After an extensive search and recruiting process, Satwinder Bains of Abbotsford has been chosen as the the Director of the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University College of the Fraser Valley.
“We are extremely lucky to have been able to recruit someone like Satwinder,” said UCFV Dean of Research Yvon Dandurand. “She is very familiar with both our own institution and the Indo-Canadian community. Anyone who knows Satwinder knows that she will bring an incredible amount of energy and leadership to this most important project. We are truly lucky to have been able to convince her to take on this responsibility for the first three years of the new centre’s existence.”
Bains has been involved in the planning the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at UCFV since its inception, and is delighted that she will be able to take on a formal leadership role within it.
“It’s a very rare privilege to be able to take on this role after being part, since the very beginning, of the community drive to establish this important new resource for the community. I feel I have a lot of value to offer, in part because of my 20-year work and volunteer history in the Fraser Valley and my many relationships in the community. I am able to bring a lot of goodwill stemming from that involvement to the centre.”
The list of Bains’ current and former community group memberships is long. She has a particular interest in creating bridges in Canadian society between and within the many cultural communities.
“I’m keenly interested in cross-cultural community development, and how communities support one another. We are moving away in Canada from a model where one culture dominates to where cultural communities have a real influence in contributing to a truly multicultural society.”
The Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies was made possible through the financial contribution of the community, in particular the Indo-Canadian community which has strongly supported this project since its beginning three years ago. Bains views that support as both a vote of confidence and an obligation to be lived up to.
“People don’t give money to causes they don’t believe in, so the strong show of financial support is a real indication that the community believes in the potential for UCFV to be a leader in the development of Indo-Canadian studies and a facilitator of strengthened economic ties between Canada and India,” she said.
She added that UCFV is off to a good start through the development of Indo-Canadian Studies courses, a number of formal academic visits and exchanges, formal memoranda of understanding between UCFV and Indian universities, and the new cohort of the UCFV Bachelor of Business Administration degree being offered in Chandigarh, India.
The Centre’s official opening with several special events is being held on Sat, Oct 28. These include a ribbon cutting ceremony at the centre in the morning, followed by an open house at which the public is welcome from 1 to 5 pm. Both these events take place in the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, located in University House on UCFV’s Abbotsford campus.
In the evening there will be a celebration dinner to thank all the donors from 6:30-10 pm at the Fraser Valley Banquet Hall. Tickets for this dinner are $25 each. To RVSP for the open house and/or dinner, and buy your ticket for the dinner, please go to www.ucfv.ca/oct28 .