The 15th annual celebrations were held at the Estate Banquets & Event Centre, 430 Nugget Avenue, Scarborough. Canada Day and the Independence Day of the United States of America were celebrated together for the fourth time. Mayor Frank Scarpitti of the City of Markham was selected as the Award Recipient for this year. He was presented with Sandulak’s Spirit Bear and a plaque with the following inscription: IN RECOGNITION OF YOUR OUTSTANDING PUBLIC SERVICE AS THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF MARKHAM AND YOUR PASSION TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY.
Hon. Michael Couteau, Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship, was the Keynote Speaker. His speech was inspiring and reflected what Canada is all about – a country that takes pride in its diversity and where one has opportunities to reach their goals. He spoke about his own family and how his parents took whatever jobs they could to survive so their children could have a better life. Nowhere else can an immigrant who was not even born here can become a Minister.
Hon. John McCallum, M.P. for Markham /Unionville, made the following statement in the House of Commons on June 12, 2013:
“Mr. Speaker, for 15 years the Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada, led by Mr. Mobeen Khaja, has held a Canada Day gala on June 30. At the stroke of midnight, the group, representing all faiths and communities, cuts a cake and sings O Canada together.
The mission of the Association is to build understanding among different communities and faith groups in Canada. This year, the Association is honouring the Mayor of Markham, Frank Scarpitti. I have had the privilege of working with Mayor Scarpitti in various capacities since my first election to this House in 2000. This year Markham was declared Canada’s most multicultural community, and I am deeply proud of this accomplishment.
I would like to thank the Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada for its efforts to further multiculturalism, and I would also like to offer congratulations for its continued success in celebrating our great country”.
Miss Yumna Siddiqui and Ms Sanam Islam, Reporter OMNI news, South-Asian Edition were the Masters of Ceremonies. The National Anthem for Canada was sung by Niam Vora both at the start of the event and at midnight before the cake cutting ceremony. The US National Anthem was rendered by Jasin Osmani.
Four more awards were presented to individuals and organizations as follows:
Community Leader Award: Mr. Khalid Usman
Charity Award: International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF)
Professional Award: City TV
Youth Award: Hamzah Moin
As this was the fifteenth annual celebration, a colourful booklet was produced. It contained messages from Prime Minister Rt. Hon.Stephen Harper, Hon. Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition, Hon. Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturism.
Premier of Ontario, Honourable Kathleen Wynne also sent a message in which she congratulated Mayor Frank Scarpitti on receiving the APMC Canada Day Award.
Mayor Dave Ryan of the City of Pickering also sent a message as he could not attend.
The cake this year was made by Yumna Siddiqui and was delicious. It was a replica of the Parliament Buildings and impressed everyone. Good job Yumna!
Thanks to Dr. Shan Chandrasekar and Mrs. Jaya Chandrasekar of Asian Television Network for the Media sponsorship.
We are grateful to all those who sponsored tables. The booklet also contained advertisements from them. The names of our sponsors are as follows:
PLATINUM SPONSORS: DARVESHALI GROUP OF COMPANIES, TD BANK, THE PROPERTY BOUTIQUE ( Anna Vora). THE CAKE SHOP ( Yumna Siddiqui), IDEAL DEVELOPMENTS
GOLD SPONSORS: IDRF, DR. F. A. EBRAHIM, WEBIST INC., SMART MOBILE SIGNS, ITN FOOD CORPORATION,
SILVER SPONSORS: KPMG LLP. FCCM,
Many elected representatives from the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments and from the Regional Police Services attended. From the US Consulate, Mr. Scott Walker, Public Affairs Officer attended.