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Editor’s Note EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Steven Raymond Wharton SENIOR EDITOR Luis Ibarra Wharton ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Blanca Lilia Urrutia EDITORIAL DESIGN I&W Communications GRAPHIC DESIGN ASSISTANT Odette Barrón Villegas COMMUNITY MANAGER Carlos Villoria Benitez SALES ASSISSTANT Leonardo Rodriguez PROOF READERS Leslie Emmons Daniela Ayala CONTRIBUTORS Kenyi Ramirez

Laureen Harper, Luis Ibarra, Steven Wharton & The Honourable Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper


ast year I&W Communications launched the first edition of the “Top 10 Most Successful Mexicans in Canada” in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the 10th anniversary of the Canada-Mexico Partnership. This year, we wanted to highlight our Colombian brothers and sisters, and hope to expand it to other Latin American nations. We believe that our Latin community is always willing to work hard and contribute positively in the economic, social and participative development of Canada. Launching the “Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada” during the month of July is done with the intention of commemorating Colombia’s independence, which is celebrated on July 20. The nomination process was arranged through social media and our website. Members of the community and the Colombian Consulate of Toronto were able to nominate whomever they believed deserved this award and a jury chose from those selected. We are sure there are many more successful Colombians in Canada who are contributing to the growth of this beautiful country we now call home. The people featured in this edition play important roles in the different fields in which they contribute their talent to the benefit of the country. All of the people featured here are making valuable contributions with their experience, knowledge and skills. They are all key members of our community, and visionaries who have plans to go on to ever greater success.

ISSUE PHOTOGRAPHY David Lopez Concert & Live Event Photographer Tel. 416 841 8931 hello@realdavidlopez.com www.realdavidlopez.com PHOTOGRAPHY OF DR. ROBERTO MENDOZA Robert Teteruck - Creative Services Studio

Latinos Multicultural Magazine is a Registered Trademark. This edition was Published on August 2015. The products and services promoted in this magazine are responsibility of their owners. The articles written for this magazine are responsibility of their writers. Partial or full reproduction is prohibited.

Members of:

/LatinosMagazine @Latinosmag


In September we will be launching, the “Top 10 Most Successful Mexicans in Canada” issue which will commemorate Mexican Independence. Steven Wharton & Luis Ibarra I&W Communications.

Latinos Multicultural Magazine Tel. 647 498 4040 / 647 559 6010 3-1181 Queen St. West Toronto, On. Canada M6J 1J4 e-mail: info@latinosmag.com www.latinosmag.com


Gabriel Leiva Von Bovet

Ruby has over 15 years of experience in negotiation and project management. She is the founder/CEO of Milieu Strategy and Consulting Inc. Milieu helps politicians and community organizations engage with Ontario’s diverse communities. Previously she has worked with the Pathway Group (a government relations firm) as Vice President of Diversity, Engagement, and Special Events. Most recently, Ruby was featured in the National Post for her recent work on Mayor John Tory’s successful mayoral election campaign (2014). As the Tory Campaign’s Director of Diversity and Community Outreach, Ruby utilized her comprehensive understanding of Toronto’s diverse communities, large network of ethnic media contacts, and public affairs expertise to create a winning ethnic media strategy. She continues to serve the Office of the Mayor as an Advisor on diversity and community engagement.

Lead Account Partner for Scotiabank, GBS Financial Services Sector.

Dr. Lorna L. Wright

Cristina Martins, M.P.P. for Davenport

Dr. Lorna Wright is the Executive Director of the Centre for Global Enterprise and EDC Professor of International Business at the Schulich School of Business, York University. She was previously Associate Vice President International of York. She also spent 15 years as an independent contractor working on projects throughout Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Cristina is a community builder, healthcare advocate, and education champion.

Marnie MacDougall

Omar Lujan

Trained in Conflict Management & Mediation, Marnie is a former small business owner and Chief of Staff for two Members of Parliament. Her experience working with both the private and public sectors as well as community stakeholders has armed her with the skill and know-how to advocate for residents of Toronto and achieve targeted, long-term results. Fluent in Spanish and married to a doctor, who is a newcomer from Panama, Marnie has a deep, personal understanding of the challenges immigrants face when relocating to a new country. A graduate of Havergal College and Queen’s University, she is the Federal Conservative Candidate for the riding of St. Paul’s, located in Toronto’s vibrant, multicultural midtown corridor.

