The Immigrant Writers Association (IWA) is pleased to invite you to its first Annual General Meeting!

  • When: September 22, 2018 at 10 AM
  • Where: Toronto City Hall, Community Room #4 (100 Queen St. W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2)
  • Agenda: 
    1. Welcome
    2. Introduction of Candidates for the IWA Board
    3. Vote for the IWA Board of Directors
    4. By-Laws Approval
    5. Guest Speaker: Bänoo Zan
    6. New Business
    7. Networking

Nominated Candidates for the five positions of the IWA Board of Directors (Board):

RSVP for the IWA AGM by September 10, 2018:

• The presence of IWA members* with all types of membership (Co-founders, Class A, Cass B) is highly appreciated.
• The community is cordially invited

*If you are an IWA member leaving at more of 80 km distance from Toronto, please let us know (via the members-only Facebook group) so we can make the proper arrangements to ensure your participation via the Internet.


The candidates for the IWA board of Directors

Shazia Hafiz Ramji
She lives in Vancouver, BC and poetry is her strength.

Professional Achievements
• Prosopopoeia, Anstruther Press (2017)
: A debut chapbook of poems that speak to the absent and the dead.
• Port of Being, Invisible Publishing (Forthcoming, fall 2018) 
Winner of the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, judged by Wayde Compton.
 Port of Being is a debut book of poetry that mines speech from the streets of Vancouver and the
 interstices of the internet.

Awards and Distinctions
Literary Awards
• Honourable Mention for the The Humber Literary Review’s Emerging Writers Fiction 2018
Contest, judged by Cherie Dimaline and Ayelet Tsabari
• Longlisted for the Fiddlehead’s Short Fiction Prize, judged by Kerry-Lee Powell 2018
• Finalist for the Alberta Magazine Awards (Poetry) 2018
• Winner of the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, judged by Wayde Compton 2017
• Finalist for the National Magazine Awards (Poetry) 2016
Professional Awards
• Recipient of a BC Arts Council Early Career Development Grant 2015

Juries & Boards
• Advisory Committee Member & Juror BC Arts Council 2018
• Board Member WORD Vancouver Literary Festival 2017
• Organizing Committee Member Dead Poets Reading Series 2017
• Editorial Board Member subTerrain magazine 2013 
Poetry is Dead magazine 2017

• 2020 MFA Candidate in Creative Writing University of British Columbia
• UBC Graduate Scholarship
• Faculty of Arts Graduate Award 
2015 Creative Writing Certificate, The Writer’s Studio Simon Fraser University
• Yale Road Scholarship
2013 BA in English (major), History and Publishing (minors) Simon Fraser University


Guillaume Lorin

He is a communication and media professional with a background in history and fine arts, an occasional yet dedicated writer looking for opportunities to meet stimulating individuals passionate about literature and storytelling. Guillaume welcomes challenges and wants to help newcomers who find it difficult sometimes to connect with other talents, to share information about the market, editors or new ways to publish and be noticed.


• 10 years of experience in sales and trading in the art market with a strong background in art appraisal, customer loyalty and advisory
• 2 years experience in communication and media: planning, coordination of creative and production team, content creation, strategy building, management of advertising campaigns, media, and social media.
• Proven skills in research, writing and editing in English and French and technical skills including WinMedia, Multicam, MS Office, Adobe Photoshop and Premiere, Gimp, internet, email, and social media.

Professional Experience

•  Programming Director, Producer, Radio Presenter at CHOQ FM 105.1, The French-Speaking Radio of Toronto
• Bilingual Administrative Officer at B2B Bank, Toronto, Canada
• Radio Presenter and Columnist at CHOQ FM 105.1, The French-Speaking Radio of Toronto
• Assistant, Sales Assistant Manager, GALERIE GÉRARD ORTS, Paris, France
• Curator Assistant, MUSÉE D’ORSAY, Paris, France
• Curator Assistant, LAMBINET MUSEUM, Versailles, France
• CHOQ FM, francophone Radio of Toronto: weekly radio show on cinema
• Harbourfront Center: Fundraising, welcoming the public
• Troronto Screeenwriting Conference: welcoming the public, book sales
• LE LABO, Toronto’s Francophone Media Arts Center: set-up, welcoming the public
• REALLY REALLY FREE MARKET: set-up and clean-up, greeting the public

• Master 2 of Art History, University of Paris Sorbonne, honours
• Master 1 of Art History, U. of Paris Sorbonne, high honours
• Licence in History of Art, U. of Paris Sorbonne
• Licence in History, U. of Paris Sorbonne


Gabriela Casineanu

She’s the original founder of the Immigrant Writers Association. Her vision for IWA:
I am deeply committed to help IWA become a thought leading organization that:
• Helps immigrant writers on their career path, and to be recognized for their talent and knowledge
• Has a positive impact into the world through its activities and its members’ work
• Becomes a role model for similar initiatives and organizations to inspire collective growth
• Engages the community at large to make a more conscious shift toward peace and harmony.

