Vol 8-No. 1


Event: CEMA Award Gala


CEMA Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Gala Awards 

Award for South Asian Outlook publisher

Naeem “Nick” Noorani

Martin Silva - Jason Kenney

Ernest Tannis - Jason Kenney

Grace Fusillo

Angie Seth

Andrew Miller

Suresh Jaura - Brenda Nadjivan

Dat Ngyuen - Madeline Ziniak

[Photos Courtesy of Nick Do and Vu Sa of THOI BAO

CEMA’s annual awards gala and 30th anniversary celebrations were held before a packed audience at the Rogers Building in downtown Toronto on June 27, 2008 ((Canadian Multiculturalism Day). The show was followed by a rooftop reception for the award winners.

Special guest presenters for the evening included: the Honourable Jean Augustine, Ontario’s first Fairness Commissioner; the Honourable Jason Kenney, Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity; and Brenda Nadjiwan, Co-Chair, Strategic Alliance of Broadcasters for Aboriginal Reflection (SABAR) and Regional Director of the Ontario Region of Indian & Northern Affairs Canada.   


Honourable Jason Kenney

The show began with co-hosts,  Pay Chen, Infotainment Host for Rogers OMNI Television, and Dwight Drummond, Co-Anchor of Citytv News at Five and Citytv Crime Specialist,  reading a message of greeting from Governor General Michaëlle Jean, followed by CEMA President Ben Viccari’s introduction and a recorded greeting  by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. 


An honoured guest this year was Minister of State for Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, bringing a message from Prime Minister Stephen Harper. 

Co-hosts: Pay Chen - Dwight Drummond

Kenney reminded the audience that multiculturalism owed its roots to Senator Paul Yucyk and a group of Ukrainian-Canadians who in the mid-sixties deplored the Soviet suppression of the Ukrainian language and culture in their homeland and sought to have it preserved in Canada.

Kenney made awards to recipients in the Radio category (complete list of award winners).

The speech by outgoing CEMA President Ben Viccari, Multicultural media veteran, OMNI commentator, avid blogger and communications specialist, was a highlight of the evening. He reminded the ethnic media that they were the guardian of this cherished policy that has made Canada jewel in world affairs. 

Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Sierhey Khmara Ziniak Award to Dat Ngyuen, publisher/editor of the Vietnamese-language weekly Thoi Bao, also cited by CEMA chair Madeline Ziniak for his extraordinary initiative in organizing a successful protest to dispute and remove punitive Ontario taxation of publications (many of them ethnic publications) wrongly labelled as magazines. 

Awards were puncuated by entertainment from Noiuvel Exposé African dancers to Baba Deep Singh  martial arts group who performed amazing feats of dexterity with poles and swords. From Welsh National Opera came Lyric tenor Gwyndaf Jones and from Gimli Manitoba Icelandic-Canadian folk singer Lindy Vopnfjord. Philippine - Canadian standup comic Ryan Maglunob gave a new face to ethnic comedy and troubador Premek Kruta sang in three of the 24 languages he has mastered. 

The gala was taped for television by Rogers OMNI Television to be aired on Sunday, July 20, over OMNI 1 from 9 to 11 p.m. and on Friday, July 25, on OMNI 2 from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

“OMNI is pleased to broadcast special two-hour coverage of CEMA’s 30th Anniversary Gala Awards, not only to celebrate excellence in Canadian ethnocultural media, but also to reaffirm the importance of multilingual expression – especially in view of changing technologies,” says Madeline Ziniak, National Vice President of Rogers OMNI Television. 

The Canadian Ethnic Media Association is an organization for professionals engaged in the field of print and electronic journalism and creative writing.  CEMA was founded in 1978 to answer the needs of editors, writers and broadcasters who were excluded from the then existing ethnic media association which admitted only publishers of print media.

