WIN Award Recipients
& Dr. Asha Bhargava Memeorial Award Winners

Canada’s Best 2016
Canada’s Best 2015
Canada’s Best 2014
Canada’s Best 2013
Canada’s Best 2012

Award Winners – Canada’s Best 2016
Deborah L. Kelly – Distinguished Poet Award 2016
Paul Dhillon – Distinguished Poet Award 2016
Dr. Ram Sharma – Distinguished Poet Award 2016
Anatoly Molotkov – Distinguished Poet & Writer Award
Kristal Barrett-Stuart – Community Ambassador Award 2016
Freddie Bagunu – Community Ambassador Award 2016
Jen Walls – Distinguished Poet Award 2016
Joginder Singh Sidhu – Community Ambassador Award 2016
Harshita Bhargava – Youth Ambassador Award 2016
Aishwarya Roshan – Community Ambassador Award 2016
Krishan Soni – Community Ambassador Award 2016
Mahendra Kwatra – Community Ambassador Award 2016


Award Winners – Canada’s Best 2015
To be updated

Award Winners – Canada’s Best 2014
To be updated

Award Winners – Canada’s Best 2013
Bonnie Nish – People’s Laureate Award
Dennis E. Bolen – Distinguished Writer Award
Theresa Chevalier – Distinguished Writer Award
Srinath Dwivedi – Distinguished Poet Award
Lucia Gorea – Distinguished Poet Award
Candice James – Distinguished Poet Award
Surjeet Kalsey – Distinguished Poet Award
Valerie B-Taylor – Distinguished Writer/Poet Award & Dr. Asha Bhargava Memorial Award
Babette Santos – Emerging Writer, Poet, Artist Award
Ellen Taleon – Emerging Writer, Poet, Artist Award
Duke Ashrafuzzaman – Goodwill Ambassador/Community Builder Award
Jai Birdi – Goodwill Ambassador/Community Builder Award
Kuldip Jhand – Goodwill Ambassador/Community Builder Award
Mankajee Shreshtha – Goodwill Ambassador/Community Builder Award
Dr. Rita Malhotra (New Delhi, India) – International Award Winner
Lila Shahani (Manila, Philippines) – International Award Winner
Bernice Lever – MC and Host Award
Charlene Sayo – MC and Host Award
Lilija Vallis – MC and Host Award

Award Winners – Canada’s Best 2012

Bong Ja Ahn – Distinguished Poet & Essayist Award
Joanne Arnott – Distinguished Poet Award
Manga Basi – Distinguished Poet Award
Ashok Bhargava – Distinguished Poet & Writer Award
Brajinder Dhillon – Distinguished Novelist Award
Lucia Gorea – Host 2012 Award
Alan Hill – Outstanding Citizen Award
Arno Kamolika – Distinguished Dancer Award
Janet Kvammen – Emerging Poet & Artist Award
Mahendra Kwatra – Outstanding Citizen Award
Evelyn Lau, Poet Laureate of Vancouver – Distinguished Poet & Writer Award
Reese McBeth – Host 2012 Award
Fauzia Rafique – Distinguished Poet & Novelist Award
Ariadne Sawyer – People Laureate Award 2012
Timothy Shay – Distinguished Poet Award

More information about the 2012 Winners

Bong Ja Ahn

Distinguished Poet & Essayist Award

Bong Ja is a bilingual poet and essayist who was born in Korea. She mostly writes about her love for nature and varied human sentiments and yearnings. Her gift for creative writing was first recognized when she was in Grade Four after she won the first place in elementary school children’s open essay contest sponsored by Kyoung-gi Provincial School Board in Korea. She is a member of Korean-Canadian Writer’s Association, The World Poetry Reading Series Society, and Korean Writer’s Association. She has received many awards such as International Poetry Editor’s Choice, World Poetry Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement Award. She writes literary columns for the local Korean daily newspapers: The Korea Daily and The Korea Times. Her Poetry has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies in two languages. She has authored six books of poetry and essays, and is currently working on her seventh book, a second English-Korean poetry anthology.

Joanne Arnott

Distinguished Poet Award

Arnott’s works are intimate with an activist slant, exploring the issues faced by a mixed-race girl and woman in poverty, the family, danger, love and childbirth. She writes about these topics from personal experience, as a Métis and a mother of six. She has conducted workshops across much of Canada, and in Australia, including a recent series at the Carnegie Centre, sponsored by SFU. Arnott lives in Richmond with her family. She is a founding member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast, and The Aunties Collective. She has served on The Writers Union of Canada National Council (2009), The Writers Trust of Canada Authors Committee, and as jury member for the Governor General’s Awards/Poetry (2011). She has authored six books and received numerous awards.

