2017 CPAC Gala Raises Funds and Celebrates Immigrant Success

CPAC and CPAC Foundation co-hosted the 2017 CPAC Gala last night at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites to raise funds to support their services and celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding immigrant professionals and youth.

About 500 guests including community leaders, prolific businesses, political leaders, and CPAC supporters attended the event, including Toronto Mayor John Tory, Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science Reza Moridi, Senator Victor Oh, Chinese Consul General He Wei, MPs Geng Tan, Mary Ng, Alice Wong and Shaun Chen, MPPs Soo Wong and Han Dong, and Toronto City Councillor Chin Lee.

First row from the left: Adrian Cheung, Trustee of CPAC Foundation; Alice Wong, MP; Victor Oh, Senator; Jorge Cardelus, Relationship Manager, Affinity Market Group, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex; Anna Kavanagh, Vice President, Affinity Market Group, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex; Mary Ng, MP; Chin Lee, Toronto City Councillor; Ti Wang, General Vice President of CPAC; Lawrence Yu, CPAC Board Member; Andi Shi, Executive Director of CPAC

Second row from the left: Karen Webb, Trustee of CPAC Foundation; Bess Song, CPAC Board Member; Helen Cao, Vice President of CPAC; Mandy Luo, CPAC Board Member; Longhuan Kim, CPAC Board Member; Geng Tan, MP; He Wei, Chinese Consul General; Eric Xiao, President of CPAC; Reza Moridi , Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science; David Kuo, Head of Branch Network-Ontario, HSBC Bank Canada; Mia Wang, CPAC Board Member; Lynda Xu, CPAC Board Member; Marilyn Flanagan, Trustee of CPAC Foundation; Stan Yu, CPAC Board Member

Mayor John Tory and MP Geng Tan with CPAC board members and the CPAC Foundation Trustees.

“CPAC’s Annual Gala is our signature event for celebrating the achievements of inspiring immigrant professionals in the community,” said CPAC President, Eric Xiao. “With the support of the community, we will continue to do meaningful work that will have a great impact on helping internationally trained professionals to succeed.”

The highlight of the gala was the presentation of the Professional Achievement Awards, which recognize the accomplishments of outstanding immigrant individuals who have overcome various barriers and made incredible strides in their professional careers. The two recipients of the 2017 CPAC Professional Achievement Awards were Ms. Susanne Hou, a famous International Violin Concert Artist and Dr. Ming Li, a prestigious computer science professor from the University of Waterloo who has won top science awards and fellowships.

Another highlight was the presentation of the 2nd annual CPAC Young Achiever’s Award, which is modeled after the established PAA and honours an outstanding young immigrant in Canada for their community or professional achievements and success locally or abroad. The recipient for this award this year was Alissa Wang, a first-year law student and a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Toronto, who is a passionate researcher and promoter of Asia’s WWII history and fundamental principles of peace, justice and reconciliation.

“We are proud to co-host the Gala with CPAC to celebrate the accomplishments of these outstanding immigrant professionals and youth. We strongly believe in our mission of supporting the work of helping internationally trained professionals to succeed and helping to develop our youth towards leadership roles,” said Richard Lim, President of CPAC Foundation.

CPAC and CPAC Foundation thank all the donors and sponsors of this fundraising event, particularly Presenting Sponsor TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, Diamond Sponsors CIBC, CPA Ontario and TELUS, and Platinum Sponsor HSBC.

About the Award Recipients:

  • Ming Li is one of the best and most impactful researchers in Canada. He is a Canada Research Chair in Bioinformatics and a University Professor at the University of Waterloo. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, ACM, and IEEE, and is a recipient of the prestigious E.W.R. Steacie Fellowship Award in 1996, the 2001 Killam Fellowship, and the 2010 Killam Prize. The book he co-authored with Paul Vitanyi, An Introduction to Kolmogorov Complexity and Its Applications, now in its third edition, is an ongoing bestseller and the standard reference on Kolmogorov complexity, a modern theory of information that is concerned with information in individual objects. Dr. Li is a co-managing editor of Journal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. He is also the president of RSVP Technologies Inc, a company that is dedicated to natural language understanding, and president of Bioinformatics Solutions Inc, a company dedicated to research in bioinformatics.


  • Violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou rose to fame on the International concert scene when she unanimously won three prestigious International Violin Competitions in France, Italy, and Spain (Long-Thibaud, Lipizer, Sarasate). Critically acclaimed as “absolutely phenomenal” by Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Ms. Hou has travelled the world as a soloist with major orchestras in over 50 countries, in over 2000 performances, and collaborating with world-renowned artists and orchestras. Hou also frequents the radio and television waves across the globe, starring in numerous documentaries in Canada, US, UK, China, and Japan. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Ms. Hou is a passionate advocate of classical music education and believes it provides the ‘missing key’ to our education today.  Her new Global Education Initiative” called “3-degrees” – launched in 2017 – offers early classical music programming for schools with underexposed/underprivileged students, and a mentoring program for aspiring Young Artists.


  • Alissa Wang is a first-year law student and a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Toronto. She is a global governance researcher and the Chair of the BRICS Research Group based at the Munk School of Global Affairs. As president of the U of T chapter of ALPHA, she led a team of passionate peers in educating students on campus about Asia’s WWII history and promoting the values of peace, reconciliation, and justice. In 2015, Alissa traveled to the Washington National Archives to collect primary sources on Japan’s WWII biological warfare program from recently declassified American documents. In the summers of 2016 and 2017, Alissa traveled to Harbin, China, to pursue further archival research at the Unit 731 Research Center – a Japanese biological warfare research facility that committed large scale, medical atrocities. She is currently leading a group of volunteers to develop the Unit 731 Digital Archive, to provide online access to digital versions of primary sources on this subject.

From the left: Marilyn Flanagan, Trustee of CPAC Foundation; Ming Li, Recipient of 2017 CPAC Professionals Award; Eric Xiao, President of CPAC.

From the left: Marilyn Flanagan, Trustee of CPAC Foundation; Alissa Wang, Recipient of 2017 CPAC Young Achiever’s Award; Susanne Hou, Recipient of 2017 CPAC Professionals Award; Eric Xiao, CPAC President.