She’s a bestselling, award-winning author (self-published
 10 books), grant recipient of Ontario Arts Council (artist photographer).

• President of Board of Directors (BOD) of three organizations: RBNS, EFTC, IWA (Interim)
• BOD member of three organizations: RBNS, EFTC, Le Laboratoire d’Art (Le Labo)
• Founder of two non-profit organizations (IWA, EFTC) and a Meetup group for Introverts
• Community holder ORSC GTA
• Member TRIEC PINs Advisory Committee
• Helped non-profit organizations to build their capacity (through System Coaching)

Involvement in the non-profit sector
• Manager of TRIEC’s Professional Immigrant Networks (PIN) program
• Designed and administered (5 years) the mentoring program for professional newcomers of
 Centre francophone de Toronto (CFT)
• Mentoring coach for TRIEC Mentoring Partnership (TMP)
• Experience in delivering Employment Ontario programs (2 years)
• Workshop design and facilitation for 13 non-profit organizations, OCASI Conference for managers
• Organized events/ job fairs (300+ participants), communication with employers and stakeholders

• Organization & Relationships Systems Coaching (ORSC), CRR Global, USA
• Co-active Coaching , The Coaches Training Institute, Toronto
• Master in Business Administration – Université Paris XIII, France


Malika Mounir

Qualifications and experience:

• Licensed Paralegal in good standing by the Law Society of Upper Canada to offer legal services in Ontario;
• Previously licensed Immigration consultant by Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC);
• Bilingual: Fluent in English and French.

Affiliations & Volunteer Work:
• ARGANA, Association des femmes Maroco-Canadiennes Founder & President, Toronto 2012 – Present
• Arab Community Centre Board member, Toronto 2015 – Present
• Association Marocaine de Toronto (AMDT) President, Toronto, 2006 – 2011
• Immigrant Women’s Network of Niagara (IWNN) Founder, Folk Arts Council/Multicultural Centre, St Catharines, ON, 2001-2006
• Canadian Red Cross: St. Catharines’ Branch, 2000-2014


• Paralegal Certificate Program George Brown College, Toronto, ON, April 2016
• Community Service Program Ryerson University, Toronto, ON September 2012
• Hons. Immigration Consultant Certificate Program Humber College, Etobicoke, ON, August 2009


Gerard Keledjian

He has a BA in Journalism and is an accomplished media professional. Gerard is the Executive Producer for New Horizons Media which produces “New Canadians” (a TV show dedicated to new immigrants).

• Recipient of the Pioneers for Change Award for Excellence in Innovation (2015), Skills for Change
• Community Impact Award from Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto (2016)
• Finalist for the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards (2017).

• Co-founding member of Immigrant Writers Association (IWA)
• Canadian Ethnic Media Association
• Founder/Chair of 
New Canadian Media Professionals Network
• Communication Advertising and Marketing Professionals
• ON Nature Magazine

Speaking engagements on Immigration, Citizenship, Inclusion and Small Business.


Guest speaker: Bänoo Zan
Bänoo is an award-winning immigrant poet, librettist, translator, teacher, editor and poetry curator, with more than 160 published poems and poetry-related pieces as well as three books:

  • Song of Phoenix: Life and Works of Sylvia Plath, reprinted in Iran (2010)
  • Songs of Exile – 1st poetry collection, released in Canada by Guernica Editions (2016) and shortlisted for Gerald Lampert Memorial Award by the League of Canadian Poets (2017).
  • Letters to My Father – 2nd poetry book, published by Piquant Press in Canada (2017).

Bänoo is also the founder of Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), Toronto’s most diverse poetry reading and open mic series (inception: 2012). It is a brave space that bridges the gap between communities of poets from different ethnicities, nationalities, religions (or lack thereof), ages, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, poetic styles, voices, and visions.

Search for Bänoo Zan on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, she’s very active … a great example to follow! 🙂
RSVP to the IWA AGM to learn from Bänoo’s experience of navigating the Canadian literary landscape!