Omar studies Mexican immigration in Toronto from a policy and citizenship perspective. Specifically, Omar looks at how Mexican immigrants contribute to both Canadian and Mexican society and studies policies and practices conducive to and deterrent of immigrant civic participation. At the core of Omar’s research lays the further theorization of the expansion of civic consciousness and civic actions in the context of migration in light of the thought of 20th century Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset.

Gabriel joined IBM’s Insurance practice in February 2011, bringing 25 years of business and IT services experience, primarily focused on the financial services sector. Prior to joining IBM, Gabriel was Vice-President Banking and Investments at CGI. Prior to coming back to Canada in 2006, Gabriel was Vice-President and General Manager for Mexico and Puerto Rico at Unisys. He previously held senior roles in Philippines, Thailand, Peru and Canada. Gabriel holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of Rostock in Germany.

Cristina served as President of the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals, Deputy Chair of the Greater Toronto Business Association, and Director of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Toronto. Cristina understands that we need to create jobs in order to build the sustainable community that we want.

Omar holds an M.A in History from Queen’s University, a B.Ed (Cum Laude) from the University of Ottawa, and a B.A (Honours) from the University of Toronto.

OLGA LIMA 13 years in Canada. Vice president of Mergers & Acquisitions, Integrations at Scotiabank in Toronto Olga Lima is the vice president of Mergers & Acquisitions, Integrations at Scotiabank in Toronto and a volunteer at women and homeless shelters. She’s lived in Canada for 13 years and is a firm believer in education. Lima has 15 years of experience in management of post-merger integration and strategic projects in the financial industry both in Canada and Latin America.

ference in financial markets and among Latino professionals who live in Canada. She says that “making a difference” is vital, and she is most proud of representing her culture. Lima believes in God and says that it is through him that she has received all of her blessings and opportunities. Lima believes that every individual receives blessings and should pass it on to others. She often speaks at conferences sharing this message.

Her professional career began in Colombia, Being an ambassador to Colombia in Canaat Javeriana University of Bogota, where da is a task Lima fulfills gladly and it makes she majored in industrial engineering. She “MY GOAL IS TO her the perfect choice for this special edition. also received her Master of Business Ad- ALWAYS MAKE A She is proof that all goals can be achieved DIFFERENCE.” as long as you have a dream, solid expectaministration at Wilfrid Laurier University. Currently she is part of the Board of Directions, a strong worth ethic and dedication. tors of Colfondos, which focuses on the pension funds from her home country at Colpatria Bank. Contact information: Olga Lima Lima has also performed as Strategic Planning DiV.P. Integration & Change rector at the Financial Group and a Project Manolga.lima@scotiabank.com ager at DaVivienda. Her experience in financial integration and strategic projects, helps her unite companies and create new platforms to improve growth and sustainability for business. Therefor guaranteeing high retention levels and customer satisfaction. From a young age, her mission has been to make a dif6

2015 Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada

Photography by: David Lopez | www.realdavidlopez.com

Photography by: David Lopez | www.realdavidlopez.com

MAURICIO OSPINA 24 years in Canada. Employed at the Ministry for Economic Development and innovation of Ontario, founder of the Colombo-Canadian Professionals Association


auricio Ospina name brings to mind the phrase “you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.” Ospina arrived in Toronto in 1991 without an education. At that time, he only had a suitcase filled with dreams and goals he wished to accomplish. Currently, he is the area manager for the US at the Ministry for Economic Development and Innovation of Ontario, where he promotes the Information and Communications Technology sector of the province abroad. He has been an international trade consultant, leading trade missions and bringing international buyers to strengthen ties with qualified suppliers in the province. The respected Ospina, finished his studies with honours in International Business and Management at Ryerson University and Seneca College, respectively. Over the years Ospina has provided guidance to new immigrants and has also been part of meetings with the Prime Minister of Canada to discuss issues of importance to the Hispanic community. He has proven that every goal can be achieved through effort and dedication. Ospina was the founder of the Canadian Colombian Professional Association and co-founded the first Hispanic technological Association called Hispanotech.

