P.E.I. finalists need your vote for Canadian immigrant awards

If you've attended a Diversity event or the Newcomers' Christmas Open House you've enjoyed a couple of ways the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada contributes to the Island's culture. Now, along with dozens of other agencies that work with newcomers, PEIANC is a finalist for an RBC Immigrant Award.

Ali Siadat and the PEIANC have made the list for the RBC Canadian Immigrant Awards

Traditional costumes at Charlottetown's DiverseCity festival. (Kerry Campbell/CBC)

If you've attended a Diversity event or the Newcomers' Christmas Open House you've enjoyed a couple of ways the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada contributes to the Island's culture.

Now, along with dozens of other agencies that work with newcomers, PEIANC is a finalist for an RBC Immigrant Award.

It's the first year an award is being given to a settlement agency.

"This is an important recognition of the work of our staff, volunteers, and partners as we welcome more and more newcomers to our Island," said executive director Craig Mackie. "It is also recognition of the positive, personalized service we deliver to new refugees and immigrants."

Staff at the PEIANC offices fundraising for others. Executive director Craig Mackie on left holding cheque. (Supplied by PEIANC)

One of those immigrants has made the top 75 in the annual RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards.

Ali Siadat is from Iran and moved to Canada in 2011. His CV is impressive from his days in Iran, including organizing tours for international visitors to the country and working for the Iran Broadcasting Organization.

Since his move to P.E.I., Siadat became an entrepreneur by establishing the first Persian cuisine booth at the Charlottetown Farmer's Market. He's also a Newcomer Ambassador for the City of Charlottetown and volunteers with PEIANC.

Ali Siadat moved to P.E.I. from Iran in 2011. He is nominated for the RBC Top 25 Immigrant Award. (CBC)

The top 25 RBC awards recognize inspirational immigrants who have made a positive impact on their communities since arriving in Canada.

The RBC Immigrant Awards are decided by online voting, so Mackie is hoping for a strong turnout from Islanders.

"We will be taking a page from Hockeyville and working to get the vote out because as we look at the other nominees, we are up against some stiff competition," Mackie said.

Santa reaches into his sack at the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers Christmas party Thursday. (CBC)

The winners will be recognized with a commemorative certificate at the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrants ceremony and RBC will donate $500 to a charity on behalf of each winner. Voting ends May 17.

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