Two New Brunswickers have made RBC’s 2016 list of Top 25 Canadian Immigrants.
Co-founder of the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada Igor Dobrovolskiy of Moncton and Smart Skin Technologies CEO Kumaran Thillainadarajah of Fredericton are among the list of artists, academics, entrepreneurs and champions of various causes.
Ukrainian-born Igor Dobrovolskiy immigrated to Canada with his wife Yuliia in 2000. He holds a bachelor of fine arts in pedagogy of ballet, dance and choreography from Kiev National University of the Arts. In 2014 he was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for High Achievement in Performing Arts.
“I’m proud to call Moncton, New Brunswick home,” Dobrovolskiy said. “The chance and opportunities that I’ve been given (as an immigrant) to prove myself, as well as the incredible support I have received, are both touching and impressive. I take great pleasure in raining my family here in such a warm, welcoming and accepting community.”
Thillainadarajah came to Canada from Sri Lanka to study at the University of New Brunswick. While studying he designed the technology that would shortly become the base of Fredericton-based startup Smart Skin Technologies. The company has developed and commercialized a pressure-sensitive skin technology for a variety applications and has made a name for itself in the area and beyond.
Thillainadarajah said he received a lot of help from people in the community to get his company started. In February 2016, Thillainadarajah was featured in Canadian Business magazine as a change agent in the business world. He now gives back to the community by promoting careers in science, technology and entrepreneurship.
The Top 25 were honoured earlier this week in Toronto and Vancouver.
“Every winner that we are celebrating … has dared to dream,” said Christine Shisler, senior director of RBC Multicultural Markets. “Those dreams didn’t end just because they packed a suitcase and arrived in Canada. It was only the beginning.”