Rita Chahal

Manitoba Interfaith and Immigration Council

Rita Chahal is the Executive Director of Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council (MIIC). Prior to joining MIIC in 2013, Rita served as General Manager of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce where she worked closely with the business community across Manitoba. Rita was recently appointed to the National Settlement Council and was a nominee for the first Nellie McClung award.

Born in India, Rita immigrated to Canada with her parents in the mid-sixties and settled in Prince Edward Island. Her family was one of the first East Indian families to arrive in the island.

“Community volunteer support mainly through church and participation in various activities was an essential part of our settlement process; it kept us from being and feeling isolated. Being able to speak English made all the difference. The impact of being accepted and engaged left a desire to always find ways to help others feel connected. We were lucky in that regard and our faith played a big part,” says Rita.

A graduate of Dalhousie University, Rita moved to Manitoba in the early 1980s and became involved with the India School of Dance, eventually serving two terms as President. Rita also served as Chair of Arts and Cultural Industries of Manitoba, Women of Distinction steering committee member with the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg, and participated in many community drives and campaigns with the United Way of Winnipeg. In 2007 she was appointed by the Minister of Culture and Heritage to serve on the board of Manitoba Centennial Centre Corporation.

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