County recognizes community leaders

The County of Simcoe held the seventh annual Newcomer Recognition Awards at Tangle Creek Golf and Country Club in Thornton on October 24.

Ten individuals, one business and two organizations were recognized for their contributions to developing welcoming communities across Simcoe County.

This year, the county received 44 submissions from across Simcoe County, which were reviewed in an open nomination process. Recipients were selected by the Newcomer Recognition Awards Working Group.

The award winners were joined by local immigration partners and elected officials to celebrate diversity and its positive impacts on our communities.

The event featured cultural performances by pianist Hailey Roberts, violinist Yegee Lee and the Wushuu project.

“Congratulations to this year’s award winners,” said Warden George Cornell. “Our growing communities benefit greatly from the diverse talents, knowledge and skills of more than 62,000 immigrants who now call Simcoe County home. This event is a great opportunity to recognize local community champions, hear their stories and learn from their experiences of living in and contributing to our county.”

This year’s Newcomer Recognition Award winners are:

  • Community Champion – Katie Fraser
  • Culturally Diverse Workforce – Innovative Automation
  • Immigrant Artist – Safani Gunasekera
  • Immigrant Entrepreneur – Paola Osorio Silk
  • Immigrant Mentor – Bolu Fabanwo
  • Immigrant Youth – Lu-Han Wang
  • Marketing & Outreach – La Clé
  • Multiculturalism through Education – Educator – Bethany Winger, Andrew Wilcox & Daniel Wilcox
  • Multiculturalism through Education – School – Lakehead University
  • Service Excellence – Maureen Arbour
  • Welcoming Work Environment – La Clé
  • Youth Community Champion – Sarah Simpson

The Simcoe County Local Immigration Partnership hosts this event to recognize outstanding individuals, businesses and organizations who are champions within their local communities.

For more information on the annual Newcomer Recognition Awards, visit  

Photo: First row (l-r): Tina Christman, Safani Gunasekera, Maureen Arbour, Lu-Han Wang. Second row (l-r): Sylvia Bernard, Paola Osorio, Sarah Simpson, Katie Fraser. Third row (l-r): Steve Loftus, Bolu Fabanwo, Andrew Wilcox, John-Bevans

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