[Courtesy: Canadian Ethnic Media Association and OMNI-TV]

Ethnic Media Must Foster Multiculturalism: Ben Viccari

It gives me enormous pride and pleasure to introduce our 30th  Anniversary Gala on Multiculturalism Day 2008.

I must first inform you of a last minute change in our program.  The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of State for Multiculturalism, who was to have brought greetings from Prime Minister Harper, cannot be with us until later this evening.

We  wish to welcome Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Michael Chan, Federal member of Parliament  for Willowdale, Ms. Martha Hall Findlay and Mr. John Tory, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. Other distinguished guests include our presenters and of course, our award winners who will be more suitably introduced later.

I thank you for this final opportunity to address you as president.

There are literally hundreds of people to thank for this special CEMA event: Rogers  for the use of these great premises, Rogers OMNI Television for taping this whole presentation so it can be seen by hundreds of thousands of others: and so on. First showings are : OMNI 1 Sunday July 20th from 9 to 11 p.m. and OMNI 2 Friday July 25 from 10 p.m. to midnight.

In the interest of time, I must confine further thanks to but one person: the father of us all: editor/publisher  Sierhey Khmara Ziniak whose courage led to the founding of this inclusive organization. Knowing the penalties for his views and the right to publish he had suffered  imprisonment  before coming to Canada. Small wonder he grew impatient about the existing ethnic media association which included only publishers of print media.
Hence CEMA and we thank him for the ability to arrive at this celebration 30 years later. We are pleased too, that following his principles of independence we have reached this point without financial assistance from government at any level.

We of the ethnic media have a big task ahead of us — and I’ll tell you why. In his most recent book Queens University Professor Will Kymlicka, considered a guru of multiculturalism, writes of the possibility of its being accepted on a global basis.  He admits the course is daunting especially since conflict exists in so many countries where there are but one or two bitterly opposed  ethnic groups. But Kymlicka insists that we must, in the final analysis, all recognize  ethnic relationships  as a matter of recognizing human rights.

Here it is a different cup of tea or jug of saki or shot of slivovitch or un fiasco di vino.  We are already a multi, multi cultural nation, where many of our citizens in spite of coming from conflicted countries, have  learned to live together. It is this we must build on.

Ethnic journalism has not only the task of working passionately for freedom and human rights and against censorship in any form. We have to continue to show how we, as journalists can even further promote harmony between ethnicities.  We have to make our  spirit shine even brighter as we help others march toward citizenship in the best country in the world.  And in our so doing, Canada will shine even brighter globally as a symbol of democracy and harmony to continue to be admired by other nations.

Friends, it has been an honor to serve you and I thank you all for the privilege.

Now, all together: HAPPY 30th ANNIVERSARY CEMA!



The entries were judged by Ms Laura Hewitt, Ms Emma Reily and Mr Mohammad Zafar. 


The following received awards in different categories:


˜     PRINT


·     News or feature - Marg Jetelina, Editor, The Canadian Immigrant for “Cultural Compromise,” an affecting article on the work of Vancouver’s Godwin Eni, physician, educator and community leader. 


·     Editorial - Naeem “Nick” Noorani, Publisher, The Canadian Immigrant for his critical editorial “Canada’s Transition Penalty” on underemployment of immigrant professionals.


˜     RADIO


·     Feature - Martin Silva, Broadcaster, for presentation on the successful result of liver transplant from Dina Lomoro to Jorge Galego on CHIN radiothon  for Toronto Western hospital.


·     Opinion - Ernest Tannis, ADR program, CHIN Radio, Ottawa for a sensitive program featuring an imam, a minister and a rabbi and their views on the patriarch Abraham. 




·     News or feature - Grace Fusillo, Producer/Writer and Director of Fuel Productions’ moving documentary, “The Great Communicator -- Johnny Lombardi,” funded and broadcast by Rogers OMNI Television.


·     Opinion - Angie Seth, Anchor/Reporter, OMNI News: South Asian Edition for the lively “Democracy 101” on how students are encouraged to express political opinions prior to adulthood.  




