CANADA
 
 

South Asian Outlook columnist, Gyan Rajhans, wins award
Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club:
27th Annual Awards Gala Resounding Success

South Asian Outlook e-Monthly columnist, Gyan Rajhans, won the award in the internet category at the Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club's 27th Annual Awards Gala, held on June 24.This is the second year in a row that an award has been won by South Asian Outlook. Last year, when internet was included as a category for the first time, South Asian Outlook publisher and columnist won both awards. 

Each year, the club gives juried awards of excellence for entries from print, radio, television and the internet (introduced for award in 2004)  journalists plus an award for the year's best contribution to the idea of multiculturalism through journalism. This latter award is named for Sierhey Khmara Ziniak (1905-1992) CEJWC 's founder.

The format of the evening was an introduction of the winner by an award presenter, followed by a video presentation to introduce the award winner to the audience, presenting of the award, and an acceptance speech by the award winner.

The MCs for the evening were Geetika, host of Badhai Ho, a Hindi show on OMNI TV, and  Wei Lee, host and reporter for OMNI News – Mandarin Edition.

Presentation of the awards was interspersed with performances by a bevy of  professional ethnic entertainers. It was followed by a reception. 

In welcoming guests, club president Ben Viccari, President of Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club,  recounted the events since the last year's gala.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty congratulated the winners and commended the club. He presented the first award of the evening. The other awards were presented by distinguished guests, John Bitove, Founder, the Bitove Corporation and Canadian Macedonian Place, Rafael Nebres, President, Asian Canadian Entrepreneurs and Professionals, Howard Hampton, MP, Leader, New Democratic Party of Ontario, The Hon. Gerry Phillip, MP, Ontario Management Board Chair, Mr John Tory, MP, Leader, Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, Ms Madeline Ziniak, O. Ont., Chair CEJWC,
vice president and station manager of Omni Television, and Mrs Gail Einarson McCleery, Honorary Consul of Iceland in Toronto. 

This year's award winners are:

Print

Steinthor Gudbjartsson
, Managing Editor, Logberg-Heimskringla, Winnipeg, for an informative and revealing series on Edmonton's Icelandic community, published in Canada's longest-lived ethnic newspaper, originating in 1886. 

Jill Andrew, columnist "Metro" Toronto, for "Ask Jill", a series of daily, personalized responses to readers' requests for advice in Toronto's pioneering free daily. Metro readers, who request for advice in Toronto's pioneering free daily. Metro readers, who ride the city's public transportation are typical of the Canadian mosaic.

Radio

Jai Ojah Maharaj
, Producer, CHIN Radio, Toronto, for his dynamic series linking Canadians with their Caribbean homelands during Hurricane Ivan. Jai's broadcasts, featuring live daily reports from the afflicted countries

Simon Dingley, Producer-reporter, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Toronto, for his poignant feature "Seeking the Way" on two Inuit brothers, the hockey-playing Tootoo's and how one overcame the tragedy of the other's death.

Television

Enzo di Mauro
, Reporter, OMNI 1 Italian News, Toronto, for a groundbreaking investigative series on a pension fraud affecting Italian-Canadian seniors, leading to wide attention from mainstream media and subsequent police action.

Internet

Gyan Rajhans, columnist South Asian Outlook e-Monthly, for his informative internet series on South Asian Spirituality offering an introduction to some of the faiths of Canadians from areas covered by this internet service.

The Sierhey Khmara Ziniak Award

Lenny Lombardi
, president CHIN Radio/TV International for continuing with distinction a tradition in multicultural communication pioneered by the late Johnny Lombardi, who extended CHIN's media activities into community service reflecting Canada's diversity.

Speech by Mr Ben Viccari, President, CEJWC

 

Twenty-seven years ago, a feisty journalist, editor of his own publication, decided once again it was time to speak out on behalf of his profession.

His name was Sierhey Khmara Ziniak and as an activist in his native Belarus he had long used his pen on behalf of his people’s language rights, costing him a total of thirteen years’ imprisonment.

