Marichu Antonio is 1st Filipino-Canadian named Calgary’s Citizen of the Year

Marichu Antonio Calgary's Citizen of the Year
Filipino-Canadian Marichu Antonio wins the City of Calgary 2020 Citizen of the Year Award, given to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the community within the last five years. Photo from the City of Calgary video announcement.

Human rights advocate Marichu Antonio has made history as the first Filipino-Canadian woman to win Calgary’s Citizen of the Year award.

Antonio was recognized for her work in promoting inclusion and diversity in racialized communities and was named among the city’s honorees in a video announcement shared by the City of Calgary on June 22, 2021.

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As Executive Director of non-profit organization ActionDignity for nearly twelve years, Marichu Antonio amplifies the collective voice of hundreds of culturally diverse groups and organizations in the city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

“My vision for Calgary is a city that values and appreciates and respects everyone equally, regardless of the colour of their skin, the language they speak, their gender identity or their economic status,” Antonio said in the announcement video from the city.

Throughout her life serving fellow Filipinos and other individuals of culturally diverse backgrounds, Antonio has also been a trailblazer for many initiatives, including providing aid to essential workers during the height of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Calgary.

“I am most proud of leading the formation of the multicultural, multilingual emergency response to COVID-19 – a hotline that serves racialized communities in 24 different languages and listens to their problems,” Antonio adds.

The Philippine Consulate General in Calgary lauded Antonio’s historic feat as the first Filipino-Canadian and woman of color to receive the award, given to outstanding individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the community within the last five years.

The Calgary Awards are hosted by the city each year to recognize Calgarians and local organizations for their outstanding achievements and significant contributions to making our city a better place to live.

Filipinos Virginia Guiang-Santoro and Arlene Ruiz were among last year’s top 25 Canadian Immigrant awardees presented by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

A 10-foot-tall monument bearing a three-foot bust of the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, sculpted by Filipino multi-media artist and University of the Philippines professor Toym Imao will soon rise in Nose Creek Regional Park in Airdrie, the first installation of its kind in Alberta and Western Canada.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to human rights advocate Marichu Antonio for making history as the first Filipino-Canadian woman to win Calgary’s Citizen of the Year award.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.