Nominations for the 2021 Awards are now closed. Please stay tuned for next year's nominations.

What is it?

The Toast to Success Awards of Professional Excellence honour two remarkable professionals in the Tamil community who have demonstrated professional growth and strong commitment to community. The two streams of nominations for the awards include: Emerging Professional and Established Professional.

Why Nominate?

By nominating an individual, you are telling them and the world that they are an inspiring individual, making an impact in the lives of others. You are honoring their accomplishments, validating their hard work and dedication, elevating their personal and professional profile and giving them an opportunity to be recognized in the community and around the globe. Let’s help shine light on these individuals and inspire others to do more!

Nomination Criteria

Emerging Professional

A professional in the early stages of their career, with exposure in their respective field, community and/or area of expertise.

  • Has graduated from post-secondary education (or attained similar credentials) and has up to 7 years of work experience 
  • Has made a significant impact in their field and has supplemental materials and/or information to demonstrate and exemplify impact (media engagement, awards/recognition, research, etc).
  • Has outstanding voluntary footprints in their field and/or community.
  • Must provide specific description outlining experiences and other information related to the award.
  • Must provide an overview of the professional’s story (personal bio, barriers professional had to overcome, anything else we need to know about the professional).
  • Must provide two professional endorsement letters (if requested).

Established Professional

A professional who is experienced, has made a strong record for career growth and has accomplished significant achievement in their field.

  • Has 7+ years of work experience.
  • Has passion, integrity, showcases exemplary role modeling and inspires others in the community.
  • Achieved distinction and recognition in their respective field/occupational portfolio.
  • Regarded as a leader and has made a significant impact in their field and community.
  • Must provide a detailed description outlining experiences and other information related to the award.
  • Has outstanding voluntary footprints in their field and community.
  • Demonstrated consistent contribution towards being heard and known within their profession.
  • Must provide detailed description on how the professional impacts the future of their profession relating to Tamil professionals, and their involvement and engagement in the field.
  • Facilitated noticeable improvements and/or progressive shifts in their profession.
  • Must provide an overview of the professional’s story (personal bio, barriers professional had to overcome, anything else we need to know about the professional).
  • Must provide two professional endorsement letters (if requested).


  • Nominees must be a resident of Canada and of Tamil descent.
  • Nominees are eligible for re-nomination in subsequent years.
  • Nominees cannot be previous award winners of the same award category for which they had won.
  • This year, nominees are able to nominate themselves.


Members of the 2021 Board of Directors, 2021 Advisory Board Members, Awards Selection Committee Members, current volunteer team members of CTPA or volunteer team members of CTPA within the past two years cannot be nominated for these awards.

Method of Selection

The Awards Selection Committee, appointed by the Board, will be responsible for the selection of the winners for these awards. The Awards Selection Committee will consist of CTPA’s current Board of Directors and Advisory Board members. They will review the nomination packages and supporting documents, contact endorsers and interview prospective winners.

The Awards Selection Committee reserves the right to move a nominee to a category more suited to their strengths and skill sets without notification. When required, additional information may be requested. The Awards Selection Committee also has the right to refrain from granting a specific award when it is not deemed meritable.

Award Recognition

Award winners would be required to attend the Toast to Success event that is usually held in August; however, due to the current pandemic situation, Toast to Success 2021 will not be an in-person event. This year’s award winners will be recognized virtually on our social media platforms and announced as the recipient in our virtual Toast to Success event.

In addition to the physical award, award recipients will receive a monetary prize and public recognition on our social platforms to recognize their achievements

Submission Instructions

Nominations for the 2021 Awards are now closed. Please stay tuned for next year's nominations.

For further inquiries, contact Ahiraa Supeinthiran, Director of Professional Development and Signature Events by email at

2020 Recipients

Ajith Thiyagalingam

The 2020 recipient of our "Emerging Professional" award is Ajith Thiyagalingam. Ajith has championed the rights of the Tamil community through his legal and policy work, and various initiatives. Ajith is Legal Counsel at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), where he assists refugee judges with their decision-making and lends a voice to legal and policy issues that are of national interest and international significance. Ajith brings the lived experience of the entire Tamil community, who came as refugees through this immigration process, to his profession.

Coming from a low-income, refugee background, Ajith was the first person in his family to attend university. Witnessing first-hand the intolerance, struggles, and injustice that his parents and community faced in a new land, he developed a passion for social justice, human rights, and advocacy in his youth. This passion led him to attend Osgoode Hall Law School, where he obtained his Juris Doctor. He completed his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from York University. Ajith’s pursuit towards understanding economic disparities and alleviating poverty led him to complete the Fintech Programme at University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, and an Executive Programme in Business Strategy and Finance from INSEAD Business School. As an advocate for STEM education, he is currently completing the Computer Science for Lawyers Executive Program at Harvard Law School to empower others in his community.

Read his full story

Kumaran Nadesan

The 2020 recipient of our "Established Professional" award is Kumaran Nadesan. Kumaran Nadesan is a civil servant and entrepreneur with a lengthy track record of community service. Kumaran has served in the Ontario Public Service, supporting the Government of Ontario, for more than a decade where he has held progressively senior roles at the Ministries of Government and Consumer Services, the Solicitor General, and the Attorney General. His focus on innovation, program design, and values-based leadership has been recognized with several awards from the provincial and federal public service.

Going beyond his professional achievements and entrepreneurial success as the Chief Executive Officer of Konnect Communications, a bespoke strategy consultancy, Kumaran has also been an active community animator for many years. Since starting in his first volunteer role at the Canadian Tamil Youth Development Centre in 2000, Kumaran has gone on to play a key role in many community efforts. Kumaran’s most active role is as Founding Chair of, a global network of diaspora volunteers that focuses on mobilizing diaspora knowledge capital, responsible investments, and community networks for the sustainable development of the traditional Tamil homelands in Sri Lanka. He has also commented widely about the Canadian Tamil diaspora and Sri Lanka, including in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC, TVO The Agenda, TamilCulture, The Monsoon Journal, Groundviews, and the Sunday Observer to name a few.

Kumaran has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in English and Psychology from the University of Toronto Scarborough and an Executive Certificate in Strategic Public Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University. Kumaran was born in Sri Lanka from where he left as a refugee at the age of five to India before eventually immigrating to Canada by way of the Sultanate of Oman.

Read his full story

Click to learn more about our past recipients!

Munnetram: Shanojan Thiyagalingam
Munnetram: Geetha Moorthy
Munnetram: Dharsha Jegatheeswaran
Munnetram: Vinitha Gengatharan