by Amy Stevens, EMCN

The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers’ RISE Awards, presented in partnership with the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council, have been operating as one of Edmonton’s signature events for many years.  Last year marked the 10th anniversary, and was the most successful awards to date, as it celebrated the many accomplishments of newcomers and their champions as well as the hard work of all the immigrant-serving agencies throughout the city.

The RISE Awards are comprised of two award categories, the Community Awards and the Employer Awards. The gala is a celebration with entertainment, speakers and awards presentations featuring immigrants and community groups who support immigrants, as well as employers who show leadership in their human resource and employment practices towards immigrant workers in Edmonton workplaces.

The attendees of the RISE Awards are as unique as the event itself. Last year, the gala hosted 410 individuals ranging from local supporters, to newcomers and corporate executives. The atmosphere is celebratory, with new interactions and opportunities to learn from other experiences abound.

The aims of the RISE Awards are as follows:

  1. Celebrating Contributions: the event is called the RISE Awards (Recognizing Immigrant Success in Edmonton). As such, the event is intended to celebrate the social and economic successes of newcomers and employers who operate under best practices, inclusion, and diversity in the workplace. EMCN feels it is important to acknowledge the efforts made to ensure Edmonton continues to become a vibrant and welcoming home for newcomers and all Edmontonians.
  2. Raising Awareness: it is necessary that the greater Edmonton community, its officials, and its contributors, recognize the importance of agencies such as EMCN in the successful and full inclusion of immigrants into Edmonton society. EMCN aims to use the event not only to celebrate the achievements of newcomers and the employers who support them, but also to raise awareness of the agency’s role in the settlement and employment processes of many of those immigrants.

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