Message from TRIEC's Co-Chairs





Canada is one of the most diverse countries in the world and has a long and respected history of welcoming and helping newcomers.

More than 20% of our population was born outside of Canada. This is even larger in the Greater Toronto Region with over 48% born outside Canada. This diversity is a hallmark of our society and contributes to making us strong, vibrant and competitive.


TRIEC and its partners have played a key role in highlighting diversity as one of Toronto’s greatest assets. We see the connection between the diversity that our region cultivates and the success it achieves. Yet we’ve only just begun to fully leverage the many benefits that skilled immigrants bring to the table.


RBC has partnered with TRIEC since 2003, and this year we increased our support to its flagship program – The Mentoring Partnership – which has proven time and again to be very effective in helping immigrant professionals take an important step forward in establishing their careers. TRIEC wants to scale up the program, and help even more skilled immigrants launch their careers – not only across the GTR but in other parts of Canada. This is an exciting time for TRIEC as we look forward to accelerating immigrant inclusion by working with our many partners and champions.

Dave McKay

CEO and President, RBC

Co-Chair, TRIEC Council

Zabeen Hirji

Chief Human Resource Officer, RBC

Co-Chair, TRIEC Council

Message from the Chair of the Board


In this year’s Annual Report, we are looking to the future. The next decade promises many opportunities for growth and evolution, in both thought and action. I am optimistic about the future – in terms of our ability to support skilled immigrants, build sustainable partnerships and create meaningful economic impact and social change. The fact that the Toronto Region continues to become more culturally diverse make us more relevant than ever.

The support we have had from our partners, as well as the funding from sponsors, donors and foundations, places TRIEC in a unique position. We are working on a new strategic plan and a vision for the future. We have outstanding partners, dedicated staff and a committed Board – to all of whom I would like to offer my thanks. It has been a privilege for me to serve on the Board for the past six years. I’m thrilled to continue working with TRIEC and increasing its impact on the lives of immigrants and the whole community. I am confident that together we will create a brighter future with all of our stakeholders.


Carrie Blair

Chair of TRIEC's Board of Directors

Message from the Executive Director


As we reflect on 2015-2016, I’m happy to report that it has been a great year for TRIEC. We’ve grown further this year, adding more staff and growing our funding so we can support more immigrants to get the right job faster and encourage more employers to create inclusive workplaces. This has put us in a good position to make the most of the opportunities that the future brings.

Thank you to our many extraordinary partners who inform our work and make all the difference in helping us reach our vision and mission: our service delivery partners, professional immigrant networks, employer partners and funders. So many successes were achieved through your collaboration and partnership. We couldn’t do our work without you.

I would also like to thank the amazing TRIEC staff. You make coming to work each day a pleasure. Your intelligence, creativity and passion for our work are inspiring: with your ideas, you bring our programs to life.

Our board has been a tremendous gift to us this year as well, sharing their expertise and providing leadership in a time of change. As we enter the next stage of planning for the future, I know that we have a strong support base of our partners, the TRIEC team and the board. We’re ready to embark on a prosperous new future.


Margaret Eaton

Executive Director at TRIEC


The Mentoring Partnership

The Mentoring Partnership pairs skilled immigrants with mentors in their field. Mentors gain greater cultural awareness and leadership skills while supporting skilled immigrants in their job search through a four-month partnership. TRIEC runs the program in partnership with community agencies, companies and organizations across the GTA.


icon-time-stamp-purple November 30TH, 2015

Four more leaders in mentor recruitment: Scotiabank, Dentons, Telus, Humber College

icon-time-stamp-purple November 30TH, 2015

More mentors came back and volunteered with the program: 20 mentors who have mentored 10 or more skilled immigrants recognized in 2015




icon-time-stamp-purple November 30th, 2015

More mentees became mentors to give back: 12 mentees who became mentors were recognized in 2015




of mentors were satisfied with their mentoring experience.


of mentees were satisfied with their mentoring experience.


icon-time-stamp-purple March 21st, 2016

12,000 matches passed (Over 7,600 volunteer mentors have helped 12,000 skilled immigrants reconnect with their career in Canada since 2004)

