RISE Awards 2019

Congratulations to all the 2019 Award Recipients!

A HUGE thank you to all the community members, organizations, family and friends who took the time to submit a 2019 RISE Award nomination.  The RISE Awards does not exist without you!

So many outstanding individuals and organizations were submitted this year and our Nomination Jury had a tough job selecting a recipient for each category.  Thank you again for your support. 



This award will recognize an immigrant who demonstrates a remarkable commitment to community engagement, with the goal of creating a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.

Congratulations to Salam Seifeddine!

Salam is a valuable member of the community. She contributes in supporting newcomer students who have language barriers and empowers them to develop themselves and reach their potential.  She is a knowledgeable person who supports newcomers by connecting them with people from diverse cultures and helping them with their homework. In that way, students are able to feel like they belong. She engages with youth and encourages them to participate in activities by building relationships of trust. She is the bridge between the school, refugee students and their families. She takes the time and patience to work with them and help them and is an essential part of school community. She encourages the parents to interact with the school at all times, have a conversation with the school staff, learn about the school system and give them the opportunity to participate in the community.



This award will recognize an immigrant youth who demonstrates outstanding initiative in civic engagement on social issues, with the goal of creating a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.

Congratulations to Athiang Makuoi!

She has always demonstrated a remarkable level of mentorship and leadership and acts as a strong guide for the youth around her. Athiang reflects the vibrant and diverse youth of today that is engaged in tackling difficult global challenges through engaging the civic society within their community. As an emerging South Sudanese community, having the dedication from youth who are balancing school, work, sports, and family commitments, truly shows that anything can be achieved if the passion within the people exists. 



This award will recognize an immigrant artist who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to community engagement through arts and culture, with the goal of creating a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.

Congratulations to Vasudha Tiwari!

Vasudha Tiwari has more than 15 years of experience working as a professional artist and holds her master's degree in fine arts. She moved to Canada from India in December 2014 and struggled to make her path in a new country. She is now a member of many different art societies in Alberta, is working as a freelance artist and showcases her art in art galleries throughout the city. She registered her own studio in 2017 and is currently the director and art instructor in her own studio. Vasudha also works as a radio anchor for “Surili Batain” for a South Asian Radio which airs every Monday for Radio Desh Punjabi. Vasudha also teaches Hindi every Saturday at the Alberta Hindi School and is an active volunteer in the community - she volunteers for various community organizations and art societies. Vasudha has also worked as an educational assistant where she supported children with special needs. Organizing events that are open to everyone provides the chance for the community to explore and realize their hidden talent. Vasudha is a true artist. She has expertise not only in art but also in poetry and she expresses deep human feelings, love, religion, and social issues through her art. She often comes forward for community work such as Heritage Days and Walk For Value, which raises money for children's education in India, to name a few.



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

Congratulations to Jibril Ibrahim!

Mr. Jibril Ibrahim is a Multicultural leader who has been committed for the last 15 years to furthering the wellbeing and success of the Somali and African community in Edmonton.  He is the Chair of the first, Somali organization - Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton (SCCSE) established in Edmonton (1991). He is also, the Co-Chair of the African Canadian Liaison Committee with Edmonton Police (ACLC) and the winner of the 2018 Mary Burlie Award for providing effective programs and services to the Black Community. Mr. Ibrahim is also a founding member of the Gashan Leadership Academy an academy that develops youth skills and prepares them to become the future leaders of Alberta/Canada.



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

Congratulations to Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC)

Formally established in 2008, the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC), is an industry-led, not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring immigrants are welcomed and participate in the economy to their full potential. The Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) provides a unique and effective bridge between employers’ labour needs and globally trained new residents so they can work to their full potential. The Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) believes bringing employers and skilled immigrants together is critical to challenging employment issues and barriers and will help to build bridges within the Edmonton region. Inclusion of cultural, gender identity, sexual orientation and ability is part of how ERIEC achieves its mandate and mission.  ERIEC’s staff reflects the cultural, gender identity and sexual orientation diversity of its clients.  ERIEC acts as an advocate and influencer for employers to become aware of the benefits of diverse employees. 

Congratulations to Free Footie!

Free Footie’s mission is to provide vulnerable kids with the opportunity to play in a safe, accessible, and inclusive environment at no cost to them or their families – because when kids are empowered through play, their families, their schools, and their communities are empowered as well. Free Footie started eleven years ago and it ensures that any girl or boy in Grades 3, 4, 5 or 6 who attends schools in the area they serve and wants to play sports, can. There are no registration fees and every child is given a pair of shin pads, soccer socks, shorts, a ball, and a jersey.  Free Footie is about so much more than soccer. For many kids, it is a break from stressful home life, to stay off the streets, and to get onto the playing field where their energy and ambitions can be directed in positive ways. In Free Footie these kids learn about teamwork, sportsmanship, and feel the thrill of pulling on a jersey to represent their school in weekly games. They develop a sense of belonging, something many of them have never truly felt before.



This award recognizes 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. 

Congratulations to Vikram Heer with V.H Fuels Inc. O/A Petro Canada!

Being an immigrant himself Vikram knows the challenges of a new immigrant and now works towards bridging the gap to expedite the settling of one into the Canadian workforce. Vikram started working for Petro Canada as an overnight Guest Service Attendant in 1999 while going to high school and throughout college. It was 6 years later in 2005 that he applied for his own Petro Canada location through a mentorship program his workplace offered. He started with 1 location in Ontario in 2005 and now operates 13 Petro Canada locations in Alberta. With the mindset of giving back, Vikram has shown a great level of commitment towards helping New Immigrants settle into the Canadian workforce. Apart from Vikram's commitment to helping New Immigrants, he also gives back to his community by sponsoring multiple new playground projects within his community and helping out individuals, groups and organizations in need of help and support. His leadership within Petro Canada and his commitment to helping and caring for Canadians has won him several National Associate of the Year Awards from Petro Canada including 2 years back to back for the year 2017 and 2018.



1. Complete the ONLINE nomination forms (links above) OR download the PDF application form to submit

2. Completed applications and supporting documents are to be emailed to rise@emcn.ab.ca or delivered to EMCN, 10170-112 St. Edmonton, Alberta T5K1M1 c/o Yolanda Quintanilla – Fund Developer

3. Please ensure all fields are filled out on the application prior to submission and sent it on or before the deadline

4. Supporting documents are defined as news articles, videos, portfolio, pictures, interviews and letters of support


1. The selection committee is an independent body from EMCN. Members of the community have a diversity of cultural, personal and professional backgrounds. The selection committee reviews all nominations which are shortlisted to finalists, and finally one (1) recipient for each category who best meet the criteria

2. The selection committee reserves the right to place nominees in another award category if they deem the criteria satisfactory

3. Nominees will receive a confirmation of submission

4. Award nominees will be contacted once selections have been made

5. Each award recipient will be provided with two (2) complimentary tickets to the RISE Awards. Additional tickets will be available for purchase

6. Award recipients and finalists will be announced on the RISE Awards website


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