Former BC Lion player and Grey Cup winner JR Larose is the Fraser Valley Diversity Award guest speaker this March 12. (Fraser Valley Diversity Awards/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

UPDATED: Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards release nominees

Individuals include Langley City Councillor Rudy Storeboom and local photographer Mariana Aramburu

Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards are aiming to highlight citizens in Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission who bring different perspectives, cultures, and opportunities to the region.

Patricia Driessen, event coordinator, said the awards started in 2003 to recognize the best practices of organizations, initiatives, businesses. and individuals.

“Each year, nominations are accepted from individuals, organizations, schools, businesses and programs that work towards building an inclusive community, providing their clients [and] customers with accessible environments, and having reflective work forces for all,” Driessen said.

The event started at King’s Crossing and moved to Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre in 2005, which is now the Quality Hotel in Abbotsford.

“This annual event has been a resounding success with close to 400 people attending each year and is usually sold-out,” Driessen added,

READ MORE: 17th annual Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards accepting applicants

Organized by Archway, in partnership with Mission Community Services, Chilliwack Community Services and New Directions English Language School in Langley – the ceremony takes place on March 12, which includes a dinner, awards program, and a guest speaker.

JR Larose has been announced as the guest speaker at this year’s ceremony; he is a former BC Lion player and Grey Cup winner.

“Larose is a proud member of the One Arrow First Nation who overcame a rough childhood. His father was deported to Nigeria before he was born and his mother, a residential school survivor, struggled with addiction,” Driessen said.

“Starting to play football at age 15 was the catalyst for a new life for Larose. After nine seasons with the Canadian Football League, including five with the BC Lions, he retired and now speaks on his story of redemption across Canada,” she continued.

Nominees were officially announced on Feb. 21, with winners soon to be judged by a committee of Fraser Valley members to be revealed at the actual ceremony.

Categories include champion of diversity, youth champion of diversity, inclusive environment, marketing, innovative initiative, and effective human resources, both small and large.

A big batch of Langley residents make up a hefty portion of the nominees;

Immigrant Services Society of BC is a Langley nominee for most diverse marketing.

Save On Foods Langley earned a nomination for effective human resources strategies.

Small organizations with innovative initiatives include Dark Class Theatre and the Downtown Langley Business Association. Willowbrook Safeway Extra picked up a nomination for innovative initiative – large corporation.

Encompass Support Services is up for inclusive environment – medium or large organization.

As far an individuals go, Olivia Chen Xu is up for youth champion of diversity while Herv Bezjak, Manraj Johal, Mariana Aramburu, and Coun. Rudy Storteboom are Langley’s champion of diversity nominees.

“The awards have continued to make a positive impact in this community,” Driessen said. “We want to recognize those who are our leaders when it comes to diversity, being inclusive and providing a welcoming environment to all.”

Tickets are available at diversityawards.ca/product/ticket/ with the option of single tickets or tables of eight.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Langley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Fire guts boarded-up Langley home

An early morning blaze struck a house in Willoughby

Harm reduction cutting Langley drug deaths, say social workers

Naloxone and drug testing kits are more widely available

Honens International Piano Competition winner to perform in Langley

Nicolas Namoradze performs at Langley Community Music School, Saturday, March 7

VIDEO: Aldergrove Star editor Sarah Grochowski up for an Emmy Award

Her 2018 documentary segment Highway Mike uncovers the opioid crisis in Harlem, New York

Riverdale actress rescues puppy from Langley shelter

American actress named her adopted pup Milo

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Vancouver 4/20 event to protest ‘intolerance of cannabis’ at Sunset Beach in 2020

The 2020 event is billed as a ‘protest and farmers market’

UPDATE: Boy, 5, will donate organs after crash that killed father, son on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Chinatowns across Canada report drop in business due to new coronavirus fears

Around the world, about 81,000 people have become ill with the virus

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Most Read