Minister Hussen and Fresh Voices Youth Advisory Team announce 2017 awards!

The Fresh Voices Awards recognize the inspiration and leadership of immigrant and refugee youth in British Columbia and across Canada, working to advance social change based on themes and priorities including Immigration, School and English Language Learning, Family, Building Bridges and Working in Solidarity.

Meeting in Vancouver, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship – Ahmed Hussen and a group of young people originally from countries including Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Colombia, Burma, Ethiopia, and Somalia, discussed some of the issues they experience and recommendations for resettlement in Canada, and then announced the 2017 awards!

The 2017 Fresh Voices awards – a partnership between Vancouver Foundation, Michaëlle Jean Foundation, and Vancity Credit Union – represent a desire to see increased recognition and celebration of young immigrants and refugees who take on leadership roles in their communities.

“Sometimes recognition is backed up with a sense of sympathy rather than pride – which could be more harmful rather than empowering. I think the Fresh Voices Awards does a good job in lifting migrant youth up. It’s powerful to be recognized by our own peers which tells us that we are doing something right for our community.” – Golsa Golestaneh – Fresh Voices Youth Advisory Team.

“Canada is an inclusive and diverse country that is welcoming to all – and, understandably, moving to any new country can come with unique challenges. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting all of our newcomers– especially youth – to ensure they integrate successfully to Canada. I was honoured to be a part of these discussions, which helped inform on some of the issues newcomers face and how the Government can help.” – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Eight $1,000 awards

Awards provide a $1,000 bursary to an inspiring young immigrant or refugee person, aged 14-24, or to an adult-ally who has demonstrated excellence and/or impact in addressing issues of concern for newcomer youth communities.

7 Youth Awards

  • Six $1,000 awards for youth in B.C.
  • One $1,000 award for youth from across Canada

1 Adult-Ally Award

  • One $1,000 award for an adult ally in B.C.

The successful recipient (individual or organization), will be able to select a B.C charity or non-profit to receive a donation of $1,000 in their name.

Please review the categories and apply for yourself or nominate someone else for an award. If you are unsure which category to choose do not worry, please select the one you sthink is closest. When nominating someone else, please tell us about how they are providing leadership in the category.

DEADLINE: 5pm PDT, May 17 2017

Completed nominations (including additional supporting documents) must be received by 5pm PDT May 17 2017.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Vancouver Foundation staff at 1-604-688-2204 or email:

Download the nomination package



Did you know?

26.5% of British Columbians’ “mother tongue” is a non-official language, followed by Ontario (25.7%), Alberta (19.4%), and Quebec (12.3%). British Columbia has the highest percentage of language diversity of any Canadian province.

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