panic channels in Canada. He was also quoted in the best selling book: Why Mexicans don’t drink Molson. Ospina has also contributed to the creation of the book: The Civic and Political Participation of Latin Americans in Canada, by the University of Toronto. The Canadian Who is Who awards have also acknowledged his contributions to the country. In 2009, this proud Colombian was named as a Fellow at York University’s Stong College and a year later Ospina was nominated for the Premier of Ontario’s Award. Even though he has received numerous awards and recognition, he continues being the same humble person everyone has always known. He also created the Canadian Hispanic Business Alliance, which has recognized the 10 Most Influential Hispanics in Canada since 2010. Ospina enjoys reading and riding a bicycle to work—when the weather allows him to. He proves to everyone who knows him, and those that don’t that nothing is impossible as long as you have the right attitude and conviction. Contact information: Mauricio Ospina mauricio.ospina@hispanicbusiness.ca

During the weekends, Ospina is a real estate agent and he has been profiled by The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, the CBC and other His2015 Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada


PAULA CALDERON 14 years in Canada. Talent Management Solutions at Drake International


Career Edge and then she moved on to an account manager position in the Ontario Public Service Department, where she helped new immigrants and professionals adapt to their work environments.

She arrived in Toronto in 2001 with her husband and eldest daughter in search of a better life and work opportunities. A year after her arrival, she was able to land her first stable job at an English school called ILAC.

Nowadays, Calderon works at Drake International, a company aimed at improving the return on your human capital investment. She is working on a new platform called “Connectors” in order to help people with their networking skills, and in turn find new job opportunities.

aula Calderon has lived in Canada for over a decade, and during her time here she has provided support to thousands of professional newcomers, Canadian university graduates and people with disabilities living in the country.

Before coming to Canada Calderon spent her teenage Calderon’s advice to everyone is to “be yourself.” She years in Trinidad and Tobago, where she studied at bilinbelieves that opportunities arrive when you are begual schools. Her studies enabled her ing genuinely you. She also says to become an English teacher for sevit’s important to remember that eral multinational enterprises. Due to when trying to adapt to Canada “SUBMERGING YOURSELF try your best to learn the customs her experience in that field, becoming IN CANADIAN CULTURE IS and the rest will fall into place. the academic director at ILAC gave THE KEY TO SUCCESS.” her the opportunity to expand on her abilities as a language teacher. Even though she does not visit her home country often, she uses her Even though, English was not an professional network to create links obstacle for her. It had become one for her husband. and new opportunities for its citizens. She advises everyThis is where she came up with the idea of launchone to find a job they enjoy because. “Your job becomes ing a night school at ILAC. Together with one of the a part of your life and your life should make you happy.” owners, they developed the idea and Calderon became the Academic Director of Day School and part Contact information: of the staff at Night School, where she helped thouPaula Calderon sands of immigrants improve their language skills. https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulacalderon/ Years later an opportunity arose for Calderon with 10

2015 Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada

Photography by: David Lopez | www.realdavidlopez.com

Photography by: David Lopez | www.realdavidlopez.com

ALEJANDRO JADAD 20 years in Canada. Doctor, lecturer and creator of the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation


lejandroJadad Becharahasvisited over100countries in his lifetime, but it was in his home country of Colombia, where he developed his insatiable curiosity.

When children asked him about “bazuca” – a cigarette prepared with cocaine, marijuana and other harmful substances –, he researched the drug for two years in order to determine its origins. He researched the drug’s chemical composition and the clinical implications the substance would generate to its consumers. As a result of his research, Jadad became a worldwide speaker on the subject, which turned out to be “Crack cocaine. ” Jadad eventually received a scholarship at Oxford University where he earned his doctorate in philosophy. He focused on gathering medical knowledge in order to identify what we know, what we don’t know and what we could learn. At the same time, Dr. Jadad devised a scientific research tool called “The Jadad Scale” which was created in order to independently assess the methodological quality of a clinical trial. It was while using that scale, that he discovered details about pain relief. In 1995 Dr. Jadad was granted the opportunity to attend McMaster University, where he led one of the most important human health knowledge networks in the world.

