Immigrant stories throughout Canada

Discover stories of immigrants enriching our communities and making a difference in our lives.


Bringing joy and belonging to queer communities

In the 5 short years since Tabitha McIntyre came to Canada from Scotland, they have tirelessly volunteered with Pride organizations to advocate and build a community for 2SLGBTQI+ people.

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Vancouver and Squamish, British Columbia

Bringing joy and belonging to queer communities

In the 5 short years since Tabitha McIntyre came to Canada from Scotland, they have tirelessly volunteered with Pride organizations to advocate and build a community for 2SLGBTQI+ people.

British Columbia, British Columbia, Arts and culture, Inclusive communities, Volunteerism, Article Article

Montréal and Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, Quebec

Flying to the rescue in Nunavik

From refugee to lifesaving pilot, Nour Utayim has delivered food and essential medical supplies to remote northern communities, including during the early days of COVID-19 and captains medical evacuation flights.

Quebec Quebec, Women, Indigenous, Health care, Inclusive Communities, COVID-19, Francophone, Article Article

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Bridging cultures to change lives

Mandela Kuet, a passionate believer in the power of personal development, started an organization that supports at-risk youth who want to stay out of gangs. He has also teamed up with an Indigenous activist to build bonds between Winnipeg’s newcomer and Indigenous communities.

Manitoba Manitoba, Youth, Indigenous, Inclusive Communities, Volunteerism, Article Article

Toronto, Ontario

From violence to violins: Teaching children life skills through music

Acclaimed violinist Moshe Hammer founded The Hammer Band, a not-for-profit Toronto charity offering free violin lessons to kids in under-resourced communities. His goal? To help children lead positive lives through the power of music.

Ontario Ontario, Arts and culture, Education, Volunteerism, Youth, Article Article

Vancouver, British Columbia

Partnering with an Indigenous community to fight plastic pollution

Dr. Feng Jiang, a University of British Columbia professor originally from China, is on a mission to replace plastics with biodegradable materials—and his work with the Wet’suwet’en First Nation could help build economic prosperity for First Nations in the province.

British Columbia British Columbia, Environment, Indigenous, Science and technology, Article Article

London, Ontario

Researching, teaching, healing: this doctor does it all

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Michelle Barton-Forbes, a Jamaica-born pediatric infectious disease specialist, initiated multiple studies to learn about the risk factors for children and lay the groundwork for more research.

Ontario London, Ontario, Health care, COVID-19, Science and technology, Women, Youth, Article Article

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Breathing new life into Charlottetown’s dance scene

Polina Salabay, a lifelong dancer from Ukraine who recently immigrated to Canada, is expanding opportunities for children in Charlottetown by offering lessons in hip-hop, jazz-funk, Zumba and more.

Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island, Arts and culture, Women, Youth, Article Article

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Bringing some relief to a long-term care home

Within a week of arriving in Canada, 23-year-old Dilruba Hussaini, originally from Afghanistan, had started a full-time job in St. John’s at one of the many long-term care homes in the province that is often looking to fill jobs.

Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador, Economic impact, Health care, Seniors, Women, Article Article

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Breaking the silence around domestic violence

Winnipeg resident Zita Somakoko, a survivor of domestic violence, became an advocate for other victims after the death of a fellow Manitoba woman.

Manitoba Manitoba, Philanthropy, Women, Article Article

Vancouver, British Columbia

Keeping hunger at bay—and food out of landfills

These newcomers from Iran and Serbia were so shocked by food waste in their new country that they started redistributing food to those in need. Today, they feed more than 3,500 people every month.

British Columbia British Columbia, Business, Food services, Philanthropy, Article Article

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Enhancing food and beverage shelf life while leading women in STEM

Interested in the science of food, Natasha Dhayagude co-founded Chinova Bioworks, a startup made up of 90% women in STEM that’s created jobs in Fredericton.

New Brunswick New Brunswick, Science and technology, Business, Women, Video Video

Vernon, British Columbia

Turning to newcomers to keep a business thriving

Faced with labour shortages, a Vernon furniture store owner took a chance on a newcomer business student. More than happy with the results, the company continues to hire immigrants to help it succeed.

British Columbia British Columbia, Business, Economic Impact, International students, Article Article

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Recruiting global tech talent to support businesses

In response to continuous, rapid growth in the industry, many Canadian tech companies find themselves competing for the same pool of candidates. See how hiring abroad leads to new, experienced talent for companies like Vendasta.

