British Columbians among Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award winners

Anar Popatia. Submitted Photo, Bini Ball.

Anar Popatia. Submitted Photo, Bini Ball.

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Like many new immigrants, Anar Popatia came to Canada for a better education and a better life.

She travelled from Kenya to Ontario, where she enrolled as an international student at Brock University to study business and economics.

Now, twenty-seven-years later, Popatia is a successful business woman — a partner in a family wealth management practice under Assante Wealth Management.

She credits her success to focusing on the positives instead of the inevitable struggles immigrants face in a new country.

“I focused on the many gifts I received as a newcomer: so much kindness and generosity from my peers and professors and a host family that took me in as their own,” she told Canadian Immigrant Magazine.

“These things were precious to me; they made me feel like I belonged.”

And on Thursday night her hard work and positivity paid off as she was one of 25 people to receive a Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award at the W. Georgia St. Royal Bank of Canada, presented by Canadian Immigrant Magazine.

According to magazine editor Margaret Jetelina, they started the awards five years ago as a way to recognize the hard work of Canadian immigrants.

“For themselves, it sort of recognizes that they made a great decision in immigrating to Canada and that their contributions are recognized,” she told Vancouver Desi. “(And it) gives them recognition for what they do and how they become nation builders and have really contributed to the society here.”

Popatia was the first ethno-cultural female president of the Canadian Club of Vancouver and is involved with the Multicultural Advisory Council of B.C. and the Aga Khan Foundation.

She credits her smooth transition in Canada to this community engagement, so her advice to newcomers is to be an “engaged citizen.”

“Each one of us of comes to this country with different experiences, different stories, but when we arrive, we must take on the responsibility of being contributing members to society,” she said. “If new Canadians do not contribute, we all lose. Not only do newcomers miss opportunities to forge friendships, explore new careers, improve their language skills and feel more a part of this country, (but) Canada, where we celebrate our diversity and multiculturalism, loses out as a whole.”

Sara Eftekhar. Submitted photo.

Sara Eftekhar. Submitted photo.

Fourth-year-University of British Columbia nursing student, Sara Eftekhar, was also awarded as one of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Thursday night.

At eight-years-old Eftekhar immigrated from Iran to Richmond, B.C. The transition at such a young age was tough as the only Iranian student, but once she volunteered at school and got involved in her community, she was soon seen as a leader.

“I started to realize that coming from and understanding two cultures really benefited me and was actually a strength rather than a weakness,” she said.

Eftekar is a past president of the Civic Association of Iranian Canadian Youth Group and today helps newcomers adjust to life in Vancouver.

Other award recipients include NBA All-Star and philanthropist Steve Nash, dancer and choreographer Wen Weig Wang and other community leaders from across the country.

The top 25 were chosen from over 600 nominations. To see the full list visit canadianimmigrant.ca/rbctop25.

lcahute@theprovince.com

twitter.com/larissacahute

Related stories:

Women, immigrants lead the way among Canada’s educated classes: StatsCan

Canada growing dependent on temporary foreign workers

Tags: , , , , , ,





Featured

PNG0419NVAISAKHI-13_215499176

Gallery: 200,000 flood Surrey streets for annual Vaisakhi parade

VANCOUVER DESI About 200, 000 people came out for Surrey’s annual Vaisakhi parade on Saturday. Vaisakhi – which celebrates the Punjab harvest time and the…
Continue Reading »

kate main

Gallery: Duchess Catherine races to the rescue in heels on beachy Sydney tour

GORDON RAYNER THE DAILY TELEGRAPH RUNNING in slow-motion along a golden beach, the Duchess of Cambridge appeared to emulate one of the famous scenes from…
Continue Reading »

Kirpans, stylized swords worn by initiated Sikh men and women as dictated by  their religious beliefs, are now allowed in embassies. Jason Payne/ PNG

Canada to allow Sikh kirpans in its embassies and missions abroad

JEFF LACROIX-WILSON OTTAWA CITIZEN Eight years after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that kirpans – the ceremonial daggers worn by those of the Sikh…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

PNG0419NVAISAKHI-13_215499176

Gallery: 200,000 flood Surrey streets for annual Vaisakhi parade

VANCOUVER DESI About 200, 000 people came out for Surrey’s annual Vaisakhi parade on Saturday. Vaisakhi – which celebrates the Punjab harvest time and the…
Continue Reading »

Kirpans, stylized swords worn by initiated Sikh men and women as dictated by  their religious beliefs, are now allowed in embassies. Jason Payne/ PNG

Canada to allow Sikh kirpans in its embassies and missions abroad

JEFF LACROIX-WILSON OTTAWA CITIZEN Eight years after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that kirpans – the ceremonial daggers worn by those of the Sikh…
Continue Reading »

Inspector Paulette Freill, left announces at BC RCMP Headquarters in Surrey Thursday April 17, 2014 a 35 year-old Dutch citizen was charged with several criminal offence in connection to the 2012 death of teen Amanda Todd. Amanda's parents Carol, center and Norman Todd, right attended the announcement. Ric Ernst / PNG

Charges laid against Dutch man in Amanda Todd online extortion case

ELAINE O’CONNOR and STEPHANIE IP VANCOUVER DESI Five charges — including harassment and Internet luring — have been laid against Aydin Coban, a Dutch national,…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

File photo: Indian villagers gather near the body of an elephant in a field in the northeastern state of Assam on July 8, 2013. It is believed that the elephant was electrocuted by power lines as they walked through fields of growing rice at night . STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Four elephants die from shoddy electrical wires in Indian forest

VANCOUVER DESI A wild elephant has died after it was electrocuted when it stumbled into low hanging electrical wires in a northeastern Indian forest, according…
Continue Reading »

Indian Lovers Party

Gallery: Weird Indian political party names and symbols

VANCOUVER DESI In a country with over 800 million eligible voters, which symbol you vote for is very important. The largest political parties have simple…
Continue Reading »

worship-India

Six-year-old worshipped for patch of hair on his back that has grown into a tail

VANCOUVER DESI A six-year-old Indian boy is being worshipped by villagers for a small patch of hair on his back that has grown into a…
Continue Reading »

underage-sex-pregnancy-Britain

Opinion: Britain’s youngest mom — 12-year-old — isn’t a case for the midwife, it’s a case for the police

ALLISON PEARSON THE DAILY TELEGRAPH  A girl aged 12 years and three months became Britain’s youngest mother over the weekend. She was still at primary…
Continue Reading »

nude bath

PETA India urges health ministry to ban sale of animal-tested products

IANS New Delhi – Animal rights group PETA has urged India’s health ministry to ban the marketing and sale of animal-tested cosmetics and household products….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Porn Queen-desi

Sunny Leone to host MTV reality dating show

IANS New Delhi — Indo-Canadian adult film star Sunny Leone is back to where she started her career in Hindi showbiz – the small screen….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra showcases a creation by designer Neeta Lulla on the sixth day of the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) summer/resort 2014 in Mumbai on March 16, 2014. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Mary Kom shoot harder than hardest for Priyanka

IANS Mumbai  – Months of turmoil for Mary Kom have been “harder than the hardest” for Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, who plays the title role…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Amitabh Bachchan’s Bhoothnath Returns screened before Indian president

IANS New Delhi  – Megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s latest film Bhoothnath Returns, a fun-filled film which also highlights the importance of voting, was screened for President…
Continue Reading »