Spotlight on Lifetime Achievement: Celebrating Remarkable Immigrant Contributions

At Immigrant Services Calgary, we believe in honouring the remarkable contributions of immigrants and refugees to our vibrant and diverse community—which is why we launched the celebratory Immigrants of Distinction Awards (IDA) gala in 1997. Over 20 years later, this annual awards ceremony continues to bring hundreds of community and business leaders together to celebrate Calgary’s change-makers.

In our series of blogs highlighting the past year's award recipients, we now focus on the Lifetime Achievement category. This award is presented to an immigrant or refugee who has achieved outstanding success in their chosen career path, professional field, or in the area of immigrant services. This individual will have made significant contributions to our city in their professional achievement, community building, and philanthropic endeavours.

Meet Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura: A Distinguished Leader in Academia and Research

The winner of the 2023 IDA in the Lifetime Achievement category is Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura. Originally from Sri Lanka, Dr. Ruwanpura immigrated to Canada in 1997 and has since established himself as a distinguished academic leader and researcher. He currently serves as the vice-provost and associate vice president (Research) International at the University of Calgary, where his contributions have been transformative.

Dr. Ruwanpura's pioneering work in construction engineering and project management, including innovations like i-Booth and AMOTS, has significantly impacted the construction industry. His exceptional dedication and innovative spirit earned him the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants award in 2022. Additionally, his efforts in internationalization have led the University of Calgary to receive six excellence and innovation awards, solidifying its presence among post-secondary institutions worldwide.

Dr. Ruwanpura's journey is a testament to the profound impact that immigrants can have on their communities and beyond. His work has not only advanced his field but has also fostered global connections and opportunities, benefiting countless individuals and institutions.

Watch Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura's Story

Do you know someone like Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura, who has made significant contributions in their career and community? Nominate them for the Immigrants of Distinction Awards 2024 and help us recognize their extraordinary achievements. Nominations close on June 17, 2024, so make sure to nominate someone today!