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Press Release

County of Simcoe recognizes community leaders at 2020 virtual Newcomer Recognition Awards


​Midhurst/November 20, 2020 – On November 19, 2020, the County of Simcoe virtually launched the eighth annual Newcomer Recognition Awards. Six individuals, one school and one organization were recognized for their contributions to developing welcoming communities across Simcoe County.

The award winners were joined by local immigration partners, elected officials and guest speaker Indira Naidoo-Harris to celebrate diversity and its positive impacts on our communities. The event featured a cultural performance by the Bhangra Crew Ontario.

“Simcoe County is home to more than 62,000 immigrants and growing, who bring diversity in their skill, knowledge and experience, helping to enhance our economy and communities," said Warden George Cornell. “By adapting to an online celebration this year, we were pleased to provide an opportunity to showcase the continued efforts of our deserving awards recipients, as well as the actions of our community partners, with an even larger audience. Congratulations to this year's award recipients and thank you to our staff, partners and residents who continue to support our newcomers."

This year's Newcomer Recognition Award Winners are:

  • Community Champion – Jason McKague
  • Community Champion – Samah Hadaia
  • Ethno Cultural Group – Barrie Indian Association
  • Immigrant Entrepreneur – Ahmad Alasfar and Faten Alawad
  • Immigrant Entrepreneur – Yoon Joo Hong-McParland
  • Multiculturalism in Education – Educator: Lisa Boate
  • Multiculturalism in Education – School: Boyne River Public School
  • Service Excellence – Rudy Grewal

Submissions were received from across Simcoe County and reviewed in an open nomination process. Recipients were chosen by the Newcomer Recognition Selection Committee.

The virtual ceremony remains available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYO-RnLrQD0.

The Simcoe County Local Immigration Partnership hosts this event to recognize outstanding individuals, businesses and organizations who are champions within their local communities. This initiative is funded in part by Women and Gender Equality Canada in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the County of Simcoe Economic Development Office, Georgian College, Innovative Automation, Lakehead University, the Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board and Pavliks.com. For more information on the annual Newcomer Recognition Awards, visit https://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/ccs/lip/newcomer-recognition-awards.  

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.­­­­­­

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Collin Matanowitsch
Public Relations Manager
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch
705-734-8386 (mobile)

Jennifer Straw
Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch
705-790-5979 (mobile)