The Vision for Our Foundation

The DiversityCanada Foundation is a non-partisan not-for-profit founded by former journalist and inspirational writer Celia Sankar. She currently holds the volunteer position of Executive Director.

We are a passionate, driven team of people working to connect Canadians of all backgrounds and identities with resources and opportunities that benefit them.

DiversityCanada Foundation The organization was born in 2004 after Sankar made two cross-Canada tours during which she learned of the dreams and hopes of thousands of Canadians from diverse backgrounds. The challenges they faced spurred her to work towards ensuring that all persons, regardless of background, had a fair and equal opportunity to participate fully in the economic, cultural, and social life of Canada and beyond.

Since its inception, the DiversityCanada Foundation has delivered programs and resources to hundreds of thousands of Canadians of all ages and backgrounds while remaining a lean and agile operation run primarily on volunteer support.

The organization has established strong partnerships with public sector entities, the private sector, the academic community, other non-governmental organizations, and a host of like-minded individuals. Each contributes to ensuring diversity acts as a positive force in the development of Canada and elsewhere.

Our Mandate

The mandate of the DiversityCanada Foundation is to create, facilitate and promote opportunities for multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, differently-abled, and diverse groups and individuals to participate in the economic, social, and cultural life of Canada and elsewhere.

Meet the Team

Here are some of the current and former employees and volunteers who have played and/or continue to play a key role in helping the DiversityCanada Foundation make a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Celia Sankar

Celia Sankar

Executive Director

Since DiversityCanada was born in 2004, it has been a delight and privilege to serve alongside so many talented and passionate individuals - staff members and volunteers, young and old, all willing to give of themselves to make the world a better place.

Wendy Lefaive

Wendy Lefaive

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT LEAD

Here's one of my favourite quotes: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott

PARTNERSHIP OUTREACH (SENIORS CENTRES)

Working on projects to record the recollections of seniors has been such an amazing journey for me, personally. By preserving these memories, we're going to help the next generation understand more about where they came from.

Jade Chim

Jade Chim

ADMIN & PARTNERSHIP OUTREACH (CAREER CENTRES)

Being a woman of colour, the issue of diversity is important to me. I really believe in what we're doing at DiversityCananda. I'm happy to be part of opening opportunities for others.

Kyle Sanker

ONLINE MARKETING

I look after the SEO strategy for websites under the DiversityCanada umbrella. I've been working in marketing for 12 years, and I pride myself on learning and adapting to new technologies. The opportunity to be a part of the DiversityCanada Foundation is truly an honour.

Anna Noseworthy-Turgeon

Anna Noseworthy-Turgeon

WRITER

As a writer with DiversityCanada, I've had the opportunity to advance my skills and learn more about the diverse perspectives of Canadians.

Osatohanmwen (David) Okoro

Osatohanmwen (David) Okoro

WEB DEVELOPMENT

I'm a Full Stack Web Developer and Systems Analyst. It's been a great privilege to develop, troubleshoot, and modify most of the backend and some front-end systems for the redesign of DiversityCanada's websites.

Basel Taha

Basel Taha

WEB DEVELOPMENT

The best and most beautiful thing in Canada is diversity. Being one of the team of the DiversityCanada Foundation, using my skills to contribute to the organization's work, is a great pleasure. It's such a nice feeling when your work is your passion. I've enhanced my capabilities greatly by creating websites for organizations and small businesses, e-commerce, etc.

Why We Were Formed

The DiversityCanada Foundation was established in 2004 to respond to demographic shifts that were predicted to profoundly impact Canada's economic, social, and cultural life.

Now, nearly two decades later, the DiversityCanada Foundation continues to pay attention to Canada's population changes and the diversity of the experiences of Canadians.

According to Statistics Canada, as of 2019, people born outside of Canada made up over one-fifth of the population. In 2020, the United Nations determined that Canada had the eighth-highest immigrant population globally.

These numbers are set to continue to increase.

Since 2016, immigration has accounted for three-quarters of Canada's total population growth, according to the 2021 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration. Statistics Canada also predicts that almost one-half of the population could have at least one foreign-born parent by 2031.

What countries are fuelling Canada's population growth?

Just over 30 percent of permanent residents accepted to Canada in 2021 came from India, followed by 7.6 percent from China, 4.4 percent from the Philippines, and 3.8 percent from Nigeria.

Other countries from which large percentages of newcomers originated included France, the United States, Brazil, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

The total Indigenous population has also been steadily increasing. In the 2016 census, 4.9 percent of Canada's population was reported as being Indigenous, up from 3.8 percent in 2006 and 2.8 percent in 1996.

generation in Canada

According to Abacus Data, Canada also has a long way to go with respect to workplace diversity and inclusion. Their data from a 2021 survey on workplace diversity and inclusion revealed the following statistics:

  • 54% of working Canadians say they have witnessed discrimination towards other employees in their workplaces based on factors like age, religion, and race
  • 45% of working Canadians say they have experienced workplace discrimination themselves
  • 65% of those who say they have experienced workplace discrimination themselves were part of a visible minority
  • 60% of those surveyed said that their workplaces ensured equitable treatment for people of colour, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, indigenous peoples, and based on religious beliefs and political opinions.
  • 62% also said that they felt their workplaces did a good job ensuring a safe and trusted way to discuss discrimination and bullying and did a good job providing appropriate training and policies to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
immigration

Although the statistics show over 60% of people feel comfortable discussing unequal treatment and feel safe in the workplace, almost 40% of Canadians don't.

DiversityCanada is committed to playing a role in promoting diversity and inclusion and creating a fairer society in which Canadian workers of all backgrounds and identities feel valued and can thrive.

Because of Canada's aging population, individuals from the Baby Boomer generation (1946-1964) no longer make up most of Canada's labour force. Instead, millennials, the generation born from 1981-to 1996, is in the majority.

Canada's population is steadily aging. According to the CIA World Factbook, the median age as of 2018 was 42, compared to 40 in 2011. According to Statistics Canada, Canada's biggest age group in 2021 was 55-59 years old, with 2,700,181 people.

DiversityCanada has taken this into account and combatting ageism, within the workforce and in the wider society, is a second priority for the organization. Seniors have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share and we work to provide resources and opportunities to help seniors remain engaged in their communities.

Significant demographic changes bring substantial implications for Canada's social, cultural, and economic life. Among the issues raised due to these changes are inclusion, respect for diversity, and harmony. The DiversityCanada Foundation was formed to play a pivotal role in ensuring such problems are addressed and managed in a way that contributes to Canada's continued development.

The DiversityCanada Foundation wishes to thank its partners whose generous support has made it possible to deliver activities and resources: