Chandran Fernando (Toronto/Sri Lanka) is founder of Matrix Search Group, a recruitment fi rm specializing in real estate and property management, which advocates for diversity and inclusion in corporate Canada.
Kumaran Thillaindarajah (Fredericton/ Sri Lanka) is CEO of Smart Skin, a startup he founded at the age of 23 creating pressure-sensitive skin technology with a variety of applications.
A true illustration of the diversity Canada represents, this year’s winners originally hail from Ireland to Sri Lanka to Nigeria, and now make their home in communities across Canada. Each winner has made a
positive economic, social and cultural impact to Canada, and while many of them are internationally renowned for work in their respective fields, just as many are pillars in their local community.
“This year’s group of 25 winners is an inspiring and eclectic mix that showcases the diverse talent that immigrants bring to Canada,” says Margaret Jetelina, editor of Canadian Immigrant magazine. “We at Canadian Immigrant magazine are very proud that, over the eight years of this awards program, we have now recognized 200 amazing immigrants as Top 25s. And we have honestly just scratched the surface of immigrant talent in Canada.”
The Top 25 will be honoured at ceremonies in Toronto today, and in Vancouver on June 23. The program is proudly supported by title sponsor RBC Royal Bank. One of the winners will be presented with an additional award by RBC for individual achievement. The awards program is also supported by the Toronto Star, Metro Newspaper, Sing Tao, CBC Toronto and South Asian Focus newspaper.
Christians Izquierdo, owner of IT consultancy DevFacto, is the second annual recipient of the RBC Entrepreneur Award for excellence in entrepreneurship.
“Every winner that we are celebrating today has dared to dream,” said Christine Shisler, senior director, Multicultural Markets, RBC. “Those dreams didn’t end just because they packed a suitcase and arrived in Canada. It was only the beginning. Being recognized as an RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant is a moment to reflect on the journey of patience, persistence and determination. I’m proud to say that RBC has been helping newcomers to Canada for over 145 years and we will continue to honour this legacy.”
Hundreds of nominations were received, from which 75 finalists were shortlisted by a diverse judging panel that included several past winners.
Over 50,000 online votes were cast, making it the most popular year in the award’s history. The 25 winners were chosen based on a combination of votes and a second round of judging.