Manga Basi

Distinguished Poet Award

Manga is a well known Punjabi poet in BC. He was born in a small village of Beed Bansia in India. His poetry is concerned about the future of planet earth and sustainability of our lifestyles in the face of environment, weapons of mass destruction and human apathy. He writes also about social evils of loneliness, hopelessness and vanishing warmth of human relationships. But in spite of overwhelming negativity that surrounds us today, he is optimistic about our ability to rise up to the challenges we face and to fix the problems. He has authored two books of poetry: Pleading Earth and Me and Poetry.

Ashok Bhargava

Distinguished Poet & Writer Award

Ashok is a Vancouver based poet and writer. He writes in English and Hindi. He has published several books of poetry: Mirror of Dreams, A Kernel of Truth, Skipping Stones and Lost in the Morning Calm, among others. He holds a Masters degree in Economics and works for the province of BC. He is the recipient of many awards. His poetry has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. He has been a featured poet on CBC, CFMQ 105 radio and Channel M television. He was also featured at the Word on the Street, the Asian Heritage Month and International Story Tellers Festivals. He is founder of the WIN – Writers International Network.

Brajinder Dhillon

Distinguished Novelist Award

Brajinder is a prolific writer, a poet and a teacher. She has been a teacher for Delta School District since 1975. Brajinder Dhillon was born in Lyallpur, Pakistan. After Partition the family moved to India in 1947. Her father who was a police officer was killed on duty during Partition. She has authored four books. Her latest novel – “Dusk to Dawn” was published in 2011. It is an eyewitness account of her family’s escape from Pakistan.

Fauzia Rafique

Distinguished Poet & Novelist Award

Fauzia Zohra Rafique is a South Asian Canadian writer of fiction and poetry. Her English and Punjabi writings have been published in Canada, Pakistan, and on the Web. Print titles include a poetry chapbook ‘Passion Fruit / Tahnget Phal’, novel ‘Skeena’, ‘Skeena’ in Punjabi Gurumukhi, and in Punjabi Shahmukhi. She had earlier published an anthology ‘Aurat Durbar, Writings of Women of South Asian Origin’ from Toronto. Fauzia worked as a screenwriter for Pakistan Television, and adapted the first novel of Fyodor Dostoevsky titled ‘Poor Folk’ (1846) in Punjabi as ‘Apay Ranjha Hoi’ (14 Episodes, PTV Lahore 1976), and Altaf Fatima’s Urdu novel ‘Dastak Na Do’.

Lucia Gorea

Host 2012 Award

Lucia is an award-winning poet, writer and an ESL/English teacher. She is the author of several books, Journey Through My Soul, a collection of love and mystical poems; ESL Games and Classroom Activities, Welcome to America! and Speak English for Success, among others. Lucia is translating into English the works of Ispirescu, titled Legends and Fairy Tales. The first one in the series, The Enchanted Turtle was published in 2010 by Editura Paralela 45. The second one, The Morning Star and the Evening Star was launched at Gaudeamus on November, 2011. Her new book, Yukon, the Polar Bear, (Publish America, 2010) is a children’s story that brings awareness about global warming and climate change. She is currently working on her first novel, Dracula—Vlad the Impaler, and has two manuscripts in print. Lucia is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia and an ESL teacher at Mosaic Language Centres.

Alan Hill

Outstanding Citizen Award

Alan Hill lives in New Westminster, British Columbia and has been writing since 2001. He has been published in Canada by CV2, Canadian Literature, Antigonish Review and the Vancouver Review. He has also been published in Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry (Mother Tongue Publishing 2008). He is always ready to help those who need help. He is a fresh new voice on Vancouver’s poetry scene in recent years, Alan Hill’s imaginative and dryly comic poems depict the journey of a man who somehow arrived in early middle-age and wondered: “How on earth did I get here?” The former hippy-punk turned semi-respectable family man, the military obsessive in a CND T-shirt, Hill’s first published collection of poems memorably portrays the vagaries and wonderment of this thing called life – delivered with his unique humor and insight.

Arno Kamolika

WIN Distinguished Dancer Award

Arno began her early training in Indian classical dance (Bharata Natyam and Manipuri) from Chhayanaut, the premier cultural organization in Bangladesh, at the age of six. She completed her diploma in dance in 2002, at the top of the graduating class and became a dance instructor at the same institute. She is a disciple of Sharmila Bandyopadhyay. After moving to Vancouver in 2009, Arno has continued her training in Bharata Natyam as a student of the Jai Govinda Dance Academy. Arno has been a regular performer in festivals and cultural programs in Bangladesh and has also been to Delhi, Lucknow and Kolkata in India with the dance troupe Nrityanandan, for the rendition of Tagore’s dance drama Chandalika and Chitrangada. A graduate in Architecture, Arno is now pursuing her Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies at UBC and continues to perform at events in North America.