• Scaled up our strategy to reach even more skilled immigrants across Canada by 2020: secured funding from RBC Foundation, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Ontario Ministry of Immigration and International Trade (MCIIT)

• Research aimed at mentoring partnerships: Building Successful Exchange Relationships – pillars of successful relationships (York University)

• New employer partner Scheider Electric. List of current partners

• New service-delivery partner Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office. List of current service delivery partners


Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs)

The PINs initiative is a network of professional and alumni associations, run by and for immigrants to Toronto. Through PINs, TRIEC supports these associations to help their members find meaningful employment.

PINs offers the opportunity to build relationships with professional immigrant associations to raise awareness of organizations, foster collaboration and tap into recruiting pools of new, established and prospective immigrants.




Members served across the GTA


Stakeholder partners


icon-milestone Eight new professional immigrant associations joined the community

icon-milestone Immigrant Entrepreneurship Event (March 2016 at MaRS)

icon-milestone Drs2Drs is a collaboration of three PINs associations and Community Matters Toronto, aims to support the efforts of internationally trained doctors to gain employment in alternative careers that leverage their skills and expertise.

icon-time-stamp-green March 2016

PINs was invited to present at the Cities of Migration conference in the Marketplace of Good Ideas in Integration.


Learning initiatives and TRIEC Campus

Over the past year, our Learning Initiatives team developed new resources, started new partnerships and reached out to more users – individual, corporate and non-profit – to share the knowledge and offer the resources to build diverse and inclusive teams and develop individuals’ cultural competency.


Total number of users on the TRIEC Campus: 3709

icon-milestone-red New corporate campus and e-learning users

• Samsung Electronics Canada – over 500 employees signed up with Campus to take cross-cultural communication in the workplace, culture and workplace interaction courses

• Barrie-based Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVHC) discovered the TRIEC Campus when conducting research on diversity and inclusion, “fell in love” with the learning resources, and has since incorporated the materials into their staff's professional development. The Centre’s 103 employees have now completed 487 e-learning modules

More corporate partners embedded e-learning modules into their learning platforms

icon-time-stamp-red New partnerships Throughout 2015-2016

We partnered with Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) to deliver free diversity and inclusion training to non-profit leaders across Ontario “Leading The Conversation: Inclusion In Non-Profits”

• 25 non-profit organizations have participated in the program. We have covered three regions in Ontario: the GTA and Eastern Ontario (Ottawa), with Southwestern Ontario (London) beginning in September

• New partnerships with Hire Immigrants Ottawa, United Way Ottawa, and WorkInCulture

icon-milestone-red More corporate partners embedding e-learning modules into their learning platforms

icon-time-stamp-red CanPrep (December 2015)

Partnership led by JVS Toronto, to offer e-learning modules to skilled immigrants approved and destined for Canada within next 3 - 12 months

19 e-learning modules developed

398 clients taking e-learning courses on Campus

1,163 e-learning modules completed

The Connector Program

Launched as a one-year pilot in October 2014, the Connector Program is an award-winning program created by our partners at the Halifax Partnership. We saw the potential to bring the program to the GTA for the benefit of both immigrants and employers.


icon-milestone-aqua Connector by numbers (October 2015)

On completion, Connector had involved:

50 skilled immigrants (Participants)

49 Canadian professionals (Connectors)

206 meetings

icon-milestone-aqua Participants

50% unemployed and 50% employed in a role that does not match their skills and education

• Came from a variety of industries: IT to arts

60% of participants have moved to Canada in the last three years

55% said Connector helped them move toward their career goal

91% of Participants and 92% of Connectors were likely to recommend the program to a friend or colleague

icon-milestone-aqua Connectors

• The majority were recruited individually by TRIEC staff (over 60%)

20% were referred by program partners or Advisory Committee members

20% heard about the program from a colleague or through other sources

• Came from a variety of sectors; the top three are non-profit, banking and government

icon-report Connectors Reported

• Increased awareness of immigrant talent and skills

• Understanding of the challenges and barriers immigrants face

• Opportunity to practice their cross-cultural communication

Labour Market Trends

TRIEC's vision is a GTA that flourishes when everyone within its diverse workforce is able to contribute. We can all do more to work toward achieving this vision, and as the landscape of our diverse city continues to change, we must respond to these changes and develop new ways of working together.

