Artists and Artisans Development and Network

Platform of Immigrant and Refugee Artists and Artisans

Babita Ramlal

(Board of Director)

Babita is an experienced manager and public administrator with at least fifteen years service with the public sector. She  has  worked in the non-profit sector and volunteered with various Toronto organizations. 

Babita has a Bachelor of Sciences in Industrial Management, a Masters degree in Information Sciences, a Masters degree in Public Policy, Administration, Policy and Law. She is a also a certified project manager and an ITIL expert.

Board of Directors & Advisors:

Shirin Mandani 

(Co-founder & President)

Shirin has over 20 years of leadership experience in the Canadian and International not-for-profit organizations focussing on Social Enterprise. She has Master’s degree in Public Policy Administration and Law from York University, Master’s degree in Educational leadership from Mumbai University in India and a Post degree diploma in Not-for-Profit Management from University of Western Ontario.

She is CEO of GrantX Inc and CEOC and has served two terms as a national board of director for Aga Khan Education Services, in India, playing an active role in enhancement of primary education programs funded by European Union. She is Director of Disability Hub, Arab Community Centre of Toronto and is member of Toronto Food Policy Council.

Zatoon Vania

(Board of Director)

Zatoon is retired senior who was employed by the North York Board of Education, as a first teacher in special education and later as a teacher of gifted children.   She also served as an adjunct professor at York University’s Faculty of Education for 8 years where she supervised the teacher interns in math and science education.  In 1991, she was seconded to York University as a full time associate professor in math education.  At McGill University for four years, she taught summer courses in gifted education to graduate students and teachers from all provinces in Canada.

 Zatoon was always a strong advocate for women’s issues such as, equity in the workforce, elimination of math anxiety in females, and empowering women to enter the science, mathematics and engineering fields.

Rodolfo Santibanez

​(Board of Advisor)

Rodolfo Santibanez is a film maker and photographer.  He’s been involved in diverse projects from advertisement, education, and documentary. 

Currently he works independently for different projects in North America and Mexico.  He is the Audiovisual Coordinator for the AluCine Latin American Arts & Film Festival.

Naila Saeed

​(Board of Advisor)

​Naila is owner and Director of Market lane Early Learning Centre, Big Dreams Montessori, Early Years Education System( EYES). She is also  Managing Director of Abacus Early Learning Center.

President of AMU Alumni Association of Canada and Ansaar Foundation. She is currently serving on board of SAFSS (Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services) and Canadian Peace and Unity Foundation. 

Her academic background includes a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Early Childhood Educator. She has 18 years of childcare industry experience both as provider and center operator enhancing principles and practices of child learning and development. She has worked for Youth and Seniors with different  Not-for-Profit Organizations.

Noura Zaina

​(Board of Advisor)

Noura holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and Information Systems from the French University in Egypt. For four years she worked in exciting marketing and sales positions at multinational and Fortune 500 companies. Due to her affinity to community and passion for people's development she delved into the non-profit sector and created herself the Public Relations and Development Officer role at the Canadian Arab Institute.

She co-founded and is a committee member of the Professional Canadian Arab Network (PCAN) and currently completing the Governance Training at DiverseCity on Board. She is tri-lingual and with a strong interest in issues related to identity, diversity, integration and development. Noura currently works at Ryerson University's DMZ, Canada's leading business incubator for technology start ups. 

Ramesh Chotai

(Board of Advisor)

Mr Ramesh Chotai is the President of Bromed Pharmaceuticals. Born in Northern Uganda, Ramesh pursued his education in Britain. Completing his training as a Pharmacist in the UK and Switzerland he joined ICI Pharmaceuticals in Kampala, Uganda. 

Community builder and a philanthropist, he is the past President of the Hindu Mandir and Cultural Centre. Ramesh is the Vice-Chairman of Canadian Museum of Hindu Civilization and was Diwali co-chairperson of Trillium Health Centre for the year 2007. He received the ICCC’s 2004 President’s Award.

Nandasiri Gedarage

(Board of Advisor)

Nandasiri is a artist with many talents which includes ice carving, vegetable and fruit carving and fine arts.  He has won many awards at ice-fest competitions in Canada.  

Nandasiri was extremely successful and well known for his Art in Sri Lanka.  After immigrating to Canada, he has walked the sticky floor towards a decent employment yet retaining his talents as an entrepreneur and Artist.  He is currently owner of a small business which supplies decorations for events and festivals.

Soheila Tavallaei

(Board of Advisor)

Soheila Tavallaei was born and raised in Shiraz, Iran. She started learning Persian painting, miniatures, at the age of 15. She is deeply committed about the psychological situation of modern men and women, which led her to study Homeopathy, as an art of healing. Knowledge of Homeopathy, made her art elevated to the next level. 

 Her constant artistic and cultural exchange between Iran and Canada provides her an important role in her inspiration to portray the suffering of the human kind; fear, loneliness, darkness, anger and love.

Soheila has exhibited her work in group and solo exhibitions at many occassions in the United States, Iran and Canada and has won many awards.

Rita Patel 

(Board of Director)

Rita is a artists and artisans who makes beautiful murals, embroidery, painting and knitting. She has taken a lead role in organizing many events particularly for the Gujarati Community. She is a homemaker and she takes out lot of her time in volunteering activities to help the artists and artisans. She believes that art can be form of expression and worship. 

Archana Trivedi

(Board of Director)

Archana is a certified Lab technician specializing in MRI, X-Ray and CT Scan. She is working since last 15 years at Scarborough Grace Hospital.  She is active member of College of Medical Radio Technologist of Ontario. 

She origins from Zambia, East Africa and has been very active to volunteer in many not-for-profit organizations. She is active member of Bhahmin Samaj of Ontario. She has volunteered in many Gujarati cultural festivals and events.