eHealth Innovation. Currently, Dr.Jadad is a professor at the Medical faculty and the Public Health School, Dalla Lana of the University of Toronto. He is also leader of the Institute for Equity in Global Health and Innovation. The Institute for Equity in Global Health and Innovation is dedicated to facilitating the development of people, communities and all types of organizations by eliminating social, demographic, economic, political, language, institutional and cultural barriers, which in turn generates equality. Dr. Jadad describes himself as a doctor by profession and healer by calling. Most of his work is related to life span expansion, high levels of happiness and tranquility. He continues to develop large-scale projects, which he hopes will help improve health and happiness levels from birth to death. As for his personal life, Jadad has a lot of support. He has his wife Martha García, his daughters Alia and Tamen, and García’s niece and adoptive daughter Jessie, to push him to continue looking for new ways to extend the quality of life of his patients. Contact information: Alejandro Jadad https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexjadad

Jadad has collected information on how to achieve a long and healthy life, which has become his mission in life. In 2000, his constant research led him to the University of Toronto, where he created the Centre for Global 2015 Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada


ENGAGE CANADA With a federal election around the corner and the political stakes higher than ever, not-for-profit group Engage Canada has taken to the airwaves to help illuminate Canadians before they head to the polls this October. Here’s why its campaign is so important.


ith a general election just around the corner, the summer BBQ circuit is in full swing with Canadian politicians flipping burgers, kissing babies and knocking on doors as they ramp up political efforts. Though the campaigning hasn’t officially begun, you’d never know it based on the barrage of political messaging competing for Canadians’ ears. This is hardly a surprise. We are at a critical political moment in our history. After almost a decade of Conservative rule under Stephen Harper, many questions will be asked leading up to Election Day about how Canadians have actually fared over the past nine years. Canadians are asking themselves, does the Harper Government represent the values and priorities of the middle class? Why are so many of us just getting by, never ahead? With the stakes in this election so incredibly high, we’re seeing groups from all corners weighing in, making their cases about what the various political parties actually have on offer. One such group is Engage Canada, a non-partisan, notfor-profit corporation that has been working since June to expose Harper’s economic record before voters head to the polls October 19. “Harper likes to position himself as a good economic steward, but the reality is he has prioritized helping his wealthy, conservative friends while hanging the middle class out to dry,” said Jessica Hume, spokesperson for Engage Canada. “His values are fundamentally at odds with those of middle class Canadians.” Hume joined Engage Canada after working for almost a decade as a print reporter, most recently covering Parlia-

ment Hill, where she saw up close the damage done by Conservative policy. “When the Harper government decided to sneak a $36 billion cut to health care into its budget, this was one of many, major indications that this government is out of touch with what it means to be Canadian.” Hume also says she’s seen how difficult it is for young, educated Canadians to find work, pay off loans; buying a home seems unimaginable to so many, she said. “We have seen again and again that the Harper government does not want to help the people who need it most,” Hume said. “Engage Canada is informing Canadians about Harper’s economic record and exposing that he simply isn’t there for the majority of us.” Engage Canada does not advocate for any political party. It is engaging with communities about the real values and priorities of middle class Canadian families and how they’ve been left behind by the Harper, Hume said. “We want to give Canadians this information so when they head to the polls this fall, they’ll be informed and ready to vote for a party that shares their values and will be there for them,” Hume said. Engage Canada has launched a series of ads that appear on television and radio, along with a digital effort online. To read more about Engage Canada and to view its ads, please visit notthereforyou.ca. Additional information on getting involved in the campaign is also available online. Authorized by: ENGAGE CANADA info@engagecanada.org

For generations, Canadians have known that taking care of each other means taking care of our health.

Yet the Harper Conservatives buried a 36 billion dollar cut to health care in their budget’s fine print.

The Harper Conservatives:


Longer wait Cuts to Fewer times women’s health nurses Authorized by

ENGAGECANADA info@engagecanada.org

ROBERTO MENDOZA 10 years in Canada. Program Director for the Medical Genetics Residency Program at the University of Toronto for 10 years and member of the clinical team at The Hospital for Sick Children


in that field and since he never returned, he feels a great responsibility to use his knowledge to help those in Latin America. He keeps in contact with his colleagues there in order to provide feedback on the most recent developments.

