MONTREAL – On January 6, on the occasion of Armenian Christmas, the newly formed Armenian Canadian Council (ACC) organized a well attended, vibrant cocktail reception on behalf of the Armenian community of Montreal to welcome and celebrate the October 19, 2015 electoral victory of a number of high profile Canadian members of parliament (MP) of the greater Montreal area. The reception took place at the Montreal Tekeyan Center.
Minister of External Affairs of Canada Stéphane Dion, Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly, Eva Nassif, MP for the riding or electoral district of Vimy, and Anthony Housefather, MP for the riding of Mount Royal, had accepted and confirmed their presence. As a result of last minute urgencies created by the North Korean and Saudi Arabia crises, Dion, a long-time friend of Armenians, sent his best wishes with his regrets for having been retained in Ottawa. All other invitees together with a large circle of their high level assistants and collaborators were present and addressed the over two hundred Armenian and non-Armenian guests, who gave a very warm welcome to the distinguished speakers. Mayor of St Laurent Allan De Sousa and newly appointed Consul General of Armenia Sassoun Hovannessian were also present.
The evening started with a beautiful rendition of O Canada by Aida Karibian, who gave an interesting historic overview of the origins of the Canadian National Anthem.
Viken Attarian, a well-known leader of the Montreal Armenian community who holds key positions in the Liberal Party of Canada acted with unique taste and ability as the evening’s master of ceremonies.
Raffi Yeretzian was introduced as a young spokesperson for the ACC. Raffi gave a very well organized and insightful presentation on the purposes and field of action of the organization. He specified in particular that ACC‘s aim is to organise and facilitate the political participation of the Armenian community, and especially of its youth, in Canada, and for Canada.
Attarian then introduced Dr. Arshavir Gundjian, a leading personality of the Armenian community, to address the guests and the audience on behalf of the community. Gundjian is founder and leader of many local and international Armenian organizations as well emeritus member of the AGBU Central Board. He gave an overview of Armenians in general and of Canadian Armenians in particular. He highlighted his presentation with some light hearted notes as well as the strong commitment of Armenians in Canada to participate in the Canadian political process as well as to back the progressive initiatives of the current government.