by Dhakshi Ariyakumar
It is very remarkable to note that the Canadian Tamil community in many ways has enhanced the prosperity of the Greater Toronto Area with their diverse contributions towards the society.
“I want to thank the Tamil Community for their hard work and contribution made to the prosperity of Ontario in so many different ways, such as economically, socially and culturally. I think the province is stronger and prouder and is better off in many ways, for the contributions made by the Tamil community, particularly by the entrepreneurs of this community,” Conservative Leader of the Province of Ontario John Tory stated recently at a community event.
He spoke at the Canadian Tamil Chamber of Commerce’s 9th annual gala award ceremony at the Hilton suites in Toronto on April 1st.
The chamber which has been in existence for the past 15 years has grown from a mere handful of entrepreneurs to 500 registered members currently.
This momentous occasion was graced by several distinguished guests; Minister of Education Hon. Gerard Kennedy as Chief Guest, Provincial Conservative Leader Mr. John Tory as Guest of Honor, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt Hon. Jim Karygiannis, the Award sponsors Regional Vice President of the Royal Bank of Canada Mr. Chris Lobbezoo, District Vice President of the Scotiabank Mrs. Christine Williams, Senior Vice President of TD Financial Group Mr. Jim Coccimiglio, President and CEO of the ICICI Bank of Canada Mr. Hari Panday, President and COO of Globalive Communications Corp. Mr. Ezio D’onofrio, and a keynote speaker, Chairman & CEO of Globalive Communications Corp. Mr. Tony Lacavera and many others graced the gala event.
The Chamber not only serves the Tamil business communities but also is open for other entrepreneurs from other communities to do business within the Tamil community.
This was clearly stated by Mr. Logan Velumailum, President of the Canadian Tamil Chamber of Commerce, in his award ceremony speech: “Today, the Chamber is the first point of contact for those seeking to do business in the Tamil community. We are the bridge that brings together Tamil business to the mainstream and the mainstream to the Tamil Business”.
The Chamber though was in existence from 1991 started this particular gala award ceremony only nine years back. Such an event was planned in order to recognize and encourage entrepreneurs to be a role model for young entrepreneurs in future.
As Hon. Minister Gerard Kennedy said the education system should not take over the students but the students should opt for what they like, he further stated that “Education advantage for a student is a business advantage for everyone who operates a business in the province of Ontario”. During his address in the ceremony he also invited the Canadian Tamil Chamber of Commerce to join hands with the present government in order to provide better services and employment opportunities for those who seek a better future.
The award ceremony, since the inauguration has awarded 40 winners from various categories. This year the Chamber recognized six entrepreneurs and awarded them with ‘excellence awards’ for their services and contributions towards the society and province.
The distinguished award winning recipients for this year are:
1. Mr. Jeganathan Mylvaganam – winner of the 2006 best entrepreneur award. He is an owner of a restaurant and several banquet halls as well as the proprietor of five newsstand locations in strategic subways.
2. Mr. Lepagaran Subramaniam – winner of the 2006 young entrepreneur award is the owner of Shutter wood Inc, which has annual sales of $1 million in annual sales.
3. Dr. Umesh Rayar – was awarded with the most outstanding professional award for the year 2006. Dr. Rayar is a well-known and distinguished Medical Professional from the Tamil community.
4. Mr. Sinnadurai Jeyaratnam – was awarded with the award of excellence for the year 2006. He is the owner of the Maxwood Contractors who specializes in the manufacture of Kitchen cabinets and store-fixtures.
5. Mrs. Indrani Nagenthiram – who won the woman entrepreneur award for the year 2006, is a pioneer among the women in the Tamil community to have started a temporary and permanent care for elders.
6. Mr. M. J. Augustine Jeyanathan – winner of the most outstanding community service person for the year 2006 is a highly respected social activist.
The highlight of the function is awarding the Outstanding Community service person by all Presidents of CTCC on stage.
Ms. Yaso Sinnadurai, when introducing award recipient Mr. Augustine Jeyanathan said “the opportunity for the need to serve the community is always in demand. Only few of us are willing to spend the time and energy on a continuous basis”.
Appreciation Award Recipients
[“Popisai Chakravarthi” A.E. Manoharan, Sri Lankan Pop Music Maestro]
[Nandakumaran Rajendram, Publisher of Thamilar Mathiyil – Amidst Tamils Business Directory]
[Chelliah Senthilathan, Publisher of “Thamizhan Vallikatti” Tamils Guide Business Directory]
For the very first time in the CTCC awards gala, a prominent Entrepreneur delivered a motivational speech this year. This is by the Chairman and CEO of Globalive Communications Corp., Tony Lacavera.
Globalive Communications Corp. is also one of the award sponsor, being another first in the history of CTCC – as the first non financial institution to be one of the sponsors. The award was presented by Ezio D’onofrio President and COO for the Best Woman Entrepreneur Award.
Representatives of other award sponsors also spoke at the gala event.
[Christine Williams, District Vice President, Scotia Bank]
[Hari Panday, President and CEO, ICICI Bank Canada]
[Jim Coccimiglio, Senior Vice President, TD Financial Group]
[Chris Lobbezoo, Regional Vice President, RBC Financial Group]
The Canadian Tamil Chamber of Commerce is proud to have the corporate sponsors such as the leading banks in Canada who had sponsored many of the awards during the past few years as well as this year. This is a great example of solidarity between the Canadian Tamil community and the giant financial institutions. The Chamber is proud to be a bridge between communities in order to develop their skills and to become better entrepreneurs in the future.
Invocation to Goddess Tamil – Thamizh Thai Vazhthu by Durga Balasingham
Canadian National Anthem was sung by Thulasi Nandakumaran at the opening of the event.
The event was eloquently presented by the master of ceremony Manjula Selvarajah who is a Vice President at Eloqua, an International Market Research company.
[Prakash Gunasingham, CTCC Awards Gala Committee Chair, Introducing the evening’s Keynote Speaker]
The award winners were introduced by Umesh Vallipuram, a Director of Corporate Development at AMG Canada.
[Kingsley Ariaratnam, Founding President of CTCC proposing toast to the award recepients]
[President Logan Velumailum, recognizing the Board of CTCC]
[Gerard Kennedy Minister of Education – now resigned to be a Federal Liberal leadership contender seen here along with his wife Jeanette Arsenault Kennedy at the CTCC awards Gala dinner]
Bharatanatyam recital by Maheisha Ravendra at the Awards Gala
Vallipuram Sugunanathan, Vice President of CTCC proposed the Vote of Thanks. [TamilWeek Apr 9, 2006]