Mendoza obtained his medical degree and a masters in biology and human genetics at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia. He completed his residency in paediatrics at the State University of New York, and he also received a grant in clinical genetics and methabolics at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas.

In 2006, Mendoza joined a program of multicultural training for future geneticists at the University of Toronto. He says it is paramount to learn how the system work in established countries and to volunteer, which can lead to employment. Mendoza says it’s important to remain authentic and to continue setting new goals and with luck, tenacity and a positive attitude you can go anywhere you want.

oberto Mendoza has been the Program Director for the Medical Genetics Residency Program at the University of Toronto for 10 years and a member of the clinical team at The Hospital for Sick Children. He’s also been in the country for ten years.

After his studies in the United Mendoza has an amazing connec“TENACITY AND POSITIVE States in 2005, he held a confertion to his country and visits anATTITUDE ARE KEY TO ence in the city of Toronto to speak nually, but believes the economSUCCESS.” about bone dysplasia. At that ic and technological conditions time, Sick Kids Hospital was lookin Canada provide better condiing for a doctor with Mendoza’s tions to allow him to help his paprofessional profile and he gladly took the position. tients. He says that he is currently working to discover the genetic component of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Dr. Mendoza says he feels extremely fortunate for the which will help avoid pain in those who suffer from it. opportunities Canada has given him, which includes his position as associate professor at Sick Kids HospiContact information: tal. He says he specializes in the 3% of the population that has problems with their genetic information, speDr. Roberto Mendoza cifically in children and youth up to 18 years of age. Phone: 416-813-5340 Fax: 416-813-5345 Mendoza says that when he left his country, he left with the E-mail: roberto.mendoza@sickkids.ca desire to know more about genetics in order to contribute 16

2015 Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada

Photography by: Robert Teteruck - Creative Services Studio

Photography by: David Lopez | www.realdavidlopez.com

DANIEL GARCIA HERREROS 7 years in Canada. Executive Director Pan American Food Festival


aniel Garcia Herreros is the founder and director of one of the most important annual events in Toronto: The Pan American Food Festival. This summer event is only possible with the support of the Latino, Canadian and surrounding multicultural communities. The Pan American Food Festival is covered by several key media outlets such as the Toronto Star, Global News, and Breakfast Television.

Years later, he started thinking about developing a festival that could make a difference, and settled on one that mixed food and culture. He wanted the festival to be authentic. For example, he thought the best way to highlight the flavour of Venezuela would be to bring the Master Chef of that country to the festival, so people would taste the real thing. It was soon after that, that he formed the Pan American Food Festival Committee. For Garcia quality and details are important, and it’s that dedication that keeps people coming back every time.

Garcia was a commercial manager in his home city of Barranquilla, “CANADA’S DIVERSITY Colombia. His job was in sales and ALLOWS US TO PROVIDE marketing, participating exclusiveTHESE TYPES OF EVENTS.” Garcia says he wants to bring this ly in local events. Currently, Garcia event to other countries, and has had has a masters in business adminoffers from places such as Spain, istration, specialized in commerce from the Northern Montreal and Lima. Garcia says he is considering it. University of Colombia. He also obtained a diploma in event planning from George Brown College in Toronto. Contact information: Daniel Garcia Herreros He is also the co-founder of ArtsXplosion, a non-profit director@panamfoodfest.com organization which produces cultural events in the city of Toronto. ArtsXplosion has organized the Panamerican Food Festival since 2013. It is important to note that this years edition will be held from July 30 - August 3. When Garcia arrived in Canada, he decided to continue doing what he did in his home country, event planning. He started working as a volunteer in numerous companies, all the while networking. It paid off and he ended up meeting new people who could help him reach his dreams. 2015 Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada


CLAUDIA PALACIO 11 years in Canada.

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Director of Education in CAPIC (Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants) and volunteer in community service associations and churches


laudia Palacio came to Canada (which she refers to as “magic land”) with her husband and daughter to start a new life.

Prior to arriving in Canada she had lived in the United States, and found that Canada was a better place to raise a family. They were able to claim refugee status due to their definitive exit from Colombia.

ternship came a full-time job, that she still holds today. “We must adapt. ” Palacio says. It is key to anyones success. Palacio says it’s hard to disconnect herself from her job since she plays several roles from marriage counsellor to psychol gist.