Saskatchewan Saskatchewan, Business, Science & technology, Video Video

Sudbury, Ontario

Meeting mining industry demands through immigration

After multiple attempts to recruit experienced local tradespeople, this family-owned welding shop opted to look abroad. Since hiring senior welders from Mexico, Carriere Industrial Supply has grown exponentially, broken into new markets and developed even better products.

Ontario Ontario, Business, Economic impact, Video Video

Whitehorse, Yukon

Bringing communities and cultures together through Bhangra

By dancing Bhangra against the backdrop of beautiful Yukon, Gurdeep Pandher is celebrating life and promoting tourism to the territory.

Yukon Arts & Culture, Education, Philanthropy Video

Olds, Alberta

Introducing new farming techniques to Western Canada

Using solar greenhouse technology, a geologist from China is helping Albertan farmers extend their growing season.

Alberta Business, Science and technology, Food services, Environment Video

Vancouver, British Columbia

Inspiring the next generation of athletes

Knowing her true potential as a Paralympic athlete, Maryam came to Canada determined to wear the maple leaf and inspire younger athletes.

British Columbia Refugees, Sports, Volunteerism, Youth, Women Video

Vancouver, British Columbia

Improving emergency care for British Columbians during the pandemic

Paramedics Tim Makrides and Leon Baranowski have worked with their teams to spearhead advancements in paramedical health care during the pandemic.

British Columbia Health care, COVID-19 Article

Surrey, British Columbia

Racing to roll out vaccines

Dr. Victoria Lee, President and CEO of Fraser Health in British Columbia, oversees and mobilizes the largest vaccine rollout in recent history.

British Columbia COVID-19, Health care, Women Article

Toronto, Ontario

Caring for the community in a global crisis

Physician and philanthropist Dr. Joseph Yu Kai Wong raised funds for 700,000 medical masks to help keep the community safe during the pandemic.

Ontario COVID-19, Health care, Philanthropy, Seniors Article

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

“Angel of the North” delivering her third generation of babies

Dr. Lalita Malhotra, originally from India, has delivered more than 10,000 babies in Canada. She has established such deep connections with the local Indigenous community over the years that it has named her their “Angel of the North.”

Saskatchewan Health care, Indigenous, Volunteerism, Women Article

Altona, Manitoba

Growing local businesses through immigration

See how immigration helped Friesens address labour shortages and enrich the Altona community.

Manitoba Business, Economic impact, Inclusive communities Video

Brandon, Manitoba

Brewing up excitement in Brandon

Black Wheat Brewing in Brandon, Manitoba, is the city’s first craft brewery, and residents have welcomed its newcomer brewmaster with open arms.

Manitoba Food services, Business, COVID-19, International students Article

British Columbia

Engineering cleaner water in remote communities

RES’EAU-WaterNET, a program started by Dr. Madjid Mohseni, originally from Iran, has helped 4 First Nations communities lift drinking water advisories and 8 small communities improve the quality of their drinking water.

British Columbia Science and technology, Indigenous, International student Article

Calgary, Alberta

Doing well by doing good

Wayne and Eleanor Chiu, originally from Hong Kong, are driven by their passion for using business to further the good of their community.

Alberta Business, Indigenous, International student, Philanthropy Article

Calgary, Alberta

Investing in the next generation of Canadian business leaders

From refugee to real estate mogul, Bob Dhillon’s $10-million donation to the University of Lethbridge’s School of Business is the largest gift in its history.

Alberta Business, Education, Philanthropy, Refugees Article

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Making Canada a culinary champion

PEI may be Canada’s smallest province, but thanks to a chef originally from Switzerland, it’s earning a big name as a food lover’s destination.

Prince Edward Island Food services, Education, Philanthropy, Volunteerism Article

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Reviving Charlottetown’s skating club

A skating club in Charlottetown on the verge of closing is revived by the enthusiastic participation of the Chinese community.

Prince Edward Island Sports, Youth Video

Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Leading by example

This is a historical example of how Canada was built on immigration. In 1853, Abraham D. Shadd moved to Canada, where his success and influence led to opportunities for many other Black Canadians.

Ontario Anti-racism, Arts and culture, Education, Inclusive communities, Volunteerism Article

Coquitlam, British Columbia

Fighting food waste while feeding the community

A Serbian immigrant and his enthusiastic group of volunteers gather unsold food for people in need in Coquitlam.

British Columbia Food services, Volunteerism Video

Digby, Nova Scotia

Building bridges between law enforcement and the Black community

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Fredrick Mubiru gives back to the country that offered him protection by protecting others.

