Five B.C. multicultural champions were recognized Nov. 18, 2016, before friends, family and their peers at the seventh British Columbia Multicultural Awards. The awards recognize British Columbians whose exceptional work helps bring diverse cultures together by embracing diversity and promoting multiculturalism.
This year’s award recipients used the arts to break down barriers and unite communities. They partnered with dozens of organizations throughout the province to allow children and youth to develop an understanding of the importance of multiculturalism, respect for diversity, acceptance and inclusion; helped to deliver an innovative public awareness media campaign aimed at challenging racism and hatred; and built meaningful opportunities for immigrant newcomers to fully participate in all aspects of British Columbia society.
Government received 146 nominations for awards in five categories: individual, organization, business, youth and multicultural excellence in government. Nominees selected for an award are chosen by a panel of judges with expertise in multiculturalism and anti-racism.
The 2016 British Columbia Multicultural Award recipients:
- Individual: Paulina Grainger
- Organization: Equitas - International Centre for Human Rights Education
- Business: Williams Lake Tribune
- Youth: Chitha Manoranjan
- Government: BC Housing
All award recipients receive a trophy and those selected in the first four categories noted above also receive $5,000 to be donated to a non-profit organization of their choice to further support the work of multiculturalism in the province.
The event is organized by the Government of British Columbia with advice and support from the Province’s Multicultural Advisory Council (MAC).
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism –
“I am honoured to congratulate the recipients and nominees of this year’s British Columbia Multicultural Awards. The passion and commitment demonstrated by these exceptional British Columbians promotes cross-cultural understanding, respect, and inclusion in our workplaces and in communities in every corner of the province.”
Multicultural Advisory Council chair Tenzin Khangsar –
“Each British Columbia Multicultural Award nominee is a role model in their respective field and we can all learn from their achievements. I hope that this recognition spurs others throughout B.C. to look for creative and innovative ways to become multicultural champions in their own communities.”
- Since 1988, B.C.'s Multicultural Advisory Council has promoted cross-cultural understanding and respect throughout the province.
- B.C. welcomes nearly 40,000 new immigrants every year.
- Almost 30% of British Columbians have emigrated from another country in their lifetime and one-quarter of the people in the province are self-identified visible minorities.
- In 2015, the B.C. government will provide nearly $1.7 million to engage cultural groups, to fight racism and discrimination and to promote multiculturalism.
British Columbia Multicultural Awards: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/celebrating-british-columbia/honours-and-awards/bc-multicultural-awards
B.C. Multicultural Advisory Council: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/multiculturalism/mac
A backgrounder follows.