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CSI Celebrates 2023 Bow Tie Award Winners

For the sixth year in a row, CSI honoured members with the Bow Tie Award during our annual Holiday Gathering. The Bow Tie Award celebrates those who have gone above and beyond in facilitating connection and strengthening community impact. Winners are nominated by the CSI community (otherwise, how could we possibly choose?!), and this year we celebrated one individual and one member organization. Read on to learn more about why the community selected these two fantastic members as winners!

Randy Terada, Social Innovation Canada

If you’ve been around CSI Annex in the past few years, you surely have seen Randy. While he’s been a part of the CSI community since 2015, in 2021 he officially joined SI Canada and their impact measurement team at 720 Bathurst. Over the past year, Randy has continued to support the CSI community by hosting lunch and learns, sharing personal connections, and always offering his warm smile and friendly words. He is now working hard to put the “social” in social finance by connecting with communities to help develop a place based social finance model. Visit his webpage and contribute to the exploration of alternatives for a more sustainable, inclusive, and equitable future.

What CSI Members had to say…

“He should definitely be recognized given all he does to foster connection (has he ever missed a salad club or bagel bonding?), increase impact (with Adopting Common Measures, SI Canada, and CSI), and he makes every member of CSI feel known, seen, and included. He asks questions and truly wants the answers, he has dedicated his career to social impact and social innovation, and he displays all of CSI's values every day.”

From Randy:

“The CSI Bowtie Award for Community Building is such an honour, we can’t change the world on our own, we must do this all together. Shout out to the CSI community animation team because it’s their shoulders I’m standing on, you know I kind of just ride their coat tails much of the time.”

Canadian Connections

Canadian Connections team poses at the back of an empty truckWe at CSI have been lucky enough to watch Canadian Connections (did you catch our recent blog about them?) sprout and grow since its inception by founder Marcella Tomas. Marcella joined CSI almost ten years ago as part of the DECA (now the Community Animator) Program, and prior to the pandemic, Marcella was known locally at CSI Annex as the Salad Club Queen. At Canadian Connections, their motto is “Welcome Refugees Home.” While some of Marcella’s work in newcomer services has exemplified this literally, through helping refugees navigate a new city and setting them up with furniture and a home, she and her team do this work within the CSI community too, by making us all feel at home. You can support their work with a tax deductible donation.

What CSI Members had to say…

“Marcella has been singularly focused on helping newcomers, first with Newcomer Kitchen, then by starting her own organization - Canadian Connections which is focused on helping newcomer women start their own businesses.”

From Marcella:

“For almost 10 years CSI has been my rock. No matter how crazy the outside world got (Trump, Covid-19), there was always a place for me at 720 Bathurst. I've met many wonderful people working towards a shared vision of an equitable world using their unique talents, and who simply do not give up. I love that. I love the tenacity. I love the optimism. I love that this community is prepared to tackle some of the hardest issues head on, again and again, and again if necessary. That's inspiring! Thank you CSI. Looking forward to what the next 10 years bring.”

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