˜     INTERN·        News or feature - Andrew Miller, Editor, Blunt Magazine, for “Death” a revealing   description of life as a hospital  service assistant with pride in his work.


·     Editorial - Suresh Jaura,  Publisher, South Asian Outlook for his  incisive editorial “Two  Kinds of Canadians”  on  systemic prejudices   against non-whites.  


The Sierhey Khmara Ziniak Award


Dat Ngyuen, Publisher and Editor of Vietnamese weekly, Thoi Bao, for “journalistic excellence in publishing his weekly newspaper and his integral initiative in rescuing Ontario print media from punitive taxation.” 

Naeem “Nick” Noorani

“Nick” Noorani is founder & publisher of The Canadian Immigrant Magazine, the first magazine for all immigrants in Canada. Born in Mumbai, India, Nick arrived in Canada in 1998 with a world of international experience in the advertising business. After experiencing many challenges as an immigrant, along with his wife Sabrina he wrote a book to help other immigrants called Arrival Survival Canada. Although he had no previous magazine publishing experience other than in ad sales, Nick spun the book off into the Vancouver-based monthly magazine. The successful niche publication offers immigrants information that they can’t find in other media — tips to help them succeed in Canada. In 2006 Nick sold the magazine to Star Media Group and last year launched a Toronto edition.


Naeem ‘Nick’ Noorani is living the dream, literally. Dubbed a social entrepreneur and an immigrant advocate, Nick Noorani, author of Arrival Survival Canada and founder/publisher of the Canadian Immigrant magazine, takes his work to a higher level through extensive community involvement.


A sought-after speaker and member of the Dominion Institute's speakers' bureau, his frank and humorous presentations bring in stories from his own immigrant journey as he discusses the importance of diversity in business and the successful integration of immigrants in Canada. Nick enjoys touring the country delivering his ‘Seven Success Secrets for Canadian immigrants’ talk and is a radio host with Radio Canada International (RCI) for the popular show for immigrants called The Link where he answers questions from potential and existing immigrants.


He is also an active community volunteer and leader. He is President of the Vancouver Multicultural Society, Board member of the Vancouver YMCA, Vancouver 2010 Olympics Advisory Committee on Sustainability Performance, RCMP - Commissioner's Advisory Committee on Visible Minorities and is a member of the Ethno Business Council, the Greater Vancouver Citizenship Council and committee member for the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.


Nick received the Inspiration Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2005 and was a finalist for the 2005 Spirit of Vancouver Award (Media), the Ethics in Action award in 2006 and the Burnaby Board of Trade award for Entrepreneurship among others. In 2007 he was honoured by the North American Association of Asian Professionals (NAAAP) as Vancouver’s leading business professional.



Acceptance Speech


Thank you Jean – I am honored to be receiving this award from an immigrant I admire so much!  

Madame President, my friend Ben Viccari and honored guests, it is an immense honor for me to be here tonight and be recognised by my peers in the publishing industry. But this is not about me – it is about the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are underemployed in this country, working jobs below their profession just to make a living. 

This transition penalty (which is the article in question) that immigrants pay costs the country $5 billion every year according to the Conference Board of Canada

I am amazed when an immigrant tells me they did not get a job because of their accent – that is the same accent of the consumer! Those marketers who don’t get it will be left behind in the dust as Canada moves steadily onto becoming a multicultural example in a world of non tolerance. 

I implore each and every one of you to look inside you and see where you could bring down barriers for immigrants – so that their dreams may fuel the economy of this country. I accept this award on behalf of the hundreds of thousands who come to Canada in search of their dream.

Thank you!

Grace Fusillo-Lombardi  

Grace Fusillo-Lombardi graduated from Ryerson University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio and Television.  Grace’s project for the Rogers Communications Center was included by Ryerson University in their promotions around the world.  After graduating she began Fuel Productions Inc. which is a planning, promoting, and production company. She is a writer, producer and director for the company’s first documentary “The Hoggs Hollow Tragedy” which was in conjunction with the fortieth anniversary of the tragedy in Toronto. Grace also wrote, directed, and produced the documentary on COSTI’s history to commemorate their fiftieth anniversary in 2003. 

