Past RISE Events – 2021-2022

2021 / 2022

Arts & Culture Award

Recipient is an immigrant who demonstrates an outstanding commitment of community engagement through arts and culture, with the goal of creating a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.

ASET Building Futures Award

Recipient is an organization or group that demonstrates an exceptional commitment to innovative engagement with immigrants, with the goal of creating a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.

CPA Lifetime Achievement Award

Recipient is an immigrant who has demonstrated over a significant period of time an exceptional commitment of community engagement, with the goal of creating a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.

ECF Community Leadership Award

Recipient is an immigrant who demonstrates a remarkable commitment to community engagement, with the goal of creating a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.
NOTE: In 2021/2022 there were two recipients selected for this award.

RBC Rising Star Youth Award

Recipient is an immigrant youth who demonstrates outstanding initiative with civic engagement, with the goal of creating a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.

Norquest College Welcoming Workplace Award

Recipient is an employer who demonstrates an outstanding promise to achieve cultural awareness and appreciation, with the goal of creating a more welcoming and inclusive workplace for immigrants.

Arts & Culture Award – Chris Nwoke

Chris Nwoke is a Sculpture & Art Teacher with Edmonton Public Schools, who specializes in sculpture and painting. A native of Nigeria, Chris is continuously being celebrated as one of the best visual artists and teachers in many parts of the world including Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Congratulations Chris!

ASET Building Futures Award – RAJO Project Centre (RAJO) for Resilience and Social Development (CRSD)

RAJO is a community program supporting Somali-Canadian youth, adults and their families by using a holistic approach to address the cultural, social and economic well-being of their personal development and settlement integration within schools, communities and Edmonton. This includes addressing positive thinking and effective decision-making, peer relationships, positive parent/child communication and stronger parent-school engagement.

RAJO is also working to address systemic racism at Queen Elizabeth School and has a program that creates opportunities for individual and group therapy facilitated by clinical counselors that address children’s emotional, academic and psychological needs. Congratulations RAJO Project Centre for Resilience and Social Development!

CPA Lifetime Achievement Award – Javaid Naqvi

Javaid Naqvi, Cameron Developments Corporation
We all contribute in our own ways, and Javaid Naqvi has made Edmonton a more cosmopolitan and accepting city through his contributions to immigrant careers, helping immigrants enter politics and developing the built environment in our city.

Javaid left his family and home in Lahore, Pakistan in 1964 to come to Canada on an engineering scholarship. After having difficulty entering the engineering profession, he pivoted to real estate, and in 1973, became Vice President of Development at Allarco Developments before venturing out on his own. In 1980, Mr. Naqvi founded what has now become Cameron Corporation, a privately held real estate and investment company, active in the development of commercial, residential and industrial real estate. Cameron, along with its numerous affiliates, is known in the national real estate development community as the developer of first-class retail and residential projects, of high architectural and aesthetic quality. The Cameron Corporation is one of the most active commercial development companies in the Alberta market, with over 8 million square feet of real estate development projects in which the company has participated.

Javaid has a deep sense of civic responsibility, and has been a supporter of the political electoral process, starting in the 1970s with the late Mr. Laurence Decore’s successful political career. Since that time, he has had a real passion for encouraging others —especially immigrants— to become involved in the political arena, at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. He has helped immigrants climb the political ladder by providing mentorship, networking opportunities, strategic advice, fundraising support, and more. He has used his considerable business clout to be an effective advocate for minorities in politics. Congratulations Javaid!

ECF Community Leadership Award
Hayat El-Ossmani & Nunu Desalgne

NOTE: In 2021/2022 there were two recipients selected for this award.

Hayat El-Ossmani
On Sept. 18, 2001, Hayat El-Ossmani and her family arrived in Canada as immigrants from Lebanon. She is now a proud Canadian citizen who continues to empower and educate others about the importance of acceptance, diversity and social equality.

She is the founder and director of the B-Smart Learning Centre, which has run weekend classes for children to learn cultural studies and the Arabic language. She gives back to community in many ways, including enriching the lives of children, women, and people in need, such as the seniors, homeless and the people who struggle financially to bring food to their table or pay for their child’s school tuition fees. Congratulations Hayat!

Nunu Desalgne
A native of Ethiopia, Nunu Desalgne helps African newcomers navigate their way through all the complexities of life in a new land. Although she operates the Habesha African Market, Nunu truly shines in her passion for uplifting the 107 Avenue community’s spirits, be it with art, music or food. In a community faced with many life challenges, Nunu has become an inspiration to others on how working together to uplift an entire community.  Congratulations Nunu!

RBC Rising Star Youth Award – Cindy Caturao

Cindy Caturao, Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity
Cindy Caturao migrated from the Philippines to Canada in 2007 when she was just 10 years old. Personal experience of being a young immigrant navigating a new country, language and people ignited her passion to ensure that migrants and newcomers have access to services and the help that they need. She has:

  • Identified the lack of an easily accessible and comprehensive resource for Temporary Foreign Workers,
  • Helped create what is now known as Ayulong – a grassroots organization that advocates for the rights and protection of migrant workers here in Alberta,
  • Submitted a policy resolution regarding the possibility of granting migrant workers status upon arrival, and
  • Served her 2-year term as Youth Councillor with the City of Edmonton, where she championed diversity, showcased the diverse cultures and arts of young Edmontonians and advocated for their well-being.

Congratulations Cindy!

Norquest College Welcoming Workplace Award – BILT

Bilt employs talent from all over the world and has been an employer partner with the Newcomer Centre Constructing Futures program since 2019. Since then, they have hosted four immigrant professionals in 10-week work experience placements.

Bilt recognizes the value and strength that diversity adds to an organization, as well as appreciates the skills and experience that immigrants contribute to organizations.

Bilt, and Jeff Gould specifically, have shown themselves to be real community partners and champions in recognizing immigrant talent in the workplace, including referring the Newcomer Centre Constructing Future program to other employers in their network. Congratulations Jeff Gould and Bilt!

Check out videos of the big event and of the recipients. All past event and recipient videos are available on our Newcomer Centre YouTube channel.

Newcomer Centre Central Office