RISE Awards 2016

Dear 2016 RISE Awards Supporters

It is with great disappointment that we announce that after much consideration and in light of the recent disaster in Fort McMurray, the senior management and Board of Directors of the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers decided to cancel the 2016 RISE Awards that were scheduled for May 4th at Northlands. Northlands has been established as an emergency evacuation site for as many as 6,000 evacuees from the fires in Fort McMurray, and we at EMCN felt it simply would not align with our values as an organization to host a joyous celebration across the hall from hundreds of people who have lost everything in the world. We also felt that our esteemed award winners deserved proper recognition for their outstanding achievements and we did not feel that given the somber nature of the day we would be able to provide that in the way that they deserved.

Instead of holding the RISE Awards, EMCN decided to offer our event’s catering and space to the displaced evacuees that are staying at Northlands. In this way, we hope to have provided some comfort and distraction as they come to terms with a new reality. Over the past few months, as we have reached out with urgency and requests for support in light of the influx of Syrian refugees we have been supporting, the community of Edmonton and even the City of Fort McMurray have responded with nothing but support and generosity to help those that who have been in need. We feel that in some small way, offering our event to those in crisis was a way we can perhaps begin to repay the community for their support.

The 2016 RISE Awards recipients respect and understand this decision, and EMCN most assuredly plans to acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments at a later date.

If you require more information, please email mstarchuk@emcn.ab.ca.

A touch point of our event was going to be the concept that through helping others, we too, can RISE. We believe that this idea embodies the values of our city and community and hope that you share in this sentiment.

Thank you for your understanding and have an excellent day.

Amy Stevens
Coordinator of Communications and Development
Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers


Follow us on Twitter: @YEGNewcomers #RISEAWARDS2016


Josh Classen

Chakanaka Zinyemba
2015 Arts & Culture RISE Award Recipient


Karen Lynch


Wednesday, May 4th, 2016.
Northlands Expo Centre, 7300-116 Ave, Alberta Ballroom
Reception: 4:30pm
Dinner and Awards Program: 6:00 – 9:00pm


Arts and Culture Award
This award will recognize achievement in an artistic endeavor by an immigrant including visual, literary, or performing arts.

Community Leadership Award – Immigrant
This award will recognize commendable service to the community by an immigrant including but not limited to the areas of ethno-cultural community leadership, education, health promotion, and emotional, social, community, or spiritual advancements.
Community Leadership Award – Non-Immigrant
This award will recognize commendable service to the immigrant community by a born-Canadian including but not limited to the areas of intercultural community leadership, education, health promotion, emotional, community, or social advancements.
Lifetime Achievement Award
This award will recognize an immigrant who, over a longer period of time, has made substantial contributions to the greater Edmonton community in more than one of these areas: arts and culture; business; community service; health; social services;
and education.
Welcoming Workplace Award
This award recognizes a business who is committed to the successful integration and retention of newcomers in their workplace. The employer has established cultural diversity practices and initiatives that facilitate the success of immigrants. These practices recognize the skill and experience of newcomers as well as their capacity to succeed. Policies and practices result in the fair and ethical treatment of newcomers. Other elements of inclusion practices may be present, including but not limited to cultural awareness training, provisions for religious practices/dietary restrictions, and celebration of language and cultural diversity.




The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers requests your partnership in the 13th Annual RISE Awards Gala on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016. With your help, we can celebrate the success of newcomers throughout the city and the people who support them.