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

Ottawa's Elgin Street courthouse.

Federal court judge upholds passport ban on Toronto-area man who changed name

MEGHAN HURLEY OTTAWA CITIZEN A federal court judge upheld a decision to ban a Toronto-area man who changed his name based on advice from an…
Continue Reading »

Red-Carpet-300x186

Accepting nominations: Surrey’s Darpan Magazine to hold Extraordinary Achievement Awards next month

TOM ZILLICH SURREY NOW The achievements of 10 local people will be celebrated at an invitation-only gala event next month. The fifth annual Extraordinary Achievement…
Continue Reading »

india

Indian minister refers to Dec. 16 fatal gang rape as “small incident” that hurt tourism

IANS New Delhi  – An Indian minister is embroiled in controversy after he referred to Delhi’s fatal Dec. 16 gang rape as a “small incident”…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Ottawa's Elgin Street courthouse.

Federal court judge upholds passport ban on Toronto-area man who changed name

MEGHAN HURLEY OTTAWA CITIZEN A federal court judge upheld a decision to ban a Toronto-area man who changed his name based on advice from an…
Continue Reading »

Red-Carpet-300x186

Accepting nominations: Surrey’s Darpan Magazine to hold Extraordinary Achievement Awards next month

TOM ZILLICH SURREY NOW The achievements of 10 local people will be celebrated at an invitation-only gala event next month. The fifth annual Extraordinary Achievement…
Continue Reading »

Abraham Azhakathu

Travel request from Alberta priest accused of sexual assault rejected

THE CANADIAN PRESS PEACE RIVER, Alta. — A Catholic priest in northwestern Alberta who is accused of sexually assaulting a minor has been told he…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

teen music video

Vancouver teen’s music video gets over 300k views in less than a week

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver teen and aspiring musician Sid Bhullar has released his third music video online  – and within one week he’s already surpassed 300,000…
Continue Reading »

Unruly passenger tied to his seat

Drunk Air India passenger tied to his seat on flight after attacking people onboard, tearing clothes of two pursers

VANCOUVER DESI An Air India passenger, who went wild after a few drinks and allegedly tore the clothes of two pursers and bit some fellow…
Continue Reading »

Const. Ian MacDonald says: ‘You don’t want to see anybody carted away in an ambulance over this, and that is a very real possibility. Ric Ernst/PNG

‘It’s pride getting in the way’: Feuding Indo-Canadian youth factions worry Abbotsford cops (w/ video)

JENNIFER SALTMAN  VANCOUVER DESI  No one really knows how the conflict started. According to a number of people who are involved, in February one person…
Continue Reading »

Stone-health-Kaleem

Eight-year-old Indian boy’s swollen hands are larger than his head

VANCOUVER DESI Kaleem, an eight-year-old Indian boy suffering from a mystery condition has puzzled doctors after his hands swelled to giant proportions and are larger…
Continue Reading »

India-surgery

Doctors remove unborn child’s skeleton from woman’s womb after 36 years

VANCOUVER DESI In an unusual surgery, doctors in India removed the skeleton of an unborn baby from its mother’s womb after 36 years, the Press…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

The ice bucket challenge has hit Bollywood. From L to R: Sonakshi Sinha, Abhishek Bachcan and Mandira Bedi. YouTube.

The ALS ice bucket challenge hits Bollywood (w/ video)

VANCOUVER DESI The ALS ice bucket challenge has officially hit Bollywood. Originating in the U.S., the icy cold feat has swept the globe, dominating news…
Continue Reading »

Indian comedy actor  Kapil Sharma and Sumona Chakravarti pose during a press conference to promote 'Comedy Nights with Kapil'. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

Kapil Sharma onto new ventures, including Comedy Nights tour that will reach Canada

IANS Mumbai  – Popular stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma, who is set to make his Bollywood debut with director duo Abbas-Mustan’s untitled film, is looking forward…
Continue Reading »

Barfi! hit Japan theatres on Friday.

Award-winning film Barfi! hits theatres in Japan

IANS New Delhi — After garnering appreciation in countries like South Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, Ranbir Kapoor’s Barfi! hit theatres in Japan…
Continue Reading »