Highlights from Our AGM 2023

On the morning of October 24th, we were greeted with a sunny day and double-digit temperatures, which set the perfect tone for our Event.

The doors of the Lithuanian House opened early, and guests began to arrive. The interactions between staff, partners, clients, and volunteers lit up the evening, and the sounds of long-time friends reuniting filled the room.

The meeting started a little after 6:00 pm with the reports from our Board of Directors. This is the Business part of an AGM, where members vote to approve things like the minutes of the last meeting and new slate of the board for the next fiscal year.

We call the next part ‘the Evening Program’. This section began with words from our CEO, Jemima Sabapathy, and video greetings from Members of Parliament and Provincial Parliament: Arif Virani and Bhutila Karpoche.

Traditionally during an AGM, we recognize staff for their years of service. This year we celebrated 10 staff members for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years with the organization. We also celebrated Paul St. Clair’s 25th anniversary at CultureLink.

A New Tradition

We decided to mark the 35-year milestone with a new tradition. A tradition to showcase and celebrate some of the excellent work that is happening within our agency. Thinking about all the people, partners and organizations that have made a meaningful impact, we created four new awards:

  1. 2023 Client of the Year Award – Lynn was nominated for her supportive spirit. She thanked CultureLink for helping her understand Canada from a different perspective.
  2. 2023 Mentor of the Year Award – Mary has volunteered with CultureLink for nearly 14 years and mentored over 300 newcomers, showing a remarkable commitment to helping them reach their goals.
  3. 2023 Employer of the Year Award – Harbourfront Centre has been by our side for over 5 years. Our partnership has allowed 76 new Canadians to gain work experience in Canada.
  4. 2023 Staff of the Year Award – Marina Sokolov was chosen for her enthusiasm, positive and caring attitude, and immense knowledge. Congratulations Marina!

To continue the anniversary celebrations, we brought out cake! At the count of 1, 2, 3, everyone said “CultureLink!” and Jemima, Marina and Paul did the honours.

That was the end of a very special evening.

Thank you very much to those who joined us and everyone who stands by our side. We are very grateful for your continuous support.

Program Showcase

Celebrating 35 years of building thriving communities means that all of our initiatives aim to make a substantial impact in our communities.

Through creative activities, and with the help of technology, our clients have been able to explore real-life experiences, build connections and feel empowered.

A few extraordinary examples were showcased during our AGM.

From the Women of Courage -a project that resulted in 37 pieces of artwork displayed in 4 museums earlier this year-, Famy and Wai delighted us with their inspiring words and poems: Women of Colour and Elements of Courage, respectively.

The biggest surprise of the evening was certainly JSav and EnerDre’s performance of the song they wrote, called Story of my Life.

These two talented youth were able to develop their full creative potential because, through one of our programs, they were given access to the right tools and resources, and a truly safe space to express themselves.

Full story and song lyrics.

Thank you

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who played a part in making our AGM special: our board, members and guests for showing up; our staff and volunteers who helped plan every detail, carried things to and from the venue, helped decorate the room and set up the equipment, welcomed and helped guest to their seats, organised the kitchen and served the food, and stayed late to help clean up at the end!

And a special thanks to Snaptique for capturing such fun memories with their photo booth!