ShaSha Co., Canada's leading artisan bakery, and John Chang, proprietor
of award-winning Lulu Island Winery.
Nearly all of this year's winners arrived in their new home country more
than a decade ago and made a significant contribution to Canada since
their arrival. They've built their skills and expertise, and went on
to successful endeavours. Several have received international acclaim
for achievements in their fields, including cancer researcher Dr. Tak Wah Mak who discovered the T-cell receptor, often described as the "Holy Grail
"There is no limit to what an immigrant can achieve in Canada, and these
25 winners are a testament to that," says Margaret Jetelina, editor of Canadian Immigrant magazine. "We congratulate the winners, who come from diverse backgrounds and
experiences, and thank everyone who nominated or voted for this amazing
list of difference-makers."
The winners will be honoured at a celebration in Toronto today, and in
Vancouver on June 25. The program is proudly supported by title sponsor
RBC Royal Bank and associate sponsor Chevrolet. RBC and Chevrolet are
each presenting an award for individual achievement. The awards program
is also supported by the Toronto Star, Metro Newspaper, Sing Tao, CBC
Toronto and South Asian Focus newspaper.
Alice Chung, owner of Alive Health Centre in Vancouver, is the first recipient of the
RBC Entrepreneur Award for excellence in entrepreneurship. Vikram Vij will receive the Chevrolet Ingenuity Award for showing exceptional creativity
and skill on his road to success.
"Newcomers bring a diversity of talent that helps Canada shine both here
and abroad. Today, all of this year's RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant
winners have reached yet another success milestone in their lives and
we celebrate their outstanding contributions to their communities,"
said Christine Shisler, director, Multicultural Markets, RBC. "In
addition, RBC applauds the entrepreneurial spirit and is a proud
partner of many business owners across the country who are making their
dreams come true."
More than 650 nominations were received in less than two months, from
which 75 finalists were shortlisted by a diverse judging panel that
included several past winners. Over 45,000 online votes were cast,
making it the most popular year in the award's history. The final 25
were chosen based on a combination of votes and a second round of
"The people recognized by the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards have
a true passion for our country, an inventive nature and are an
inspiration to many," said Paul Bailey, Advertising Manager, Chevrolet.
"It takes a significant amount of resourcefulness and creativity to
come to a new country and break cultural and social barriers to achieve
great success. The Chevrolet Ingenuity Award was designed to recognize
the efforts of a truly inspirational individual."
The RBC Top 25 award winners will receive a commemorative plaque and a
$500 donation will be made towards a registered Canadian charity of
their choice. Winners will also be featured online at canadianimmigrant.ca/rbctop25 and in the July print edition of Canadian Immigrant magazine.
The RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award winners of 2015 are listed in
alphabetical order below and include current city residence and home
country in parentheses. Full biographies are available on the Canadian Immigrant website.
Tikaram Adhikari (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Bhutan) is a career coach and an active volunteer
with the Nepalese and Bhutanese communities.
Soheila Ansari (Coquitlam, B.C./Iran) is a settlement worker and a regular on Aria
Amrik Singh Aulakh (Surrey, B.C./India) is a dedicated community volunteer and Surrey RCMP
Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia (Halifax/Germany) is president and CEO of Digital Nova Scotia, a
Henri Boyi (London, Ontario/Burundi) is a French studies professor at Western
John Chang (Richmond, B.C./Taiwan) is the biggest Canadian exporter of ice wine to
Alice Chung (Vancouver /Malaysia ) is a philanthropist and president of Alive
Health Centre. Chung has been selected for the RBC Entrepreneur Award.
Amanda Yeung Collucci (Markham, Ontario/Hong Kong) runs a successful cleaning business and is
the first Chinese female to be elected into the City of Markham's
Ver Cruz (Toronto/Philippines) is president of Vercore International Services, a
private training institute that helps immigrants prepare for the job
Bob Dhillon (Calgary/Born in Japan of Indian origin) is a real-estate entrepreneur,
whose company, Mainstreet Equity Corp., is the largest landlord in
Dr. Qais Ghanem (Ottawa/Yemen) is a retired doctor specializing in sleep medicine, who
now dedicates his time to creating dialogue around diversity on the
Sherif Guorgui (Toronto/Egypt) is an internationally trained pharmacist, an
entrepreneur, and vice-president of pharmacy at the Ontario Pharmacists
John Iwaniura (Toronto/Poland of Ukrainian heritage) is president Caravan Logistics,
one of the top 50 carriers in Canada. He is also involved in
Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce.
Susur Lee (Toronto/Hong Kong) has been voted as one of the "Ten Chefs of the
Millennium" by Food & Wine magazine, and appears on Chopped Canada as a judge.
Dr. Tak Wah Mak (Toronto/China/Hong Kong) is a renowned researcher and director of the
Campbell Family for Breast Cancer Research Institute.
Dr. Rosemary Moodie (Toronto/Jamaica) is a pediatrician and advocate for women and children.
Shasha Navazesh (Toronto/Iran) is CEO of ShaSha Co. He is also the founder and president of the Artisan Bakers'
Quality Alliance (ABQA).
Dr. Dhun Noria (Scarborough, Ontario/India) is Scarborough Hospital's chief of laboratory medicine and medical
director of laboratories.
Umashanie Reddy (Calgary/South Africa) is executive director of the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth.
Maria Nieves Santos-Greaves (Surrey, B.C./Philippines) is the owner of Surrey Hearing Care, and
gives back to the community through free hearing testing via its mobile
hearing clinic van.
Thilak Tennekone (Stratford, P.E.I./Sri Lanka) is a diversity consultant for the Public
Kim Thúy (Montreal/Vietnam) is an award-winning author. Her first novel, Ru, won the Governor General's Award for French-language fiction.
Vikram Vij (Vancouver/India) has appeared on Chopped Canada and Dragons' Den as a Dragon. He also manufactures his own line of take-home Indian food. Vij has been selected for the Chevrolet Ingenuity Award.
Dr. Gezahgn Wordofa (Stratford, Ontario/Ethiopia) is a community trailblazer after only
four years in Canada, having founded the Multicultural Association of
Ana María Zúniga (North Vancouver/Chile) is president of AZ World Translation and
Interpretation Inc., which she grew from a one-woman translation
company to an agency working with more than 100 translators.
About Canadian Immigrant and canadianimmigrant.ca
Attracting more than 400,000 readers each month and over 100,000
visitors every month online, Canadian Immigrant is distributed in
Toronto and Vancouver and helps new Canadians build a successful life
and home in Canada. Its mandate to inform, educate and motivate
provides content for newcomers looking for information on careers,
education and settling-in to culture and business. Our website, canadianimmigrant.ca, offers daily editorial, forums, tools and resources to help newcomers
across Canada. Canadian Immigrant is a division of Metroland Media
Group Limited, a dynamic media company with more than 100 community and
daily newspapers in print and online, as well as innovative websites
including wheels.ca, goldbook.ca, flyerland.ca and localwork.ca.
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About Chevrolet in Canada
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest
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