In the past year, we looked at labour market trends that could be a factor when it comes to the employment of skilled immigrants as well employers looking to diversify their workforce. Trends such as polarization — growth of jobs in higher-paying, higher-skilled sectors or lower-paying, lower-skilled occupations — and new business models that lead to more temporary employment or contract work, as well as the inevitable impact of technological change.

We worked with labour market analyst Tom Zizys to deepen our understanding of current and future labour market trends and how they will impact employers and skilled immigrants. Based on our findings, we’ve come up with tips and recommendations for employers and skilled immigrants that could help them adapt to new trends and seize the opportunities that come their way.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve learned.




People are still at the heart of success

• In the fast lane with a driverless car: advances in artificial intelligence are starting to have an impact on non-routine jobs that were once the sole domain of humans, such as drivers and the rise of driverless cars.

• We need perfection and we need it now: the pressure for quick, low-cost, high reward results has left no room for mistakes in the hiring process.

• But, searching for perfect can mean missing the best: hiring managers are often unfamiliar with credentials gained overseas and can question experience gained in organizations they’ve never heard of, and assume that it will take more effort for immigrants to fit into the work culture.

• Slow down to speed up: solid HR practices are primarily what is needed to create that inclusive workplace. Despite the many advances of technology, the ongoing success of companies and organizations will continue to be driven by the people who work for them. We need to slow down now in order to be able to keep up in the future.




Get ready for the workplace of the future

• Technology dictates the pace and individuals have to learn how to transition into new kinds of jobs and advance in careers that may require a completely different skill set.

• Temporary, contract employment on an as-needed basis is taking over more traditional permanent employment. Companies are now turning toward as-needed hiring, so more hiring "just-in-time", with openings filled as they arise. Job candidates need to be ready for the task.

• When looking to hire full-time employees, most employers expect their candidates to be job-ready and take longer to find the best candidate for the position with more time spent searching and vetting. Credentials and previous experience are becoming more and more important to employers.









Dan Mitta, Architect and Building Code Advisor with the Ontario Public Service, has been a mentor in The Mentoring Partnership for over seven years and has mentored more than 10 internationally trained architects in the GTA.

Dan began his career as an architect in Ontario, having graduated from McGill University. For the past 15 years, he has worked for the Government of Ontario. Before that, he worked for a municipality and private architectural firms.

He became a mentor with The Mentoring Partnership because he was looking for a volunteering opportunity that would make the most of his experiences and knowledge. “Before becoming a mentor, I had been mentored myself by someone from work and found it to be very effective,” Dan says. “Therefore, I wanted to mentor internationally trained architects in Toronto.”

“Once I got the swing of it and got some positive feedback, I decided that I might as well keep at it,” he said, when asked about his inspiration to continue mentoring. “Besides, I kept on getting calls asking me if I could mentor someone else.”

Dan has seen many changes over the years while mentoring. “It has become much easier as I now know the fundamentals that help in the job search,” he said. “At the same time, mentees are all different: different strengths, different weaknesses. It is important to understand and remember that when you are supporting them.”

Some advice he gives to his mentees is to attend professional events and activities to meet others in the architecture field to build their networks. He also recommends that they consider joining clubs /organizations related to hobbies that they enjoy. “Building people skills, especially in a new culture, goes a long way towards getting on in the world,” says Dan.

When asked about his own experience as a mentor, Dan said, “Mentoring is great: you get to meet new people and help them. Nothing is more gratifying than making a difference. Many of my past mentees have contacted me years later and told me how I helped them get to where they are. I am happy that I made a difference although, at the same time, I do feel that it was their own ability that really mattered in the end.”







