Seven kababayans made it to Ace Burpee’s 150 Fascinating Manitobans 2019: The Manitoba 150 Edition. Every year, Virgin Radio’s broadcaster Ace Burpee selects 100 Manitobans than have made an impact on the community through their talent, volunteerism and advocacy.
“I’ve been making a list of fascinating Manitobans for a decade now. I’ve always done 100, but this year I had too many to fit in and also wanted to highlight some from previous years. So… in honour of the province’s 150th anniversary next year, here’s the Manitoba 150 edition of my annual list,” Burpee shared.
Last December 20, Ace Burpee revealed the list which included the following amazing members of our community :PBA president Manny Aranez, MFSF former Chair Aida Champagne, 204 Neighbourhood Watch founder Leila Castro, Councilor Vivian Santos, singer and actress Andrea Macasaet, baking competition champ Calia Pacle and scholar Mia Battad.
She’s the former chair of the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival. It’s purely a volunteer gig, one that requires Aida to give up most of her summer to organize what has grown into one of Manitoba’s best celebrations.
“I was really surprised when people were sending me congratulatory messages as I was not aware of the list that I was included. I am very humbled and thankful a little act of kindness is being noticed by some people. Very thankful to be included in the Ace’s list. Proud to be Pinoy!”
An absolute legend in the basketball community who deserves a lot of credit for his tireless dedication. Manny is the president and chief organizer of the Philippine Basketball Association. Launched in 2001 with just seven teams, the league has grown to hundreds of teams and more than a thousand participants every season.
“I am truly honoured to be mentioned, but all of this is not possible without my dedicated volunteer committees. They dedicate long hours of free services to our community and I take this recognition with them.”
Her day job is city councillor for Point Douglas. In her spare time, though, she’s an avid competitive arm wrestler. She’s now won back-to-back provincial titles on both the right and left arm. Love it.
“I am humbly thankful for the mention in Ace Burpees Top 150 Manitobans. Ther are so many other more deserving people than me, therefore I am honoured to have been chosen.”
Leila Castro (from 2018)
She is the founder of 204 Neighbourhood Watch Inc., a weekly safety patrol. She has previously received the Newcomer Volunteer Award, and in 2018 was named a Manitoba Hero. Leila is tireless. She’s been active finding shelter for First Nations communities displaced by fire, volunteers with the Alzheimer Society, and much more. A true asset to our province.
“204 Neighbourhood Watch is happy that it is able to be of help to the community. It might be my name that came up in the list but behind 204 Neighborhood Watch are dozens of selfless individuals, who like many of us also wok and have families, but they also choose to provide volunteer time to make our city a better place for all of us. My salute to our volunteers.”
Andrea locked down the role of Anne Boleyn in the musical Six, a pop-infused show about the history of King Henry’s six wives. The show blew up the Edinburgh Fringe and a North American tour has seen the show extended twice in Chicago, and it did a month in Boston. Now, Andrea will be onstage in an open-ended run on Broadway in New York City. Huge.
Taking after her grandparents, both sets owning bakeries, Calia has been baking her entire life. She took a pastry course at Kildonan East Collegiate, and this year took her talents to the Skills Canada baking competition. She came home with gold. Great job, Calia.
“Oh wow I didn’t even know about that, so grateful!”
Mia is one of the recipients of 2019 Schulich Leader Scholarships, the largest STEM (science/technology/engineering/math) awards handed out in Canada. Only 50 students receive one annually in Canada. Very well done.