Can you imagine how boring and bland it would be if we were all the same? The cultural mosaic created by diversity is something to be proud of and pride was what the recent 17th Annual Immigrants of Distinction Awards Gala held Mar 1 at The Westin Calgary was all about.
Amal Mohamed, left, was presented with the Community Service Award at the 17th Annual Immigrants of Distinction Awards Gala held March 1, for her outstanding volunteerism. Joining Mohamed is Ismahan Ismail.Photograph by: Bill Brooks , for The Calgary Herald
Created by Immigrant Services Calgary, the prestigious awards pay tribute to the remarkable achievements of newcomers to our fair city. From professionals and volunteers, to artists and youth, these new Calgarians have immeasurably strengthened the social fabric of our society. Immigrant Services Calgary has been the go-to comprehensive settlement agency for immigrants and their families for 35 years.
The awards ceremony and gala saluted more than 23 individuals and organizations in seven categories ranging from the Community Service Award to the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Among those in attendance at the SRO gala were: hosts with the most, Immigrant Services Calgary CEO Din Ladak and his wife Zeenat; MP Devinder Shory; Alberta Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis, Q.C.; MLA Jason Luan; Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart; Calgary Herald publisher Guy Huntingford and his wife Riina; MRU president Dr. David Docherty; Bow Valley College president and CEO Sharon Carry; Business Award recipient Mike Shaikh and his wife Linda; Achievement Under 40 honouree Hayato Okamitsu and finalist Dr. Halia Vallandares-Montemayor; Youth Scholarship Award recipients Henry Su, Angelica Lai, Mariam Awara, Hassan Riaz and Amrita Bhattacharjee with finalists Lien Chueh, Nimaya Fernando, Rose Fang, Rajvir Dhindsa and Nawal Vajeed; Hadassah Ksienski Award recipient Umashanie Reddy and finalist Gurmit Sarpal; Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Sid Cyngiser and his wife Bronia; Community Service Award recipient Amal Mohamed with Ismahan Ismail and finalist Patrick Lor; City of Calgary Cultural Diversity Coordinator Slawa Gruszczynska; artists Rosalba Baptista and Janey Luc-German; Business Award finalists Melanie Mitra and Rudolfo Cortes; and emcees Gord Dirks of CBC fame and Linda Olsen of Global News fame. Kudos as well to Agrium on being honoured with the Organizational Diversity Award.