M-Bridge Culture Integration Society for Professionals is a proud PINs association run by internationally educated professionals (IEPs). M-Bridge’s PINs leader, Sophie Duan, talks about her experience with the PINs program.

The M-Bridge was formed in 2008 to help immigrant professionals to integrate into Canadian workplace and society through educational services.

As a volunteer-run association, we were constantly looking for resources, connections, training and support for our leaders. We joined the PINs program in 2011 to start the journey of expanding M-Bridge.

The PINs program has helped our association and members connect with larger networks. Through PINs, we have collaborated with other PINs associations such as joint events and projects with the Communications, Advertising and Media Professionals (CAMP) association, the New Canadians Media Professionals (NCMP) association and the Association of Professionals in Thorncliffe (APT).

We have initiated a project called Immigrant Talk, a web-based story telling platform about the journeys, lives and dreams of immigrants to Canada in written or video format. Through this platform, self-identified immigrants are heard, empowered and supported in achieving their goals in Canada.

It is a blessing to be a PINs leader. As a volunteer leading an association to help others, I feel part of a community that is connected, supported and acknowledged. The training and connections really strengthen and encourage me to continue on the journey of serving others.

I would advise other PINs leaders and members to participate as many of the meetings and events PINs offers as possible as they are too valuable to miss, and make personal connections with other leaders. Collaboration is the key to expand the capacity of our associations, and ourselves.







It’s no secret, to find a job you need to connect to the right people. And you need them to connect you to more of the right people, and maybe recommend or vouch for you. And then you just might need those people to connect you to even more people.

That is how one immigrant professional recently found a job in her field of electrical engineering.

Originally from Lithuania, Virginija Bruzeviciute came to Toronto in 2012. Her journey to employment started when she entered TRIEC’s The Mentoring Partnership. The program is delivered with the help of 15 service-delivery partners and over 20 employer partners that provide and recruit established Canadian professionals as mentors.

Virginija found out about The Mentoring Partnership and joined the program through Humber College. After completing her mentoring relationship in March 2015, she was referred to the Connector program – a pilot launched by TRIEC in February 2015 that helps skilled immigrants build their professional networks.

“I learned about the TRIEC Connector program from my advisor at Humber College,” – shares Virginija. “I decided to apply after reading more about it. I was interested in meeting other professionals in my field. “

While still actively looking for a job as an electrical engineer, Virginija was referred to a potential Connector, a Canadian professional with well-established networks able to support Virginija in building her networks. This Connector was volunteering with one of TRIEC’s Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs), the Association of Romanian Engineers in Canada (AREC).

In the process for looking for the right connection, one of AREC’s Board members who saw Virginija’s resume forwarded it to his company, Plan Group, which was looking to hire electrical engineers.
Virginija’s skills and qualifications were a perfect fit. After a successful interview she was offered a job.

“I learned that connections are very important. I also learned that it is more important to find someone who can consult and share experience in job search.”

In 2015 TRIEC partnered with WorkInCulture – a non-profit organization that services Ontario’s cultural sector and offers career development and business skills training – to help build more inclusive workplaces within the sector.

Comprised of medium, small and micro-sized organizations, the Ontario cultural sector has been serving its multicultural audiences and meeting their diverse needs and interests for many years. The challenge was to embrace the same diversity and inclusion treatment internally.

WorkInCulture approached TRIEC and asked to leverage its knowledge, best practices and resources to improve inclusion in the sector and focus on organizations and their HR practices.

“Putting our energies into recruiting staff, board members, and volunteers that reflect our community enables us to better connect with our community and is the foundation on which to build inclusive programming, inclusive outreach and marketing, developed for a more diverse client base,” says Diane Davy, Executive Director at WorkInCulture.

With assistance from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, and expert partners TRIEC and Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, WorkInCulture was able to create a program of resources in diversity and inclusion targeted to the cultural sector.

“Our partnership has emphasized the value of cross-sectoral collaboration in addressing a broad topic through shared resources, narratives, and strategies by adapting information already developed and tested by TRIEC,” says Davy. “In doing so, we were able to avoid duplication of effort in the creation of related materials and were able to make full use of each other’s expertise to improve and deploy materials more effectively.”

