Summer of success

University Council Chair Dr. Jay Kalra had a summer filled with good news.

By Kris Foster

In July, the City of Saskatoon informed Kalra that a street would be named after him. Kalra Street will be located in northeast Saskatoon, in a new suburban development called Aspen Ridge.

"It is such a privilege to have a street named after me," said Kalra, a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. "I've called Saskatoon home for 30 years and have worked and volunteered with so many incredible people, and I believe in sharing this honour with all of them."

Approval of naming streets, parks or civic properties falls to an advisory committee in the Planning and Development branch of the City of Saskatoon. Kalra's nomination highlighted not only his career at the university, but also his leadership in the community, specifically around multiculturalism and humanitarian causes. Over the years, Kalra has dedicated time to serving many local, provincial and national organizations, including Saskatoon Folkfest, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, the Rotary Club of Saskatoon/Nutana, the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association, the Hindu Society of Saskatchewan, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Saskatchewan and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

"Community always comes first," said Kalra. "This is something I have always believed and something I have always tried to practice in life."

Just a couple weeks after receiving news of the street naming, Kalra was informed of another honour, this time on the national stage. In late July he received word that he was to receive the 2015 Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism in the Lifetime Achievement category.

The award, administered by the Government of Canada, recognizes individuals, groups or organizations who have made "exceptional contributions to multiculturalism and the integration of newcomers."

At the August 4 ceremony in Toronto, Pamela Piercey, director general, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Ontario Region, introduced Kalra and presented him with the award. Before referencing his resume, Piercey said "Dr. Kalra's amazing contributions to his province and this country are almost too numerous to mention."

As part of the award, Kalra will receive a $10,000 grant. Staying true to his "community comes first" attitude, he has nominated Saskatoon Folkfest Inc. to receive the cash grant.