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Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award winners for 2023 announced

Film star, football hero, songstress and diverse community champions are among this year’s Top 25!

With increasing immigration targets, more immigrants are coming to Canada to make a better life for their families, and data shows that Canada is better for it, too. But the true impact immigrants have on this country is best told through their personal success stories. That’s what the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards has been about for 15 years.

Presented by Western Union, Canadian Immigrant magazine’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards is the only national awards program that celebrates the achievements of Canadian immigrants. Now in its 15th year, the program has been the leader in highlighting inspiring stories of immigrants in Canada, from coast to coast and from diverse cultures and backgrounds. The awards program is also supported by COSTI Immigrant Services and Windmill Microlending.

This year’s Top 25 will join an inspirational list of past recipients who exemplify the notion of making Canada a better place. This year’s list includes a film star/vegan advocate, a Juno-nominated songwriter who writes songs to empower, a Canadian football MVP and philanthropist, as well as many diverse community champions working tirelessly to do good.

“We are so proud to announce the recipients in this year’s milestone awards program. For 15 years, we have been awed by the stories of our Top 25 inductees, and this year’s winners are a testament to the important role that immigrants play in Canada,” said Sanjay Agnihotri, Publisher of Canadian Immigrant. “As we welcome more newcomers to Canada, it’s more important than ever for us to celebrate the important contributions immigrants and refugees make. Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients, and thank you to Western Union for being our partner in the awards.”

“Immigrants are an incredible engine of growth across Canada, contributing in so many ways to our society,” said Ari Hagnas, Western Union General Manager, Canada. “In the spirit of recognizing their achievements, Western Union is once again honoured to sponsor these prestigious awards and recognize the numerous contributions from those who have moved to Canada from all parts of the world. We stand here to support them as they continue their journey in their new country.”

Among the Top 25, we have again selected one winner as our Youth Award recipient, and one as our Entrepreneur Award winner. Syrian-born Hanen Nanaa, 25, founder of BAM Collective in Toronto is our 2023 Youth Award winner and Sam Primucci, founder of Pizza Nova, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, is our Entrepreneur Award winner.

The Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2023 were chosen after an extensive nomination, judging, shortlisting and public online voting process. Hundreds of nominations were received, from which 75 finalists were shortlisted by a diverse judging panel of past winners. Nearly 68,000 online votes were cast at canadianimmigrant.ca. The 25 winners were chosen based on a combination of votes and judges’ merit scores.

Windmill Microlending Empowerment Award
For the 15th anniversary year of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards, we are pleased to welcome new partner Windmill Microlending, along with an exciting new award, that ran in conjunction with the Top 25 awards but with different eligibility requirements, and a separate nomination and selection process. The Windmill Microlending Empowerment Award recognizes individuals who are working above and beyond to empower and support the successful journeys of immigrants and refugees to Canada. This year’s winner is Syed Hassan, founder and president of Love with Humanity Association in Calgary, Alberta.

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