Centenary Medal – Barj Dhahan

Barj S. Dhahan connects people and ideas to support inclusive prosperity through education and health care. He has been the driving force behind numerous national and international health, development and education programs.

He is co-founder and director of the Canada India Education Society (CIES), which has supported education, community development and health care in India. In partnership with the University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing and Guru Nanak College of Nursing in Punjab, he helped launch a pioneering nursing program for women in 1998. To date more than 2,000 students have graduated from Guru Nanak College of Nursing, some of whom now live and work in Canada.

In 2013, he established the Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature, the world’s first Punjabi prize for fiction. The $25,000 prize preserves and shares Punjabi stories and history while inspiring emerging authors to share their stories. In 2016, he helped create a $400,000 fund for Centennial Scholarships for Indigenous students at the University of British Columbia.

Dhahan has served on numerous Boards and is currently on the Vancouver Police Board. He is a founding partner/collaborator in the IC-IMPACTS Ltd. (India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability, University of British Columbia) and the Canada India Center of Excellence, Carleton University.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British and is a passionate supporter of the UBC School of Nursing.