Nova Scotia Anti-racism, Refugees, Youth Article

Eastman, Quebec

Strengthening a community through refugee sponsorship

When 3 Quebec villages sponsored the first refugee family to the area, they wanted to help Maykil, Zena and Malak Toma find a new home. What they didn’t expect was the renewed community spirit that would arrive with their new neighbours.

Quebec Business, Francophone, Inclusive communities, Refugees Video

Edmonton, Alberta

Inspiring inner city youth

How a refugee became a role model for vulnerable Edmonton teens.

Alberta Refugees, Youth, Volunteerism Article

Edmonton, Alberta

Serving Edmonton’s seniors

How Edmonton’s Heart to Home Meals owners, both from India, help seniors and other vulnerable people.

Alberta Business, Food services, Philanthropy, Seniors, Women Article

Enfield, Nova Scotia

Tailoring solutions during the pandemic

Khabat Alissa helps keep his community safe, one mask at a time.

Nova Scotia COVID-19, Volunteerism Article

Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan

Shaping small-town Saskatchewan

How a Dutch immigrant created jobs and boosted the economy in a small Prairie town.

Saskatchewan Business, Economic impact, Women Article

Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

Healing from the heart

Dr. Riaan van der Wart blends traditional and contemporary medicine to serve First Nations communities.

British Columbia COVID-19, Health care, Indigenous Article

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Bringing love and kindness to the streets of Halifax

Mark Saldanha’s mission is to reaffirm the dignity of Canadians experiencing homelessness by showing them friendship, respect and compassion.

Nova Scotia Inclusive communities, Volunteerism Article

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Welcoming women to technology

Born in Germany, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia immigrated to Canada from Israel in 2002. She has since become an integral part of Nova Scotia’s effort to bolster the ranks of women in tech jobs.

Nova Scotia Business, Science and technology, Women Article

Hamilton, Ontario

Striking a chord in the community

Astrid Hepner’s Hamilton Music Collective is creating opportunities for the city’s next generation of musicians.

Ontario Arts and culture, Women Article

Inuvik, Northwest Territories

Tackling food insecurity in Canada’s North

The Arctic Food Bank—founded by the Muslim Welfare Centre and staffed by immigrant and Indigenous volunteers—has served hundreds of Inuvik residents since 2015.

Northwest Territories Food services, Indigenous, Philanthropy, Volunteerism Article

Iqaluit, Nunavut

Promoting patient care in Iqaluit

Mistaking Baffin Island for Banff brought a qualified nurse to promote continuity of care in Canada’s northern communities.

ONunavut Health care, Women Video

Montréal, Quebec

Building opportunities for future Canadian engineers

Once a foreign student in these halls, leading businesswoman Gina Cody has left her mark… and her name… on Concordia’s Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science with a $15 million endowment.

Quebec Science and technology, Philanthropy, Education, Women Video

Morden, Manitoba

Growing a community through immigration

When a close-knit community in rural Manitoba welcomes immigrants with open arms, everyone benefits – especially employers.

Manitoba Business, Economic impact, Inclusive communities Video

Milton, Ontario

Serving our country, at home and abroad

Warrant Officer Avril Jno-Baptiste-Jones is originally from Dominica and has served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 25 years. She deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait, and has been recognized for her leadership and excellence.

Ontario Women, Anti-racism Article

Northern Canada

Bringing connectivity to Canada’s North

Samer Bishay bridges the digital divide by bringing cellular networks to remote northern communities.

Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Ontario Business, Indigenous, Science and technology Article

Peterborough, Ontario

Building it up by keeping it local

Javier Bravo, originally from Mexico City, has developed a way to help Peterborough’s downtown businesses thrive.

Ontario Business, Economic impact, Philanthropy, Science and technology Article

St. Andrews, New Brunswick

Bringing the community together, one dish at a time

A Swiss chef, inspired by the abundance of local ingredients in St. Andrews, has brought the world to a historic inn while helping the aquaculture industry.

New Brunswick Business, Food services Video

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Finding new musical voices in Newfoundland and Labrador

Dr. Jakub Martinec has brought his musical background from the Czech Republic to help boys and young men sing out across Newfoundland.

Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and culture Article

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Innovating and hiring on the Rock

Two immigrants in Newfoundland and Labrador partnered up to build HeyOrca, a thriving tech firm that now employs 25 people and contributes to the St. John’s start-up community.

