Media Releases

2013 Immigrants of Distinction Award Recipients

For Immediate Release (Calgary, AB, Thursday, March 14th, 2013)– March 1, 2013 was an evening of celebrating the Blooming of New Lives, New Leaders and New Members of Our Community. This event was hosted by Doug Dirks of CBC’s Homestretch and Linda Olsen, Global News anchor, and what an evening it was! It was a “sold out” event that provided inspiring speeches, esteemed finalists and recipients and a variety of multi-cultural entertainment. 

The evening began with Ksenia Thurgood providing an angelic rendition of “Oh Canada” followed by a profound message by the CEO Din Ladak as he shared with the audience what Bloom means to the immigrant staff at Immigrant Services Calgary. The Board Chair, Dr. Jim Frideres was not able to attend the event but did provide his message to the audience. Mr. Devinder Shory provided a message on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Jason Luan spoke on behalf of the Government of Alberta. Mayor Nenshi provided a video greeting and Deputy Chief of Police, Mr. Trevor Deroux also provided remarks. Representation from those listed above sends a clear message of support graciously provided by the city, province, and country. The important work of Immigrant Services Calgary would not be made possible without our funders, sponsors and valued government supporters.

Our finalists and recipients were of the highest caliber in academics, leadership, and community involvement. Our youth scholars provided heartwarming, poignant and sometimes jovial speeches that were sure to leave the audience inspired, such as the one from Hayato Okamitsu; “Receiving this award was a major goal of my Canadian life and has motivated me to continue growing and inspiring others”. We had highly recognized members of our community honored in several categories and Umashanie Reddy, recipient of the Hadassah Ksienski Distinguished Service Award said it best when she remarked that “This award positions me to take my vision to insurmountable levels and re-affirms my philosophy of interconnectedness, togetherness and diversity”.

The Chair of the Selection Committee states “each year new standards of excellence and distinction are being achieved by Calgary’s multicultural populations, we as a Selection Committee work hard to ensure that our processes continue to evolve to ensure we keep pace.   We look forward to seeing what 2014 has in store for us”

2013 Immigrants of Distinction Award Recipients:

Hadassah Ksienski Distinguished Service Award - Umashanie Reddy

Business Award - Mazhar H. (Mike) Shaikh

Community Service Award - Amal Mohamed

Achievement under 40 Award - Hayato Okamitsu

Organizational Diversity Awards Agrium

Lifetime Achievement Award - Sid and Bronia Cyngiser

Youth Scholarship Award (5 Recipients) - Henry Su, Angelica Lai, Mariam Awara, Hassan Riaz, Amrita Bhattacharjee