Community Service Awards

Each year SLCAO recognizes individuals for their outstanding contribution to the Sri Lankan community in Ottawa.  Here are the distinguished individuals:

2016/17 – TBD

2015/16 – Presented by President Anura Ferdinand, narration by Chaminda Wijesinghe

  1. Mrs. Nandani Fernando
    To introduce the first recipient…..I will be giving hints and see if you can guess who it is….she really need no introduction… but we will do so for you to guess…..she is identifiable for an outstanding contribution towards the Sri Lankan events in Ottawa. She moved to Canada in 1997 with her family. She has taken part in many cultural and religious programs in Ottawa. Often volunteering with tasty food preparation and coordinating the activities. She is also a cancer survivor. With all the pain she bares, she would still render her support to the community. Tonight we get the honour of appreciating a lady who had contributed to our community immensely. Without further due, let me introduce Mrs. Nandani Fernando and invite her to the stage to accept our token of Appreciation.
  1. Dr. Lakshman Dias

To introduce the first recipient…..I will be giving hints and see if you can guess who it is….again, I really need no introduction but we will do so for you to guess…..he is identifiable for an outstanding contribution towards the Sri Lankan Music events in Ottawa. He with his wife and daughter moved to Canada in 1997. He studied in Nova Scotia to obtain his PhD in Electrical Engineering. In Ottawa, he was instrumental in forming the band Lankan Breeeze. This humble gentleman, have taken part in almost all of the musical aspects of community events  in Ottawa. He spends an enormous amount of time with details to attention to deliver the best possible outcome be it preparation or an delivery. He has is also contributed to creating musical tracks to backup vocals, chords for songs for the band and also video editing of events.

Without further due, let me introduce Dr. Laksman Dias and invite him to the stage to accept our token of Appreciation.


(Photo credits to Niki Diaz Photography)

  1. Promoting social and cultural activities are few of the objectives on the Sri Lanka Canda Association. The Executive Committee undertook an activity this year to specially promote Sri Lankan Dance Styling. In doing so we were very pleased with the training provided for the dance teachers and some students by Mrs. Palika Samanthi. She is a Senior Lecturer and Former Head of the Department Indian &Asian Dance at the University of the Visual and Performing Arts in Sri Lanka ( She is visiting Canada briefly. In recognition of her contribution to the community, SLCAO presented her with a Token of Appreciation on the 15th of May 2016. From left Mr. Anura Ferdinand (SLCAO President), Mrs. Palika Samanthi and Mrs Renuka Subasinghe (dance workshop coordinator). Photo credits to Mr. Ajith Samarajeewa.

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2014/15 – Presented by Past President Naradha Kodituwakku, narration by Anura Ferdinand
Mr. Keerthi Weerasooriya
In our community, Mr. Weerasooriya has organized musical events and also vocalized in those events. He is an ardent Cricket and a Golf fan. He is ALSO the editor-in-charge of our monthly newsletter for the last 2 years. His dedication and enthusiasm is inspiring.

Mr. Nalaka Gunawardhane

Mr. Gunawardhane has helped SLCAO in functioning as the MC of New Year Celebrations for 7 years running! He brought a wealth of experience to the stage for the benefit of our audience and he enjoys the role of MC. His experience onstage allows him to be relaxed, informative, and entertaining. To make a long story short, let me say that he is the most popular and outstanding Master of Ceremonies in our community


2013/14 – Presented by Past President Roshan Fernando, narration by Naradha Kodituwakku

Mrs. Kanthi Dias

Mrs. Padmini Hapuacachchi


2012/13 – Presented by Past President Chaminda Weerakoon, narration by Roshan Fernando

Dr. Nimal De Silva


Mr. Patrick Silva


Mrs. Deepani Waiyaratne

2011/12 – Past President Priyanka Alwis presented all the past presidents up-to 2012 April with a Token of Appreciation at the New Year celebrations at the Hellanic Community Center, 1315 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa

2008/09 – Presented by Past President Anura Gamage to Mr. Lakshman Dias on behalf of the Lankan Breeze Ottawa music band