Janet Kvammen

Emerging Poet & Artist Award

Janet was born in New Westminster and is a long time Burnaby resident who loves to express herself creatively via many different art forms such as photography, poetry and graphic design. She is active on the New Westminster poetry scene participating in regular reading series Poetic Justice and Poetry in the Park. Her poetry has been published in Sudden Thunder Anthology, Mind Paintings Anthology 2011, and Royal City Poets Anthology 2011 (all by Silver Bow Publishing). She is the Graphic Designer for Silver Bow Publishing, and also does freelance design work. She thrives on creativity and loves to create Poetographs, a blending of her passion for photography and poetry. Her poetographs have been in the Arts and Entertainment Hollywood magazine featuring the poems of Candice James, Poet Laureate of New Westminster. Janet is a member of New West Artists and The Federation of British Columbia Writers.

Mahendra Kwatra

Outstanding Citizen Award

Mahendra was born in 1937. After partition, he migrated to India and settled in New Delhi. He graduated from Punjab University in 1955. He joined the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India in July 1960. Besides working at Headquarters of the Ministry, he also worked in Indian Missions in Pakistan, South Vietnam, United Kingdom, Zambia and Canada (Vancouver). After voluntary retirement in 1993, he returned to Vancouver as a landed immigrant, and worked as office manager in a private organization. He is an active community worker. He was the President of India Club in 2009-10.

Evelyn Lau, Poet Laureate of Vancouver

Distinguished Poet & Writer Award

Evelyn Lau was born in Vancouver. Her parents’ ambition for her to become a doctor was wholly irreconcilable with her own; consequently, her home and school lives were desperately unhappy. In 1985 she ran away from her home. Lau began publishing poetry at the age of 12; her creative efforts helped her escape the pressure of home and school. Despite the chaos of her first two years of life on the streets, she submitted a great deal of poetry to journals and received some recognition. A diary she kept at the time was published in 1989 as Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid. The book was a critical and commercial success. Lau has won many awards and also worked as writer-in-residence at University of British Columbia, Kwantlen University and Vancouver Community College. On Oct. 14, 2011, Lau was named the poet laureate for the City of Vancouver. She has authored: Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid (HarperCollins 1989), Inside Out: Reflection on a Life So Far (Doubleday 2001), You Are Not Who You Claim (Beach Holme 1990), Oedipal Dreams (Beach Holme 1992), In the House of Slaves (Coach House 1994), Treble (Raincoast 2005), Living Under Plastic and Fresh Girls and Other Stories (HarperCollins 1993)

Reese McBeth

Host 2012 Award

Reese is a comedian, actor, and a spoken word artist who has created his own form of comedic poetry called, ‘Slamedy’. He has been performing Slamedy all around North America and beyond. Reese was a regular on VH1’s hit television show Strange Frequency. His improvisational style and rapid fire delivery will have you begging for mercy! A risk taker on the comedy/poetry stage, his work has gamered him the name ‘The Kamikaze Kid!

Ariadne Sawyer

People Laureate Award 2012

Ariadne is the co-host and co-founder of World Poetry Reading Series. She is also a director, organizer and event organizer of its poetry events. She is a co-host and co-producer of The World Poetry Café CFRO 102.7 FM Radio show. She is a Creative Consultant, Peak Performance Trainer and Neuro-therapist by profession. Ariadne has won the MacLean Hunter award of excellence for The Brain Bulletin Series, 7 CD’s which have played on radio stations across Canada. She is also an author of three books, speaker, poetry judge and reviewer. Currently she is working on her novel titled Journey of Love and Agony and a book of dream poems called Love Poems to the World. She has promoted multilingual and multicultural poetry by encouraging new immigrants and new Canadians to hold on to their mother tongues.

Timothy Shay

Distinguished Poet Award

Timothy is a well known figure on the literary scene in Vancouver. He was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1952. He is the author of five poetry chapbooks and one collection of poems. His poems have appeared in many Canadian literary magazines among them Fiddlehead, Grain, Quarry, Scrivener, CVII, West Coast Review, This Magazine, Canadian Forum, Canadian Dimension etc. His work has also appeared on CBC Radio and in The Rolling Stone; and most recently, in the 2011 issue of Qwerty from the University of New Brunswick. He hosts the monthly Hogan’s Alley Open Poetry Readings in Chinatown, and co-hosts the Pandora’s Collective Twisted Poets series at the Prophouse on Venables. Earlier, in Nelson, Shay had hosted a reading series for 22 years. He is also the former editor of Horsefly Literary Magazine. When not writing poetry, Shay works on oil paintings, folk music, genealogical research, and artifact hunting.

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