Barangay Manitoba founder and Filipino Journal’s contributing writer, Kris Ontong, has been nominated as one of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awardees.
Kris Ontong and his family are based in Steinbach, Manitoba where he has been working in the marketing department of a luxury window and door manufacturer for over four years.
In 2017, Ontong took on the role of president of the Southeast Manitoba Filipino Association (SEMFA). He co-founded the Eastern Manitoba Broad Alliance for Cultural Enrichment (EMBrACE), an umbrella organization of the region’s various ethnocultural groups. Ontong was also board of directors of the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival and currently executive board member of Filipino Music and Arts Association of Canada (FMAACI).
For his active community advocacy, Ontong was among the awardees in the 2019 National Filipino-Canadian Heritage Event. He was also a finalist for Outstanding Community Service category of the third Golden Balangay Awards, a nationwide search for outstanding Filipinos in Canada.
Last June 23, the Top 75 finalists were announced and Ontong was one of the five Filipino finalists across Canada and one of the three finalists in Manitoba.
Filipino finalists are:
1. Annie Chua-Frith (Edmonton)
2. Joseph Lopez (Vancouver)
3. Kris Ontong (Steinbach, MB)
4. Arlene Ruiz (Saskatoon)
5. Virginia Guiang-Santoro (Toronto)
In Manitoba, there are three finalists who represent the province, namely:
1. Muuxi Adam (Winnipeg)
2. Abdo (Albert) El Tassi (Winnipeg)
3. Kris Ontong (Steinbach)
For the past twelve years, the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award has been celebrating this diversity and the importance of coming together as Canadians as it recognizes outstanding work by immigrants who “have come to Canada and have made a positive difference living in the country.”
As in previous years, hundreds of nominations were received, and the panel of judges have had a tough task of choosing the top 75 finalists from such an inspiring and deserving group of individuals.
With the announcement of the top 75, the awards process moves to the next phase –the online voting to narrow the 75 finalists down to the Top 25. The finalists and their profiles can be viewed on the voting page at https://canadianimmigrant.ca/canadas-top-25-immigrants/vote
Voting will be open up to August 7th, 2020. The Top 25 winners will then be announced online in September 2020 and be featured in the September print edition of Canadian Immigrant magazine.
In addition, this is the third year of the Settlement Agency Award which celebrates the contributions, dedication and hard work that agencies undertake each year to help Canadian immigrants settle into the country and succeed.
Due to regulations still in place across Canada and the uncertainty of when things will be lifted, in-person ceremonies this year for the Top 25 winners will not be held, however the winners’ package will be mailed, and a video call will be recorded for the celebration.
Title sponsor RBC Royal Bank has been supporting the awards for the last dozen years. Each year, they also donate $500 on behalf of the Top 25 winners to registered Canadian charities. This year, those funds will be donated to Windmill Microlending, an organization helping internationally-trained newcomers including those in the healthcare field affected by COVID-19. RBC has made the generous decision to increase that donation to $50,000!