Media Releases

2016 Immigrants of Distinction Awards Finalists

Calgary, AB, February 1, 2016 – Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 20th annual Immigrants of Distinction Awards (IDA).

The Immigrants of Distinction Awards is a celebration of Canadian multiculturalism and of Calgary’s extraordinary and diverse immigrant population. IDA honours excellence in the categories of Achievement Under 35; Arts and Culture; Community Service; Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Hadassah Ksienski Lifetime Achievement; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; Organizational Diversity and Youth Scholarships.

Award recipients will be announced at the annual gala to be held on Friday, March 11, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. at The Westin Calgary Hotel. The event will host over 600 guests including representation from all levels of government, the corporate community, and the voluntary sector.


This year’s Immigrants of Distinction Awards finalists are as follows:

•      Achievement Under 35: Iman Bukhari, Irehobhude Iyioha, Shengnan (Nancy) Chen

•      Arts and Culture: Alla Kireyeva, Jose Gregorio Duque, Sisay Shimeles

•      Community Service: Bojan Tosic, Hadeel Qazzaz, Khor Top

•      Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Bob Dhillon, Sherif Gemayel, Winnie Chan

•      Hadassah Ksienski Lifetime Achievement: Hude Quan, Pablo Policzer, Serdar Yilmaz

•      Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: Janaka Ruwanpura, Lashitew Gedamu, Suresh


•      Organizational Diversity: Calgary United Soccer Association, Closer to Home Community Services

•      Youth Scholarships: Andrew Min, DanYang Ni (Lucy), Moiz Hafeez, Sophie Zhao, Varun Kundra


These finalists showcase a broad range of incredible talents and contributions, yet are united in that they exemplify the high level of achievement of Calgary’s immigrant population.

ISC is also pleased to announce Mahzar Shaikh, President of M. H. Shaikh Professional Corporation as the Honourary Chair and Wayne Chiu, Founder and CEO of Trico Homes as the Keynote Speaker of the gala.

The emcees for the event will be Doug Dirks - CBC Calgary, and Linda Olsen – Global News.

Early Bird Ticket sale is now available until February 1st. Tickets can be purchased via the event website at


ABOUT IMMIGRANT SERVICES CALGARY: ISC is a comprehensive settlement and integration agency that provides a wide range of programs and services to Calgary’s immigrant and refugee population. We are committed to working together with immigrants and their families to make Canada home.


For additional information, please contact:


Jamie Carrick                                               

Special Event Associate

Immigrant Services Calgary                                

(403) 538-8358


Maria Freire

Communications Coordinator

Immigrant Services Calgary

(403) 705 8892