Shasha Navazesh, who founded ShaSha Co., a leading artisan bakery in Ontario, Canada, has been named among this year's RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrants, the people's choice program that celebrates inspiring Canadian immigrants. Other winners include two celebrity chefs/restaurateurs, Vikram Vij and Susur Lee. Presented by Canadian Immigrant magazine, other winners from the food world include John Chang, proprietor of award-winning Lulu Island Winery.
Nearly all of this year's winners arrived in their new home country more than a decade ago and made a significant contribution to Canada since their arrival. They've built their skills and expertise, and went on to successful endeavors.
"There is no limit to what an immigrant can achieve in Canada, and these 25 winners are a testament to that," says Margaret Jetelina, editor of Canadian Immigrant magazine. "We congratulate the winners, who come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and thank everyone who nominated or voted for this amazing list of difference-makers."
The winners will be honored at a celebration in Toronto on June 23 and in Vancouver on June 25. The program is proudly supported by title sponsor RBC Royal Bank and associate sponsor Chevrolet. RBC and Chevrolet are each presenting an award for individual achievement. The awards program is also supported by the Toronto Star, Metro Newspaper, Sing Tao, CBC Toronto and South Asian Focus newspaper.
More than 650 nominations were received in less than two months, from which 75 finalists were shortlisted by a diverse judging panel that included several past winners. Over 45,000 online votes were cast, making it the most popular year in the award's history. The final 25 were chosen based on a combination of votes and a second round of judging.