VANCOUVER, March 2, 2014 /CNW/ - As part of a two-day event entitled "Building Bridges for Canada", close to 350 guests, representing the diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities of the Greater Vancouver area gathered at the Riverside Grand Ballroom in Richmond, BC on March 2, 2014 to celebrate the work of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and the recipients of its Community Champion Special Awards and the Award for Lifetime Achievement.
"The CRRF promotes a vision of society to which all Canadians feel they want to belong, a vision which requires the good will of dedicated individuals, organizations and enterprises committed to celebrating the richness and diversity of our country", said Albert Lo, Chairperson of the CRRF. "This evening's honourees represent the best of that ideal."
Recipients of the Community Champion Special Awards were Aziz Khaki – presented posthumously and received by his wife, Gul Khaki; Alan Lau, Rabbi Dr. Yosef Wosk and the Inter-Faith for World Peace Society. A special Award was presented to the Multiculturalism Policy Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, for "commitment, integrity and compassion in serving all Canadians".
Presented only three times in its 11-year history, the CRRF's Award for Lifetime Achievement was given to Arthur K. Miki, CM, OM. Chief architect and negotiator of the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement which acknowledged discriminatory treatment of Japanese Canadians interned during the Second World War, Mr. Miki has, in addition, had a distinguished career as an educator, community activist and author. His lifelong dedication to the promotion of positive race relations and human rights was recognized by his receiving an Honourary Doctorate from the University of Winnipeg, the Order of Manitoba, and the Order of Canada.
On day 2 of Building Bridges for Canada the CRRF hosted a full-day conference, Multiculturalism in Greater Vancouver, held in conjunction with the Foundation's Interfaith and Belonging Initiative and taking place at the Westin Wall Centre in Richmond, BC. Consisting of panel discussions, workshops and participant engagement, the conference examined the successes of multiculturalism as it relates to business, social issues, education and Canadian values in the greater Vancouver area, and some of the arising challenges.