British Columbians among Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award winners

Published: June 27, 2013
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

new cancer treatment

South Asian doctor finds fruit extract that may cause cancer cells to kill themselves

CRAIG PEARSON WINDSOR STAR A University of Windsor anti-cancer crusader may have discovered his most effective agent yet — a fruit that causes evil cells to commit…
Continue Reading »

TK

Man who punched cab, bus drivers in Surrey gets another year in jail

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI A man who committed a series of assaults on a young woman, two cab drivers and a bus driver will spend…
Continue Reading »

technology

Saudi Arabia school uses fingerprinting system to curb student’s ditching class

IANS Manama – In a novel step to monitor students’ attendance, a school in Saudi Arabia has introduced fingerprinting system, also enabling parents to be…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

new cancer treatment

South Asian doctor finds fruit extract that may cause cancer cells to kill themselves

CRAIG PEARSON WINDSOR STAR A University of Windsor anti-cancer crusader may have discovered his most effective agent yet — a fruit that causes evil cells to commit…
Continue Reading »

TK

Man who punched cab, bus drivers in Surrey gets another year in jail

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI A man who committed a series of assaults on a young woman, two cab drivers and a bus driver will spend…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Dec. 7

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Dec. 7: On this date: In AD 374, Ambrose, an early church father, was consecrated Bishop of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Black-Friday-Sale-1

Coupon Queen: Tips for Surviving Black Friday Mania

RUBY BEDI BAINS VANCOUVER DESI You may be planning on crossing the border to head to the US but take note Canadian retailers have embraced…
Continue Reading »

NDP Minister

Editorial: Amrik Virk should do the honourable thing and resign

THE PROVINCE If Advanced Education Minister and former Mountie Amrik Virk doesn’t understand why he should resign his portfolio, Premier Christy Clark should ease him…
Continue Reading »

murder-suicide

Girls hanged from tree died by suicide, say Indian investigators who ruled out gang rape

MUNEEZA NAQVI THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — India’s top investigative agency said Thursday that two teenage girls believed to have been raped and hanged…
Continue Reading »

Surrey crash-desi

Surrey crash victim’s son says deporting parolee would ‘send a message’

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — A Surrey man who killed an elderly man when he smashed his brother’s Corvette into a Surrey bus shelter…
Continue Reading »

Islamophobia

Stereotyping is alive and well when it comes to Muslim and Sikh religious symbols in Canada

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI One-third of British Columbians believe radicalized people live among us, according to a poll commissioned by The Province. The survey of…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi Sex

Australian political candidate fired for promoting Sunny Leone’s Melbourne tour (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI A political candidate in Australia has been fired for his reported involvement in the promotions for Indo Canadian porn star Sunny Leone’s upcoming…
Continue Reading »

Veena Malik

Bollywood actress Veena Malik’s five top controversies before blasphemy charges

HINDUSTAN TIMES Controversy seems to be Veena Malik’s second name. As she accepted herself in an interview to Hindustan Times a few years back, it…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Sonam Kapoor: Bollywood’s ‘hungry young woman’

IANS New Delhi – Actress Sonam Kapoor seems to have taken inspiration from Bollywood’s angry young man title, but with a twist. The actress has…
Continue Reading »