Canadian Centre for Diversity Celebrates 65th Anniversary by Awarding Salah Bachir with Human Relations Award

CIBC Honoured with Partners in Diversity Award

TORONTO, Oct. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Centre for Diversity (CCD) is pleased to announce Salah Bachir will receive their 2012 Human Relations Award at an annual event that funds diversity education in Canadian schools.  This award is given to individuals whose values align with those of CCD and who demonstrate a dedication to CCD's vision - a Canadian society without prejudice and discrimination, one that values diversity, difference and inclusion.

And for its exemplary leadership in creating vibrant, dynamic workplaces that reflect the Canadian diversity mosaic and for its long time support for CCD, CIBC is being honoured with CCD's 2012 Partners in Diversity Award.

"The fact we are celebrating the 65th anniversary of our organization, demonstrates the incredible commitment of our donors, volunteers and staff." said Linda McCain, Chair of the CCD Board of Directors.  "To be celebrating this milestone by honouring such Canadian leaders as Salah Bachir and CIBC makes an already very special occasion that much more memorable."

CCD's annual celebration is one of the most prestigious on Toronto's fall calendar, regularly attracting 1,000 attendees including senior representatives from the public and private sectors and the not-for-profit community.

The 65th Anniversary dinner is co-chaired by CBC Executive Vice-President of English Services Kirstine Stewart and her husband, actor Zaib Shaikh, Governor Films Inc., along with Kate Alexander Daniels, Daniels/Stephenson PR & Production and David Daniels, Daniels Capital Group.  CTV's Ben Mulroney is the host, and entertainment is provided by JUNO Award winner Billy Newton-Davis.

Funds raised through the event are a major source of support for CCD's core program, the Peer Leaders Network.

Impacting more than 30,000 students in the 2012-13 school year, the Peer Leaders Network program teaches Canada's youth how to overcome fear and prejudice through education and engagement.  Peer Leaders are provided with tools and strategies so they can plan and execute school-wide events and promote a message of respect and understanding about differences.  These activities demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion while measurably reducing incidents of prejudice, discrimination and exclusion.

A tireless supporter of arts, both in financial support and personal support of individual artists through advice and encouragement, Salah Bachir has focused much of his energy in recent years toward his role as Chair of Toronto's 519 Community Centre Capital Campaign.

To expand the centre's facilities and support its work helping the downtown gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community, Salah's fundraising efforts exceeded projections, achieving a total of $6 million in commitments.

Salah's status as a patron of the arts is rivaled only by his extraordinary commitment to helping those who face injustice, prejudice, or who are simply not able to help themselves. His infectious personality is a catalyst that provokes interest and activism in those around him.

For his work on behalf of local and international charities, Salah has been honoured with several awards. In 1996, the Variety Club of Ontario recognized Salah's leadership in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars through various events by awarding him the Club's highest individual honour, the Heart Award.

In 2004, Salah received the Individual Award at the Samuel E. Weir Partner Awards from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries. Salah is also the recipient of the Hero Award from the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. And to honour his enormous contribution to the gay community, in 2005 Salah was selected to be Grand Marshal of the 25th Annual Pride Parade in Toronto and was given an award in recognition of his humanitarian efforts.

Salah was honoured by Toronto's renowned theatre company Famous PEOPLE Players as its Man of the Year in 2008, and was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty at the Toronto Pride Gala in 2009.

In 2010, he was named Honorary Patron for Life by The 519 Community Centre.

As a leading Canadian-based financial institution, CIBC serves more than 11 million clients across the country and around the world. CIBC has a strong belief that diversity helps the bank realize its vision of being a leader in client relationships because it fosters innovation, creativity, and helps them better understand their clients individual needs and what truly matters to them.  CIBC's leadership and strong diversity and inclusiveness programs have contributed to external recognition and numerous awards including being named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers, Canada's Best Diversity Employer, Best Employer for New Canadians, Best Workplaces in Canada, and Top Ten Most Admired Cultures.

SOURCE: Canadian Centre for Diversity

For further information:

Carla Wittes, Director, Community and Government Relations
t 416.597.9693 x25

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