September 28th, 2018 (Winnipeg) – Last night, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation celebrated its 10th biennial Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner at the Delta Marriott Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The event marked the end of the 2018 Best Practices program, which highlights the different programs, strategies, or initiatives developed to combat racism and promote positive race relations across Canada’s multicultural communities.
This year, the CRRF presented Awards of Excellence to seven (7) organizations in six (6) categories: “Save the Evidence” from the Woodland Cultural Centre (Indigenous category); “Landscapes of Injustice” from the University of Victoria (Education category); “The Manitoba Government Diversity and Inclusion Strategy” by the Government of Manitoba’s Diversity and Inclusion Unit (Government/Public Category - tie); the “Employment Equity and Diversity Committee” from the Correctional Service of Canada (Government/Public category - tie); “Anti-Racist Organizational Change (AROC)” by the CommunityWise Resource Centre (Community Category); “Casting For Diversity” by Sinking Ship Entertainment (Media category); and the “STEMpowerment Internships and Mentorships Program” from STEM Fellowship (Youth Category).
The CRRF also presented Honourable Mentions to “The Moccassin Project” from Akinomaagaye Gaamik (Indigenous Category); “Creative Cells in Community Theatre” (in French: “Cellules creatives en theatre communautaire”) by the Conseil provincial des sociétés culturelles (CPSC) (Community category); and “Cross-Cultural Pairings to Combat Racism and Promote Social Harmony” (in French: “Les jumelages interculturels pour réduire le racisme et pour valoriser le vivre-ensemble”) by l’Université du Québec à Montréal.
In addition, the CRRF celebrated achievement in the struggle against racism in Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba by presenting fourteen (14) Community Champion Special Awards to Jim Bear, Dr. Tina Mai Chen, Thomas Ralston Denton, Diane Dwarka, Jeffrey J. Lieberman, Moses (Moe) Levy, David Matas, Lisa Meeches, David G. Newman, Dr. Rey D. Pagtakhan, Sandy G. Shindleman, Leslie Spillett, Willard Thiessen, and Larry and Tova Vickar.
Other special awards included a Presentation to the National Association of Japanese Canadians from the CRRF to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement and Presentations of Appreciation for long-standing CRRF Board Members Rubin Friedman and Ashraf Ghanem to commemorate their departure from the organization. As Mr. Ghanem was not present that evening, CRRF Executive Director Dr. Lilian Ma accepted the Presentation on his behalf.
Throughout the evening, the CRRF was grateful for the presence of the Honourable Cathy Cox, the Manitoba Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage, and Director General of Multiculturalism Lisa-Marie Inman, representing the Government of Manitoba and the Department of Canadian Heritage, respectively. We are also grateful to Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez and Mayor of Winnipeg Brian Bowman for sending video greetings, though they were unable to attend in person. The evening also featured an invigorating keynote address from University of Manitoba professor Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, and a series of lively performances from the India School of Dance, the Aboriginal School of Dance, and Hinode Taiko.
“All of the individuals and organizations honoured at our Gala Dinner event on September 27th represent excellence in building harmonious race relations and deliver a positive and tangible impact on improving the living, working, educational, social, or economic environments of all peoples across Canada’s multicultural communities,” says Albert Lo, Chair of the Board, CRRF. “They show us that it is possible for anyone committed to upholding human dignity for all individuals is capable of promoting positive race relations in Canada. As such, we are grateful for their inspiring work, and are delighted to present them with Awards of Excellence, Honourable Mentions or Community Champion Special Awards.”
“Last night’s event was a wonderful tribute to the individuals and organizations in Canada who are doing their part to help foster positive race relations in Canada,” said CRRF Executive Director Dr. Lilian Ma. “We would like to thank our Best Practices Jury Panel for their careful selection of all of our Awards of Excellence winners and honourable mentions, and all of our staff team and local coordinators for their hard work putting our Awards Gala together. Likewise, we are thankful to our sponsors, including RBC Wealth Management and the Asper Foundation, and our donors, like Sandy Shindleman, for their crucial support of the evening. Finally, we thank everyone who attended the event for their enthusiasm.”
More information about the participants in this year’s Best Practices program, including the Awards of Excellence Winners and Honourable Mentions, can be found in the latest edition of the Best Practices Reader, available here. Click here to read more about this year’s Community Champion Special Awards recipients. Once again, the CRRF congratulates all our winners and looks forward to the next iteration of the Best Practices and Community Champions programs in 2020.
About the Canadian Race Relations Foundation
The purpose of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation is to facilitate throughout Canada the development, sharing and application of knowledge and expertise in order to contribute to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society. The work of the Foundation is premised on the desire to create and nurture an inclusive society based on equity, social harmony, mutual respect, and human dignity. Its underlying principle in addressing racism and racial discrimination emphasizes positive race relations and the promotion of shared Canadian values of human rights and democratic institutions.
For More Information
Dr. Lilian Ma, Executive Director – (416) 441-1900