Grace has written and produced numerous commercials and promotional videos and has developed promoti8onal and public relations campaigns for her clients. 

Grace was community liaison representative for CHIN Radio’s successful application for the first multicultural radio station in the nation’s capital. 

In 2000, Grace was invited by COSTI immigrant Services to participate as a Board Member. She helped develop their successful branding initiative and volunteered on the board until 2006. 

Grace recently produced, wrote, and directed the award winning biography “Johnny Lombardi: The Great Communicator” which was broadcast on Rogers and was financed by the OMNI Television Independent Producers Initiative.


Acceptance Speech


Good evening ladies and gentlemen!


Johnny Lombardi: The Great Communicator was a labour of love for me and my executive producer and husband Lenny Lombardi.  I want to thank Lenny for asking me to produce his father's biography.  He entrusted me with the responsibility of telling the story of not only a great father but also a great Canadian.


Johnny Lombardi’s life spanned many careers including musician, soldier, grocer, impresario and broadcaster.  All of which influenced and shaped him into an outstanding communicator to the many and varied walks of life and cultures he served.  Johnny knew what it was like to be poor, he knew what it was like through his own parents, to be an immigrant, and the solitude and segregation that comes from being a “newcomer”.  He was able to find a unique way through his multicultural radio station to speak to them and let them know they were not alone…and therefore he was a great communicator.


I would also like to thank my parents who came to Canada in the late 60’s and accomplished so much.  They gave me an appreciation and understanding of the immigrant experience.  This in turn helped me tell the story of a man who had an enormous impact on them and hundreds of thousands who immigrated to Canada.


I would like to thank all of the staff at OMNI.  This project would not have been possible without the Rogers OMNI Television Independent Producers Initiative.


And finally to the Canadian Ethnic Media Association, headed by Ben Viccari and Madeline Ziniak.  Thank you for this award that acknowledges the story of an important Canadian figure in broadcasting.

Angie Seth

Angie Seth is the lead News Anchor for OMNI News South Asian Edition. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to interview some of the most interesting and intriguing guests, from the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephane Dion, Jack Layton, Ontario’s Premier, Dalton McGuinty, to Daniel Pearl’s father, Judea Pearl, Deepa Mehta, and Juno Winner, Kiran Ahluwalia.

Angie has covered stories on everything from Local crime, Sports and Entertainment, to Politics, Humanitarian issues and National Security. Angie has been the lead reporter on the Sharia Law debate in Ontario, and the Air India Trial and Inquiry for a number of years. Last year, Angie was given an Honorable mention for her two part series on “The Muslim Veil”. And recently she won the 2008 CEMA (Canadian Ethnic Media Association) Award for her feature story on the Provincial Election and what kids have to say about it.

Angie began her career in broadcast news, when she was asked to join CFMT Television in 1999. She worked as a reporter and news coordinator, for South Asian Newsweek, a weekend newscast. During that time, Angie also produced two diversity shows, Ishtyle and Bollywood Boulevard.

Angie also writes for the Canadian Association of Journalists and is often interviewed about various topics of concern to South Asians, by other news agencies like the CBC. In May, 2006, Angie was the guest host of the CBC’s radio show, The Current (a 1 ½ hour live radio broadcast on in-depth issues that important to Canadians.)


Angie holds an Honors degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto. She completed her high school years at The Bishop Strachan School, where she was on the Track Team and Head of the Debating Club. In her second last year of high school, Angie won first place in the prestigious Debating Fulford Tournament, against Upper Canada College.


She regularly hosts several community events and fundraisers each year.


Angie is also a long distance runner. She’s participated in five marathons, including the Boston marathon in 1999.


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