Sierhey Ziniak was in Canada now and publishing the Byelorussian Voice, a monthly newspaper for a relatively small but highly vocal immigrant community. But size didn’t deter him from making a big decision

He had become disenchanted with the association representing the ethnic press in Canada which allowed membership exclusively to publishers. No editors, no reporters, no radio journalists, no freelance writers and no poets, for Sierhey Ziniak was also a lifelong devotee of the muse.

And so in 1978, gathering together a group of like-minded journalists and writers, he founded the Canadian Ethnic Journalists’ and Writers’ Club. It was from the start, an inclusive organization that would shortly embrace television since in 1979, CFMT began the broadcasting initiative that leads us to this stage today.

The Club offers its members monthly meetings to which distinguished persons from the worlds of politics, the law, the arts and other disciplines address members, two special annual events like tonight’s juried awards which for a third time we are happy to present in a gala setting and other opportunities to meet and mingle as an important element of Canada’s ethnic media.

Sierhey Ziniak , although no longer with us must surely be smiling tonight in the knowledge that not only has this Club survived, but remains a highly vocal, affirmation of freedom of thought and action.

 

[Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club]

 

 

Ontario Premier's address

 

Good evening.

 

It’s a real pleasure to be here tonight.

 

I want to thank Ben Viccari and the Canadian Ethnic Journalists’ and Writers’ Club for your invitation.

 

I’m truly honoured to be presenting the first award at your 27th annual awards ceremony.

 

Before I do that, I want to first congratulate everyone who will take home an award tonight — and thank all of you for the work you do every day.

 

You bring us together by recognizing and celebrating our diversity.

 

And when we celebrate our diversity, we grow stronger.

 

Our diversity is truly a tremendous asset.

 

It fosters a wonderful view of the world.

 

A view that seems to me to be fundamental to building a strong, caring and cohesive society and attracting the best and the brightest to Canada — and to Ontario.

 

So tonight, I’m honoured to recognize some of Canada’s best and brightest in the field of journalism.

 

It’s been said that journalism is a first draft of history.

 

Well, Canada’s history is rich and lively and unique.

 

And I believe one of the reasons for this is people who have put their pens to paper.

 

People who represent vibrant communities throughout our province — and across our country.

 

People like our first award recipient.

 

Steinthor Gudbjartsson has been a strong media voice for the Icelandic community for many years.

 

His stories have connected people, strengthened communities and helped preserve Icelandic heritage in Canada.

 

He is also the editor of the Logberg-Heimskringla - the oldest ethnic paper still published in North America.

 

I understand we have a short video presentation of his accomplishments.

 

It’s my privilege to present Mr. Gudbjartsson with the award for News and Feature.

 

On behalf of all Ontarians, I want to extend our congratulations and best wishes for continued success.

 

Please join me in welcoming Mr. Gudbjartsson to the podium.

 

 

    

The award winners are:

Steinthor Gudbjartsson, Managing Editor, since March 2004, of Logberg-Heimskringla, Winnipeg, for an informative and revealing series on Edmonton's Icelandic community, published in Canada's longest-lived ethnic newspaper, originating in 1886.

As a journalist from 1986, Steinthor covered several different fields at Morgunblaðið, a daily newspaper in Iceland. He specialized in the Icelandic societies in North America and in Manitoba in particular with a page devoted to Canadians and Americans of Icelandic decent every other week since 2001. Interviews, however, with Canadians of Icelandic decent started in 2000.

Jill Andrew, columnist "Metro" Toronto, for "Ask Jill", a series of daily, personalized responses to readers' requests for advice in Toronto's pioneering free daily. Metro readers, who request for advice in Toronto's pioneering free daily. Metro readers, who ride the city's public transportation are typical of the Canadian mosaic.

Jill Andrew CYW, BA, BA (Hons.), BEd (Dramatic Arts, Social Sciences & Career Studies). Jill Andrew is an award-winning journalist, an educator, and motivational speaker, who’s talents have appeared in many of Toronto’s best known publications and on-air (HGTV, Life Channel, Much Music Much Vibe, Rogers Daytime York Region, CHRY 105.5 CBC, JACK FM Radio etc.)