Palacio says that when she arrived, Palacio currently lives with her “FACING THE UNKNOWN IS the Canadian immigration offihusband and daughter who is NOT EASY. IT IS SCARY, BUT cial greeted her with a smile and IN THE END A GREAT WAY TO now 17. She advises people to from that moment, she realized CONQUER YOUR FEARS IS BY persevere in everything they they had made the right choice. dream to achieve. “Facing the ACKNOWLEDGING THEM.” Even though the legal process was unknown is not easy. It is scary, lengthy, she says that the knowlbut in the end a great way to conedge she gathered during this stage was paramount quer your fears is by acknowledging them.” she said. for her next move. Her first job in Canada was in sales, where she worked for six months. Using the information Contact information: she learned during the immigration process she decidClaudia Palacio RCIC ed to start a professional certification in immigration at Filici Palacio Immigration Services Inc Seneca College in 2007. She graduated with honours. Tel.416-482-1575 120 Eglinton Ave East, Suite 301 Palacio says all newcomers should make an effort and creToronto,Ontario ate bonds with every person they meet, especially with proM4P 1E2 fessionals who work in the area you wish to find employment in. While Palacio was studying at Seneca College, she asked one of her teachers for an internship at her immigration practice Filici Immigration Services Inc., now known as Filici-Palacio Immigration Services inc. Out of the in20

2015 Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada

Photography by: David Lopez | www.realdavidlopez.com 21

2015 Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada

GUILLERMO PEÑALOSA 16 years in Canada. Executive director of 8-80 cities and expert in urban planning in healthy cities


rchitect Guillermo Peñalosa is the executive director and founder of 8-80 cities, a non profit organization which encourages city dwellers to walk and ride their bikes and to use their cities urban parks, trails and other public spaces. His passion began at an early age, his mother was a garden designer and his father was an expert in human subjects.

Peñalosa successfully led the design and development of over 200 parks including Simon Bolivar, a 113 hectare park in the heart of the city. His team also initiated the “new Ciclovia”/ Open Streets, a program that sees over 1 million people walk, run, skate and bike along 121 kilometres of Bogotá’s city roads every Sunday, and today is internationally recognized and often emulated.

With headquarters in Toronto, Peñalosa provides international political counselling in order to help transform cities. He has a masters of business administration (MBA) from the University of California in Los Angeles and has participated in the creation of hundreds of parks around the world. His ideas are developed for citizens regardless of their age, gender, and social or economic status.

Recently Peñalosa was chosen as one of the 100 Most Inspirational Alumni in the UCLA’s history. In 2013, he was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II - Diamond Jubilee Medal, by the Governor General of Canada, and was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians. In 2014 Peñalosa received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Faculty of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at the prominent Swedish University SLU.

Peñalosa’s focuses on participatory design in order to encourage sustainable mobility and help with access to public transportation. He is chair of the board of World Urban Parks, the international representative body for the urban parks, open space and recreation sector. Peñalosa also works for the renowned Danish firm Gehl Architects as an urban expert on mobility and citizen engagement and serves as senior advisor to Children & Nature Network, StreetFilms and America Walks. Peñalosa has become a strong supporter and advocate for improving city parks, first making his mark in the late 90s, when he led the transformation of Bogota’s park system as Commissioner. During his tenure 22

2015 Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada

He worked as a strategic leader for the city of Mississauga in Ontario, where he led strategic Placemaking initiatives, worked on creating many public places and helped form a new inter-agency work force named “Building the City of the 21st Century. ” Currently, Peñalosa lives in Ontario where he enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and three children. Contact information: Guillermo Peñalosa www.880cities.org/

Photography by: David Lopez | www.realdavidlopez.com

Photography by: David Lopez | www.realdavidlopez.com

BEATRIZ PIZANO Over 30 years in Canada. Artistic director of Aluna Theatre: a Latin-Canadian company of intercultural and interdisciplinary theatre Beatriz Pizano has dedicated a large part of her life to artistic dance, even after a cancer diagnosis deteriorated several of her muscles. She has a passion for acting, directing and dramaturgy. Pizano has lived in Canada for over 30 years and even though she says her journey through life has not been easy. She has been able to overcome many obstacles on her journey to success.

subtitles, a change that was embraced by her audience. Pizano believes that everyone who immigrates to a new country adopts a second identity and she uses their journey as inspiration at Aluna.

