2022 Welcoming Ottawa Ambassadors

WOW Ambassador: Carl Nicholson

Nominator: Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP)

Carl Nicholson Recognized with a Special Welcoming Ottawa Award

For more than 50 years, Carl Nicholson has been a man with a mission. In his own words, “I’m driven to build a better world.” By any standard, he has been highly successful in this task. Best known since 1994 as the Executive Director of the Catholic Centre for Immigrants Ottawa, Carl guides an agency helping thousands of immigrants and refugees each year.

WOW Ambassador: Kathy Thomas

Nominator: Elena Goubanova

Building a Welcoming and Inclusive Community

When Elena Goubanova and her family arrived in Ottawa from Kazakhstan in 1998, she felt completely lost. There was also the culture shock of learning how things work in Canada — how to rent an apartment, register children for schools, book medical appointments and find a job.

WOW Ambassador: Mohd Khalid Naseemi

Nominator: Fazul Rahim

Finding a Real Friend

In Afghanistan, there is a proverb that says, “A real friend is one who takes the hand of his friend in times of distress and helplessness.” When Fazul Rahim arrived in Ottawa on September 28, 2021, he needed someone to take his hand more than any time before.

WOW Ambassador: Pedro Diaz

Nominator: Gipsy Gosh

Finding a Brother in Canada

When Gipsy Gosh immigrated to Canada in 2012 she didn’t expect to find a Latin American brother, but she did. “Pedro Diaz has been like a big brother to me,” says Gipsy. “As an Indian immigrant who had no multicultural friends here, he connected me to various Latin American and European communities”.

WOW Ambassador: Ranjith Kottuppallil Mathew

Nominator: Joseph Pulimoottil

Making Community Connections

In 2021, Canada welcomed 450,000 new international students, representing an all-time high record. Many of these international students go on to become permanent residents and fill an important gap in the Canadian job market. Sometimes what they may lack is the network needed to make community connections.

WOW Ambassador: Shiva Yan

Nominator: Haidy Mostafa

One Human Family

The conviction that we belong to one human family is at the heart of the Bahá’í faith. When Haidy Mostafa and her family found themselves in a very dire situation, it was Shiva Yan who embodied that conviction.