 

Current Projects include:

Jill Andrew Live Executive Producer & Host

Metro Newspaper
Columnist & Careers Reporter www.metronews.ca

GRAND Fashion Magazine Scene/Fashion Columnist www.grandwoman.com

Toronto Privilege Magazine Contributor www.privilegemgi.com

Talcura Corporation Director of Communications Executive Producer of the 2006 Graduate-Employer Employment Conference

www.hireAnewGrad.com www.talcura.com 

Toronto International Deaf Film & Arts Festival (TIDFAF) May 10-14, 2006
Director of Media Relations Nov/05 Launch Party Co-ordinator
Ontario Cultural Society of the Deaf www.ocsd.ca

 

Editor of upcoming anthology:
Phat Girls in Search of a Pretty World: Hot Lil' Fat Chicks Speakin' Out! Women's +s and -s of being fat and fabulous or fat and still seeking self-love.
[More on Jill Andrew]

 

 

Jai Ojah Maharaj, Producer, CHIN Radio, Toronto

For his dynamic series linking Canadians with their Caribbean homelands during Hurricane Ivan. Jai's broadcasts, featuring live daily reports from the afflicted countries.

Jai Ojah Maharaj is a motivated, innovative and committed individual possessing a unique and diverse background in broadcasting.  He is known as an effective communicator and powerful presenter with over 25 years in ethnic broadcasting and programming.  Jai has been recognized for his commitment to honesty and integrity and has mentored and trained many professionals in the media.

His unforgettable name and melodious voice has become the sound of the Caribbean community in Canada.  After graduation from the Radio Broadcasting program at Humber College, Jai joined CHIN Radio/TV International in Toronto.  Since 1979, his Caribbean Connection program on CHIN Radio has been the source of music and information for generations of Caribbean people.  His Saturday evening Dateline news program is the authoritative word on events occurring in the Caribbean.

Jai’s commitment to excellence in broadcasting continues through his work as Vice President, Radio of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada.  He has been a Juno Awards judge and spent five years as a host of  South Asian Newsweek on CFMT, Channel 47, 

Cable 4.   He has also been a guest commentator and columnist for a variety of radio and newspaper outlets in Canada, Trinidad and New York.

Over the years Jai has garnered numerous awards and accolades for his work.  Most recently he was awarded the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada Award for long and meritorious service to the Caribbean community in Canada, 2004.

Whether Jai is interviewing top Caribbean leaders, local politicians, community advocates or playing the hottest soca, reggae or chutney music, his dedication to his craft is extraordinary.  Jai delivers the warmth of the Caribbean on CHIN Radio AM1540 and FM91.9 Monday to Friday, 11:30pm to 1:00am on CHIN Radio FM100.7, Saturday 9:00pm to 1:00am and worldwide on the internet at www.chinradio.com.


Simon Dingley, Producer-reporter, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Toronto, for his poignant feature "Seeking the Way" on two Inuit brothers, the hockey-playing Tootoo's and how one overcame the tragedy of the other's death.

 

Married to CBC Business Anchor Jeannie Lee, Simon is a reporter and senior producer with CBC Network News, based in Toronto. This is what he has to say about himself, "I have been with CBC for almost 11 years, I have worked in every province in Canada for CBC, as well as Nunavut. Prior to joining the CBC in 1994, I was a reporter based in Toronto for Global Television News. Before that I was a reporter in Montreal with CTV's local affiliate  CFCF from 1987 to 1990. Prior to that I worked in private radio in Montreal,  Toronto and Ottawa.

"At CBC television,  I have reported on many large stories for both the local news, Newsworld, and "The National."  Stories include Paul Bernardo, the 1995 TTC subway crash, and the crash of the British Nimitz plane into Lake Ontario. I have also produced two documentaries, both for CBC Network Sports. The first documentary " From Highway to Hardcourt. Carl English's quest for the NBA",  received a Gemini nomination.

"My most recent documentary, "Seeking the way, the hockey 

journey of the Tootoo Brothers" was a top prize at the Columbus Film Festival last year. 

