Canada prides itself on the rich, ethnically diverse landscape that represents this nation. Rather than becoming a cultural melting pot, we honour and encourage our cultural mosaic. Two events in particular demonstrate Canada’s commitment to multiculturalism:
• In 1971, Canada became the first country in the world to declare multiculturalism as official state policy.
• In November 2002, the Government of Canada designated June 27 of each year as Canadian Multiculturalism Day.
“On the occasion of Canadian Multiculturalism Day, Sun Life Financial would like to pay respect to the many nationalities that have helped Canada become the flourishing nation that it is,” says Vicken Kazazian, Senior Vice-President, Career Sales Force, Sun Life Financial Canada. “We believe that a diverse sales force, representative of the communities in which we recruit and do business, improves our ability to understand and meet the needs of our many clients and business partners.”
According to the Government of Canada, Canadian Multiculturalism Day is an opportunity to celebrate the country’s diversity and commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect. Ken Stollon, manager of the Sun Life Financial Markham Financial Centre, adds, “We are all enriched when we learn about the customs and traditions of different cultures. It deepens our appreciation of each other as individuals.”
Canada’s experience with diversity distinguishes it from most other countries. Its 32 million citizens reflect an exciting cultural, ethnic and linguistic makeup:
• In 2006, Statistics Canada reported that there were 6.3 million visible minorities in Canada and one in five people in Canada were born outside this country.
• Statistics Canada is also projecting that by 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday, the numbers will rise to 8.5 million people who are visible minorities, and there will be 7.7 million immigrants living in our diverse nation.
• Approximately 200,000 immigrants a year from all parts of the globe continue to choose Canada, drawn by its quality of life and its reputation as an open, peaceful and caring society that welcomes newcomers and values diversity.
The Markham Financial Centre accentuates these findings. With more than 40 advisors, it represents 14 nationalities, speaking at least 22 different languages. Stollon notes, “We connect with diverse communities, because we literally ‘speak the language’ and understand the cultural subtleties of many of the ethnic communities that we serve.” He says this engenders trust, which is the basis for a strong business relationship. “I celebrate the differences between people and realize the importance of learning the unique customs and traditions of every culture that is represented in our office.” To celebrate Canadian Multiculturalism Day, the office will be hosting a barbecue.
If you would like more information about becoming a Sun Life Financial employee or advisor, please visit www.sunlife.ca/careers.