The result of the partnership is a program that supports the efforts of the sector’s smaller workplaces to build inclusive workplaces by offering practical and adaptable content including informational resources, tools, and training. Materials and information have been written from the perspective of those working and volunteering in a typical small arts and culture workplace, and wherever possible the examples and language are taken directly from the sector.

Through this program, WorkInCulture has been able to make a compelling case for the benefits of an inclusive workplace, one where the full talents and abilities of everyone are given the opportunity to be used and developed. Working closely with TRIEC allowed WorkInCulture to create and advocate a framework for change.

“We customized two TRIEC e-learning modules and a workshop curriculum to meet the needs of the cultural sector,” Davy shares. “Through TRIEC guidance and expertise, we were able to articulate our vision of inclusion within our sector and produce truly engaging and impactful resources.”

Financial Overview

The financial overview in this report represents the condensed and consolidated operations of TRIEC. The full unqualified audited statements of TRIEC for March 31, 2016, prepared by Collins Barrow Toronto LLP can be found at:

Thank you to our funders and sponsors

TRIEC would like to acknowledge our funders and sponsors in 2015-2016:





TRIEC Board of Directors

Carrie Blair (Chair), Executive Vice-President, Human Resources, Sun Life Financial

Baskaran Rajamani (Vice-chair), Partner, Enterprise Risk Services, Deloitte

Doron Telem (Treasurer), National Leader, Risk Consulting Partner, Advisory Services KPMG

David Agnew, President, Seneca College

Joan Andrew, Former Distinguished Public Servant in Residence, Ryerson University

Stephen Boutilier, Managing Director, Enterprise Distribution-Fixed Income, Currencies and Metals (FICM), TD Securities (retired)

Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, President & Chief Human Capital Officer, 3C Workforce Solutions

Craig Hapelt, Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

Sunil Johal, Policy Director, Mowat Centre

Sheldon Leiba, VP, Network & Membership Relations, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Gabriel Leiva von Bovet, Partner, GBS Financial Services Sector, IBM

Tim Owen, Director, World Education Services (WES)

Young Park, Executive VP and Chief Information Officer, Davis + Henderson (D+H) Corporation (retired)

Allison Pond, Chief Executive Officer, ACCES Employment

Sevaun Palvetzian, Chief Executive Officer, CivicAction

Dianne Salt, Senior Vice President, Communications, RBC


TRIEC Staff*

Margaret Eaton, Executive Director

Beth Clarke, Director, Employer Programs

Racquel Sevilla, Director, Immigrant Employment Initiatives

Jamila-Khanom Allidina, Program and Executive Assistant

Lisette Andreyko, Business Analyst

Kerri Brock, Manager, Employer Relations

Shabnum Budhwani, Senior Manager, Program Delivery

Rachel Crowe, Acting Manager, Learning Projects (on leave)

Helen Davies, Manager, Communications (acting)

Aruna Dey, Communications and Marketing Specialist

Aman Dhesi, Program Delivery Coordinator, Employer Partners, The Mentoring Partnership

Natalia Dobrynina, Communications Specialist

Monina Febria, Program Coordinator, Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) Initiative (on leave)

Jessica Hume, Manager, Communications (on leave)

Jihyun Jeong, Learning Coordinator, Learning Initiatives

Nichola Johnson-Young, Business Partner, Employer Relations

Beatrice Kohlenberg, Program Coordinator, Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) Initiative (acting)

Anna Kostecka, Manager, Learning Initiatives

Tulan Ma, Manager, IT Systems

Lillian Manea, Manager, Operations

Meena Sankaran, Program Coordinator, Service Delivery Partners, The Mentoring Partnership

Rajni Sharma, Program Administrative Assistant (on leave)

Rohit Singh, Communications and Program Assistant

Isabel Villeneuve, Project Coordinator, Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs) Initiative (acting)

*As of August 8, 2016

250 Dundas St. W., Suite 603

Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2Z5

Phone: 416.944.1946


Annual Report funded by