 

"I began working on the documentary in September 2002. We had to put it on hold in November 2002, because the Tootoo family was grieving over the loss of their son Terence, and felt they couldn't speak about his death. Finally in September 2003, Jordin Tootoo made it to the National Hockey League. I realized it was an opportunity to resume work on the documentary. I went to Nashville and filmed Jordin playing his first NHL game. But unfortunately the family still felt it could not talk about the death of Jordin's brother, Terence. Finally in February 2004, we gambled and flew to their tiny community in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. We had no guarantees they would talk to us. But once we were there,  we managed to get them to open up about the loss of their son. To this date it is the only interview the Tootoo parents have given about the death of their son."

 

Enzo di Mauro, Reporter, OMNI 1 Italian News, Toronto, for a groundbreaking investigative series on a pension fraud affecting Italian-Canadian seniors, leading to wide attention from mainstream media and subsequent police action

 

 

Gyan Rajhans, columnist South Asian Outlook e-Monthly, for his informative internet series on South Asian Spirituality offering an introduction to some of the faiths of Canadians from areas covered by this internet service.

Spiritual Achievements

In addition to his professional profile, Gyan Rajhans has been serving the community by producing and broadcasting the only non-commercial Vedic religion radio program in North America since 1981. Gyan Rajhans has published extensively on Religious and Spiritual matters and some of them have been republished by several spiritual journals and web sites worldwide including in the widely well known Hindu Web site www.hinduism.about.com and an independent e-monthly www.SouthAsianOutlook.com

Gyan Rajhans has also translated Sri Mad Bhagvad Gita (considered to be the Hindu Bible) in simple English and Hindi. His monthly spiritual columns appear in Southasianoutlook.com 

For his Spiritual services Gyan has been given several titles including Rishi, and Hindu Ratna.

In 2005, an International Organization of global repute and influence, “India International Friendship Society”, representing the people India, Indians and Non Indians of various nationalities who support India, is honored Gyan Rajhans with “Bharat Gaurav Award (Pride of India Award)” and along with Certification of Excellence. The letter to Gyan Rajhans informing him of this Award says

“After pursuing your bio-data, most objectively and impartially, it remains our considered opinion that you have given a fight in life and your worthy example does inspire others towards certain remarkable achievement.” Gyan Rajhans is the first Indo Canadian to be selected for this highly honored award.

 

Technical Achievements

Gyan Rajhans is an Indo-Canadian who is internationally recognized Health and Safety professional. From early 1968 till mid 2000 Gyan Rajhans had served and contributed to the Province of Ontario, in the field of Health and Safety as Chief Industrial Hygienist and District Manager in the Ministry of Labour. Since his retirement, Mr. Rajhans has established his own consulting firm, GSR& Associates Inc. At present, he has several consulting contracts dealing with expert witnessing in numerous litigations regarding asbestos and silica hazards.

 

Gyan Rajhans completed his B.Sc. Honors in Mining Engineering from Ranchi University, Bihar, India in 1963 and was awarded George c. Bateman Fellowship for his Post-Graduate studies at Queen’s University, Canada. Gyan Rajhans also held the post of Adjunct Full Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto. Gyan Rajhans, in 1987 was appointed as a consultant to the United Nations Development Program providing consultation to Asian countries. In 1997 he became the first Canadian of Indian Origin to be elected as Chair of the most reputable international standard setting organization namely American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) in its 75 year history.  He was also appointed as Co-Chair of the American Hygiene Conference and Exposition, Toronto in 1999.

 

Gyan Rajhans has also been the Principal author for four reference & text books in the field of occupational health & safety and has co-authored 68 scientific and technical papers.

 

Gyan Rajhans has been bestowed with several Honors for his contributions in the field of Health and Safety, including the Amethyst Award for outstanding achievement by an Ontario public servant and Award of Excellence by IAPA and OHS Magazine.

 

 

This year's the Sierhey Khmara Ziniak Award goes to Lenny Lombardi, president CHIN Radio/TV International for continuing with distinction a tradition in multicultural communication pioneered by the late Johnny Lombardi, who extended CHIN's media activities into community service reflecting Canada's diversity.

