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2023 Winners

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Ari Cholakian


Ari was born in Syria and immigrated to Canada in when he was in grade 5. His deep curiosity allowed him to excel throughout his time in school. He regularly participates in major physics and engineering competitions alongside teammates, and volunteers at the school lab where he repairs and maintains apparatus. In his free time, Ari loves searching for Armenian translations to scientific terms in 19th century books, taking photos of planets and deep sky objects, and developing videogames. He is committed to attend UBC in Applied Sciences, where he will study as a Physics Engineer. Ari dreams to work in the quickly growing space industry and bring value to his surroundings as a proud Armenian.

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Suren Ghazaryan


Suren immigrated to Canada with his family 3 years ago from Armenia. He faced the challenges of adjusting to a new environment while having to maintain a high performance at school to be able to be accepted in the University of British Columbia, his dream school. Despite the language barriers and Covid restrictions, he quickly became one of the top students at Tamanawis Secondary. Alongside these scholastic accomplishments, Suren also received the “Top Jazz Musician” award during the year end concert in grade 11. He is also involved in athletics and leadership. Suren became the captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team and started a chess club at school. During summers, he works for Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association where he is a part of youth that organizes different events all over the downtown. In fall of 2023, he will be attending UBC, majoring in Computer Science


Artin Soheili


Born and raised in Canada, Artin is the son of an Armenian father and an American mother. He has just completed his first year as a student at the University of British Columbia, where he is pursuing a major in Economics and simultaneously getting his Master's Degree in Management through UBC's B+MM program. Outside of school, Artin achieved the highest rank, Warrant Officer First Class, in the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program, where he also received the Legion Medal of Excellence for his outstanding community service. He was also one of seven cadets selected to go on an international exchange to US airforce bases this summer. As soccer is his favorite sport, Artin is a loyal member of the official Vancouver Whitecaps fan group, the Southsiders.  After completing his degree, he plans on applying to law school and pursuing a career in corporate law.

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Elin Estifan


Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Elin arrived in Canada in 2014 when she was only nine-years-old. When she’s not busy, you can find her on an ice rink, ice skating, or at the library getting lost in a book. Graduating from Holy Cross High School on the gold honor roll, Elin will be attending Simon Fraser University in the fall 2023 term and studying cognitive science.

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Aline Hamaian


In 2015, Aline moved to Vancouver with her family. She devoted her time to volunteering at the Araz Armenian Saturday school. Additionally, she volunteered at Vancouver Community College, assisting with translation during counsellor meetings and registration forms. Having spent most of her career in schools in Aleppo and Lebanon, teaching children Armenian language, art and music Aline felt drawn to the education field once more and decided to pursue a certificate as an Education Assistant.

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Lala Hamaian


Lala was born and raised in Aleppo, Syria. She completed their education in the Faculty of Economics, earning a BA degree. Following graduation, she worked as a treasurer in an Armenian Elementary School for seven years. In 2012, she made the decision to move to Vancouver, Canada with their family, looking to embark on a new chapter in their lives. Since discovering her passion for caring for children, she decided to pursue a diploma in Education Assistance. This career choice fills Lala with a sense of purpose, allowing for an opportunity to give back to the community and positively impact the lives of young children.


Tatoul Hadjian


Tatoul Hadjian is a classical guitarist, teacher, composer and performer. He was raised in a family of musicians where his father was an opera singer, choirmaster and teacher of music. His mother sang alto in the choir. Tatoul started playing the classical guitar in 2005 when at the age of ten, he was accepted into Tchaikovsky Specialized Secondary Music School in Yerevan. He gave his first solo recital when he was sixteen. At the same age, Tatoul began his pedagogical career teaching classical guitar at the Musical School After Armen Tigranian, located in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia.

      Tatoul Hadjian has won over nine internationally acclaimed music competition awards and is the first Armenian classical guitarist who has achieved a Grand Prize in Armenia during Sayat-Nova Music Competition, followed by another Grand Prize in Prague.

      One of the most marvellous awards was the Guitar Gift where he was awarded a guitar by the determination of the head of the jury for his brilliance and impressive performance during an International Guitar Competition in Greece, where he took second prize.

      In 2012 Tatoul started studying at Yerevan State Conservatory after Komitas where he graduated from the Conservatory in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Performing Arts.

     During the years of study, Tatoul was actively involved in different cultural activities including participation in International Guitar Competitions and Festivals, making recordings for TV shows and CD labels, performing in different concerts and even being invited to perform during International Museum Days.

    Hadjian has collaborated with composers, string quartets and famous Armenian singers. Recently he completed recordings for a Film Making Studio based in the States. The movie features the famous actor Hovik Keuchkerian.

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