Newfoundland and Labrador Business, International students, Science and technology Article

Sudbury, Ontario

Fundraising for much-needed services in Sudbury

Inspired by her mother’s example, Bela Ravi works tirelessly to raise funds for what people need most in her home town of Sudbury.

Ontario Arts and culture, Education, Philanthropy, Volunteerism, Women Video

Thunder Bay, Ontario

Improving breast cancer detection

Dr. Alla Reznik is developing new imaging technology to improve breast cancer diagnosis and treatment monitoring.

Ontario Health care, Science and technology, Women Article

Toronto, Ontario

Supporting writers, promoting literacy and creating jobs

Hong Kong immigrant Allen Lau co-founded Wattpad, the hugely successful tech start-up that is helping writers find audiences far and wide.

Ontario Arts and culture, Business, Science and technology Article

Toronto, Ontario

Bringing smiles to vulnerable families

Anaida Deti has gone from training in Canada as a dental hygienist to owning a dental practice and using it to support her community.

Ontario Health care, Philanthropy, Women Article

Toronto, Ontario

Getting personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health care workers and vulnerable communities

Khadija Cajee, originally from South Africa, co-founded a volunteer organization called Conquer COVID-19. They delivered more than 3 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals, homeless shelters and community organizations across Canada.

Ontario COVID-19, Health care, Philanthropy, Volunteerism, Women Video

Toronto, Ontario

Feeding it forward – 1 sandwich at a time

The owner of a Toronto eatery offers a unique way for customers to help feed those in need and build a strong community – all for less than $4.

Ontario Food services, Philanthropy, Refugees, Women Article

Toronto, Ontario

Cooking up a community—and feeding it

Steve Kidron, who once struggled to feed himself, now runs an enterprise in Toronto that supports food industry start-ups and feeds others.

Ontario Food services, Philanthropy Article

Vancouver, British Columbia

Teaching children for free during a pandemic

As a young entrepreneur, Kavita Dau has been giving back to her community by teaching kids for free online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

British Columbia COVID-19, Education, Volunteerism, Women Video

Victoria, British Columbia

Catching the giving spirit

Hissein Idriss found a way to potentially touch almost any Canadian in need of help: by launching a charity dedicated to helping other Canadian charities succeed.

British Columbia Philanthropy, Science and technology Article

Victoria, British Columbia

Lighting the path for aspiring entrepreneurs

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Yamila Franco is an eco-entrepreneur, leader and mentor recognized for her positive, empathetic leadership style.

British Columbia Anti-racism, Business, Environment, International students, Science and Technology, Women Article

Western Canada

Empowering communities to save money and energy

Areef Abraham is working with Indigenous communities to be more energy efficient, one home at a time.

Alberta, British Columbia Environment, Indigenous, Science and technology Article

Whitehorse, Yukon

Taking Whitehorse’s music scene to new levels

Olivier de Colombel was drawn to the Yukon, and now Whitehorse’s only French elementary school has a music teacher and dedicated volunteer.

Yukon Arts and culture, Education, Francophone, Volunteerism Article

Whitehorse, Yukon

Equipping youth with life, language and wilderness skills

When COVID-19 closed local schools, Raphaëlle Couratin came to the rescue with an outdoors French immersion program that teaches students wilderness skills.

Yukon Business, COVID-19, Education, Environment, Volunteerism, Women, Youth, Francophone Article

Windsor, Ontario

Transforming teen lives in Windsor

Originally from Eritrea, Mehari Hagos makes his living owning a gym but feels his true calling is helping Glengarry kids succeed.

Ontario Philanthropy, Sports, Youth Article

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Cultivating compassion in the community

A tragedy inspired Loizza Aquino to create a safe space for youth to share experiences and overcome the shame many feel in speaking about mental health and suicide.

Manitoba Health care, Philanthropy, Youth, Women Article

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Telling the story of Manitoba’s Francophone community

An immigrant historian is recognized with the Order of Manitoba for her efforts to help preserve Francophone culture in the province.

Manitoba Arts and culture, Francophone, Volunteerism, Women Article

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Putting people before profit in Canada’s tech sector

Pablo Listingart, an entrepreneur from Argentina, tackles unemployment with tuition-free tech training.

Manitoba Business, Education, Philanthropy, Science and technology Video

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Inspiring a city through the power of dance

From landscaper to volunteer firefighter, to a paramedic and founder of a dance troupe, there is very little that Louis Gaëtan hasn’t done for his community since his arrival in Yellowknife in 2012.

Northwest Territories Arts and culture, Francophone, Inclusive communities, Volunteerism Article

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