 

Lenny Lombardi graduated from York University with a BA in Film Studies and Business Administration.

Involved in broadcasting for over thirty years with CHIN Radio/TV International, he developed and expanded on ethnic radio and television broadcasting in Canada under the expert guidance and inspiration of his late father Johnny Lombardi.

Lenny is now president and CEO of CHIN Radio which broadcasts in over 30 languages on two frequencies AM 1540 and FM 100.7. Lenny is also the executive producer of the world famous CHIN International Picnic (an event that attracts over 250,000 people annually) as well as of numerous international music and cultural events held in Toronto and Southern Ontario.  Lenny sits on several boards including The Kensington Health Centre, The Columbus Centre and the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association. He is the Chairperson of The little Italy Business Association on College Street and the Producer of the Taste of Italy Festival.

He has hosted and helped raise funds for the Sick Kids Telethon, Variety Club and The Williams Syndrome Network.

In 2001, he successfully applied for a new full service multicultural multilingual station in the nation’s capital Ottawa. The new station, FM 97.9 will be the first full service ethnic radio station to broadcast in 20 languages in the Ottawa/Hull region. Lenny continues his dedication and commitment to ethnic broadcasting with a focus on innovative initiatives directed to the ethno-cultural communities served on CHIN RADIO.

Lenny is married to Grace Fusillo and they have a 6 year old daughter Alessandra.


Performances at this year’s awards presentation reflect Canada’s diversity. Performers include:

Yasmena Ramsay, founder and artistic director of Arabesque Dance Company and the School of Middle Eastern Dance and Music Arts.

Suleiman Warwar, a self-taught Palestinian who plays the Arabic tabla. Since migrating to Canada he has been introduced various percussion styles. Now he teaches Middle Eastern, African and South American drumming.

Morning Star River, a group founded by Eddie Robinson five years ago. It is part of the Pow Wow community at large, and has performed with a number of Native groups across North America.

Wes Zaharuk, a comedian with one of the zaniest shows on the market today. He has performed his on-man show across Canada and in countries such as Cyprus, Germany, Israel and Australia.

Truly Devine, a Bollywood Style, South Asian dancer

Singers: Paula Brancati – Italian; Enrique – Portuguese; Daniel Cannis – Greek; and Steve Mikulin – Croatian.

For the third year the CEJWC Awards ceremony is being taped by OMNI Television for later broadcast.

More on Jill Andrew

This year marks the  the second time Andrew has been awarded by the CEJWC.

Her first award was in 2003 for an editorial she wrote for the York University Excalibur newspaper titled I Will Be Seen And Heard. Andrew is one of only three CEJWC members across the world to ever be awarded twice by the organization.

CEJWC president Ben Viccari said Andrew's Ask Jill column represents well the ideals of the CEJWC, which are to increase awareness of ethnic media and cultural diversity within Canada. 

"She embraces a multicultural audience with cultural sensitivity. She has boundless enthusiasm. She has a great zest for life combined with a social conscience," Viccari said.

Viccari also said Metro's multicultural readership was a big reason Andrew received the award.

"Metro is read by so many people of so many different backgrounds that her advice affects people in all communities. To quote our judges, this award has been made because her columns offer excellent, thoughtful and balanced advice," he said.

"I am thrilled. CEJWC strives to better our diverse community by not only acknowledging but celebrating the achievements of ethnic journalists nationally and internationally.  To be selected out of a pool of such talented persons to be awarded not once but twice is truly an honour. I am in excellent company," Andrew said.

She credits her success to a strong sense of perseverance and motivation, and a desire to succeed despite the odds.

"In life I've found for many of us that a missed opportunity becomes something we lament over forever.  That's unproductive. I live my life now very aware of all opportunities around me — both to give to and to receive from things and those around me," Andrew said. Her favourite piece of advice to give: "So what if you've missed the boat. Be sure to prepare ... the yacht's just around the corner!"

 

 
 
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