Biography of Aris Babikian
Aris Babikian is a retired Citizenship Judge, World Vision Canada Multicultural Council Ambassador, Chair of Levant Settlement Centre, and board member of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada.
Since 1978 Aris Babikian has been actively involved in the Canadian civil society and the multicultural communities. His contribution included political, social, neighborhood, multi-faith, human rights, social services, educational, immigration, cultural and other spheres.
Scarborough-Agincourt has been his home since 1991. He is founding and board member of Wishing Well Community Association and Founding member and board member of Willowdale Legal Aid Service.
As citizenship judge, he lectured on human rights, civic participation, tolerance, Canadian values and traditions. Aris has strong attachment to Canada's youth. He has been Wolf Cub and Boy Scouts leader, soccer coach and youth adviser. Many of these young people have become leaders in their communities, organizations, and successful members of our civil society.
During his service as the secretary of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council (CEC), he has established excellent relationships and contacts with the leaders of our diverse mosaic. Aris is familiar with their cultures, customs and concerns.
His unwavering commitment to volunteerism and to public service is well known. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Canadian civil society, the Canadian government awarded Aris with Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee Medals and Canada’s 125th Confederation Commemorative Medal.
As president of the Armenian National Federation of Canada and the first executive director of the government relations office (Ottawa) of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, he contributed significantly to the Canadian-Armenian community’s political, educational, cultural, youth and sports domains.
COMMUNITY SERVICES & POLITICAL EXPERIENCE
- Retired Citizenship Judge
- Founder and Chair of Levant Settlement Centre - Helped settle over 250 families
- Multicultural Council Ambassador - World Vision Canada
- Toronto municipal elections candidate (Councillor) twice
- Founder and Executive of Wishing Well Community Association (WWCA), director of their Outreach program and editor of the WWCA newsletter
- Founding member of Willowdale Legal Aid Service. Served twice on the board
- President, Canadian Armenian National Federation
- Chairman, Political Affairs Committee, Canadian Ethnocultural Council
- Board member of the Armenian National Committee of Canada
- Served as the Secretary of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council (CEC). Also served on the media, immigration, census, and redress committees of CEC
- International elections monitor representing the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for the 2003 parliamentary elections in Armenia
- Founding member of the Darfur Solidarity Coalition
- Founding Member of Canadians For Genocide Museum
- Human rights activist
- Participated in the National (Canadian) Umbrella Organizations’ roundtable on the “UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance"
- Since 1979 elected president and member of many Provincial and Federal political party riding association boards
- Since 1979 has been involved in every Provincial and Federal Elections
- Prepared briefs and testified at the House of Commons Standing Committees on Immigration and Citizenship, Canadian Heritage, Multiculturalism and the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC)
- Agent General and Board member, the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada
- Member of the Board of Directors and adviser to the Arab Immigrant Centre of Ontario
- Collaborated with and advised various ethnic communities on human rights, social services, citizenship, immigration and pay equity
- Raised funds for charity and health campaigns (United Way, Red Cross, Cancer Society)
- Organized and participated in seminars and conferences about social services, immigration, multiculturalism, human rights, politics, racism and xenophobia
- Liaised with media and acted as a spokesperson for Armenian, multicultural and various community associations
- Boy Scout and Cubs leader
- Soccer Coach for Bantam and Junior Boys’ teams
- Journalist with Horizon weekly and Nor Hai Horizon TV program. Appeared on numerous TV and radio talk shows (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio and TV, CFRB radio, Michael Coren radio and TV shows, CTV, Rogers Cable, CFMT TV, CTS TV, etc..)
- Consulted with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to develop Canada’s international human rights policies
- Participated in consultation meetings with high-level federal officials regarding changes to the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship Act.
- Ministry of Diaspora (Republic of Armenia) Gold Medal
- Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
- Ontario Film Review Board Meritorious Service Appreciation
- National Ethnic Press and Media Council Human Rights/Social Justice Award
- Armenian Relief Society of Canada Lifetime Achievement Award
- Armenian Prelacy of Canada Lifetime Achievement Award
- Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
- The Canadian Ethnocultural Council’s Citation of Outstanding Services
- Canada’s 125th Confederation Commemorative Medal
- Ontario Volunteer Service Award (20 years of service).