Recently, Pizano was awarded best cast actress for her performance in the play Blood Weddings by the prestigious Toronto Theatre Critics Awards. Aluna Theatre Pizano lived in Vancouver, before moving to Toronto, received six awards out of nine, proving that passion, where her husband received a promising job talent and handwork pays off. In 2009, Pioffer. The artist fell in love with the city, and zano received the prestigious John Hirsh she was able to find opportunities that took “I DON’T NEED Award for directing. The award was presenther closer to accomplishing her dreams. ed by The Canadian Council for the Arts. ANYTHING


She believes that many Hispanic actors feel setback due to their accents, and decided to create the company Aluna Theatre, to allow them to act without limitations. It was also her opportunity to open new professional doors to culturally diverse artists like her. In the beginning Pizano wanted to participate in the plays, but she wound up directing and learning other aspects of the industry.

Pizano says all new actors should give their best, believe in their work and study constantly.

Contact information: Beatriz Pizano Tel. 416 203 2535 alunatheatre@gmail.com www.alunatheatre.ca

A trip to Colombia with a group of Canadians, inspired her to highlight the stories of different countries in Latin America and the role Canada plays. She started to develop plays which included social topics that impacted her audience. Canadian audiences accepted and embraced the stories she had to tell from the beginning. Later she decided to break tradition in her plays by implementing 2015 Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada


ALEJANDRO RONCERIA Over 25 years in Canada. Producer, artistic director, internationally renowned choreographer Alejandro Ronceria is a producer, director and internationally renowned choreographer. He has become well-known throughout the world for his work, and has found fame in the United States, Mexico, New Zealand and Colombia. One of his most memorable projects was when he choreographed the welcome for the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games, held in Vancouver in 2010. This event was transmitted over 10 international channels, in a total of 11 languages and was Canada’s most watched televised event, bringing in over 23 million viewers. Ronceria is also the co-founder and director of the first Aboriginal dance program in North America at the Banff Centre for the Arts. This dance program helped him develop a new generation of choreographers who work in Canada and abroad. Ronceria was one of the pioneers of dance film in Canada. In 1996, his film A Memory Hunter was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival and in 2004 he was nominated for a Dora Award for the best choreography by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts. Since then, he has received numerous awards. In 2010 Ronceria graduated with a Masters in Dramaturgy at York University. Even though he started his career in Colombia and later moved to the United States, he says that Montreal will always be important to him. His visit to this city was by accident. He had to travel to the former Soviet Union in order to dance at the Opera of Georgia in 26

2015 Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada

Tbilisi, under the direction of Mikhail Lavrosky. Since he could not travel from the United States, he had to request a visa at the Consulate of the Former Soviet Union in Montreal in order to fly to Moscú. When he landed in Montreal, he immediately felt a connection to the city and loved its architecture and captivating ambiance. For Ronceria, every experience he goes through serves as inspiration. Currently, he is working on four projects, and collaborates on too many to count. Hard work is not new to him. Since he was 19-years-old, he has participated and helps direct almost three productions a year. Through it all, Ronceria’s mission has always been to hold onto his Latin-American roots. Contact information: Alejandro Ronceria aronceria@rogers.com

Photography by: David Lopez | www.realdavidlopez.com

“Yo entiendo lo difícil que es establecer tus finanzas en un nuevo país.” —asesor Scotiabank


Nuestros asesores pueden ayudarle a abrir las puertas de su nueva vida en Canadá. El programa Scotiabank StartRight , diseñado especialmente para recién llegados, le ayuda a establecerse rápidamente en Canadá. Deje que uno de nuestros asesores le muestre el camino para lograrlo. ®1

Visite scotiabank.com/startright o llame al 1-866-800-5159. ® Marcas registradas de The Bank of Nova Scotia. 1. El Programa Scotiabank StartRight fue diseñado para residentes permanentes con 0 a 3 años de residencia en Canadá, estudiantes internacionales y trabajadores extranjeros.

Profile for Latinos Magazine

Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada  

A List of 2015's Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada

Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada  

A List of 2015's Top 10 Most Successful Colombians in Canada