Looking Back at This Year’s AGM

By: Cheryl

By: Klaidi Shehi

Introduction

Last month MCIS held our 2021-22 Annual General Meeting at the Ontario Science Centre. It was a night full of fun, laughter, and a chance to finally meet new and old faces. The night started with an excellent introduction by our Chairman, Shash Anand and a moving speech from our Executive Director, Latha Sukumar. The two MCs for the night, Jack Xu, and Alanna, did an excellent job hosting the event and —keeping the energy alive throughout it.

We saw many wins and achievements during the financial year of 2021-2022.  In this past year, MCIS has developed its vision to connect people globally through languages and diligently works toward our mission to improve access to critical information and services through high-quality language solutions. Our goal as an organisation is to develop ourselves as a social Purpose Enterprise, providing free services and language service training to who needs it the most. Through Our Social Benefits Fund (SBI), MCIS was able to provide training for 10 Rohingya and 25 Afghan (Dari/Pashto/Farsi) students, two groups that are experiencing a significant shortage of translation and interpretation services due to the volume of refugees and immigrants into Canada.

Our board of directors has also seen some change, with outgoing Board Members Jasmine Attfield, Camille Jovanovic and Ken Szeto stepping down and Nancy Bell join the MCIS Board.

Several people and organisations were honoured at the AGM this year for their outstanding efforts for MCIS and for providing language services to the community. Here is a list of the winners and their awards!

Congratulations to all the winners!

Guest Speakers

This year’s AGM had the honour of having 3 guest speakers for the event, Nicole Anichini, Veronica Costea and Nicole Fioriello. Each one of them spoke about MCIS progress and highlighted our work towards language advocacy.

Nicole Anichini: (MCIS Translation Manager)

 The MCIS SBI Fund

Nicole’s speech centred on the social impact team at MCIS and their involvement in the community, showcasing the incredible work that everyone at the company has done for these programmes. She talked about our Social Benefits fund (SBI) and how it has helped so many individuals get access to the crucial language services they need. She went on to mentions how translating documents or hiring interpreters for various language needs can be very costly. She also highlighted the fact that the average cost of a translation project for an individual applying for free translation services was around $520.

She stated:

“For someone earning between $10,000 and $30,000 a year, a translation could cost people between 2% and 5% of their annual income; and 40% of our SBI applicants reported their income to be below $10,000 per year.” translation and interpretation services.

Nicole also touched upon our training initiatives that are funded by the MCIS SBI fund. Small communities entering Canada, like the Rohingya and others, face challenges accessing services as many do not speak English, and there was a severe lack of employees or settlement workers who knew their language. This caused a significant shortage of not commonly known languages. Through the SBI initiative, MCIS was able to provide free training for individuals in these communities.

Veronica Costea (Head of Systems Development and Quality Management at MCIS)

 The Journey of MCIS

Veronica, our second guest speaker of the night, focused her speech on the journey of MCIS as an organization. She touched on our journey in pursuit of uncovering and articulating the part we play in upholding fundamental human rights and bringing about positive social change.

She then showed the MCIS social purpose video that centred around what the initiative meant for the organization and for the individuals that it helps every day. Veronica also highlighted the Coalition’s greatest triumph: the first Global Language Advocacy Day, which had 7 live events on 4 different continents, 6 publications, and 4 social media campaigns, took place on February 22—Language Advocacy Day—and was a huge success.

Nicole Fioriello – (Policy, Outreach and Social Purpose Specialist at MCIS)

Advocacy in Language

Nicole delivered her speech around this year’s Theme of Language advocacy and Language Advocacy Day 2022 (LAD). To make language rights human rights, MCIS has partnered with more than 30 organisations and individuals s who advocate for language right under the Language Access Coalition of Canada. She highlighted the work MCIS has been doing, like meeting with members of parliament, providing resources for free and affordable language services, increasing advocacy for the importance of French as one of Canada’s official languages and increasing resources put towards Indigenous language education and revitalization. Nicole touched on Language Advocacy Day 2022, stating:

“The conference was an incredible success. Language Advocacy Day was a day of celebration at MCIS. All office duties were on hold, with only urgent issues being attended to so that almost all the 60+ MCIS staff could attend the Conference!”

Nicole ended her speech by awarding the Community Partner of the Year Award to United Way. They are an organization that are helping companies learn more about becoming a Social Purpose Business and how they can create more societal value for their customers, employees, and communities through their business activities.

Conclusion

As we reflect on our time at this year’s AGM and look forward to next year, we want to thank all those who attended for making this year’s AGM a memorable experience. We also can’t forget to thank our AGM performers, Chen Zhao and Tali Cosman, two MCIS Interpreters who entertained attendees with their masterful instrumental performances.

We also wanted to thank our board members for their tireless efforts on behalf of MCIS as well as our MC’s Jack and Alanna, our guest speakers Nicole A., Veronica, and Nicole F., as well as well as everyone else who worked so hard on the behind-the-scenes logistics work. MCIS would also like to congratulate all the individuals and organizations that won awards for their dedication to promote language rights and provide language services to all. The whole MCIS team looks forward to next year’s Annual General meeting, where we can all once again celebrate our achievements and reminisce on another successful year.