SOAR - Toronto Chapter

SOAR-Toronto joined the SOAR family in April 2012. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Armenians who had escaped persecution from the Armenian Genocide settled in communities in southern Ontario. Thousands of Armenians likewise made their way to Canada after federal immigration policies became less restrictive during the 1950s, and in the early 1990s, some Armenians immigrated to Canada after disintegration of the Soviet Union. The Armenian community in Toronto, with a population figure of approximately 20,000, is centered in the neighborhoods of Don Valley Village and Pleasant View in north-central Toronto. The hub of the community is the Armenian Community Centre of Toronto. The Centre has a school offering education from kindergarten to high school. Armenian Apostolic churches include Holy Trinity Armenian Church (Diocese of the See of Holy Echmiadzin) and St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church (in Willowdale, pertaining to the diocese of the Holy See of Cilicia). Armenian Catholics have their own church, St. Gregory the Illuminator, in Toronto. Toronto Hye, an Armenian-related periodical, is published monthly by the community.

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Board of Directors:

Max Safaryan

Max Safaryan, a father of two, is proud to be part of SOAR and have an opportunity to contribute to this virtuous cause. When not busy leading the finance team of a large privately held US organization, he likes spending his spare time with his family in beautiful town of Burlington, travelling (especially to warm places during colder months), reading non fiction and business periodicals, improving his photography skills (which are still at amateur level), and just enjoying the simplicities of life. He firmly believes in continuous improvement of oneself and being a lifelong student. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance, an MBA, and number of professional designations, including a CMA.

Irina Ghazazyan

As a dynamic and proactive person Irina Ghazazyan is committed to helping SOAR meet its fundraising goals. Currently Irina is an Employment Specialist at Community Outreach Canada where she assists people to reach their job-related goals by establishing and fostering long-term professional relationships with hiring managers in non-profit companies. She has graduated from McMaster University with diploma in Business Administration and Marketing, and obtained a Human Resource Professional Certification in 2012. Irina has graduated from MA/TEFL program at the American University of Armenia and prior to moving to Toronto with her family in 2009 she was working as an IELTS Trainer at IAB Training Centre and an ESP Instructor at European Regional Academy in Armenia.

Gayane Mirzoyan

Gayane Mirzoyan is from Armenia and moved to Toronto in 2013 after completing her international baccalaureate at Regent’s School in Bangkok. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, studying Criminology and Political Science. Gayane was a member of the Armenian Community in Thailand and actively participated in the community’s events. She is also a member of the Armenian Students Association at the University of Toronto, which organizes meetings and gatherings for Armenian students; bake sales and other similar events for charity purposes and for sharing the Armenian culture with their fellow students. She has recently joined the SOAR chapter of Toronto, and is committed to help the chapter to accomplish its undertakings and to achieve a wider recognition.

Hasmik Nazaryan

Hasmik Nazaryan is originally from Armenia and having spent most of her childhood there she finds herself deeply connected to her hometown. She moved out of Armenia along with her family at the age of 10 and since then has lived in several different countries around the world. Constantly moving from one country of residence to another granted her the opportunity to master her proficiency in multiple languages. English has been and continuous to be her main language of study since elementary school. Nevertheless, Armenian remains to be her mother tongue. She is also fluent in Russian, as well as in French. Hasmik moved to Canada at the end of the year in 2012 and has graduated from Westdale Secondary School with an International Baccalaureate Diploma. Currently, she is an undergraduate student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program at McMaster University. Hasmik is very passionate about her studies, as well as the community work that she does outside of her classes. As a proud Armenian, she is determined to stay connected with her roots and is honoured to serve the Armenian community. She has recently joined the SOAR Chapter of Toronto as a language tutor in hopes of making a meaningful contribution to the orphaned community in Armenia.

Ruzan Papoyan

Ruzan is originally from Armenia and graduated from Yerevan State University with a PhD in chemistry. Most of her career she spent as a researcher at YSU. She enjoys working with students and contributing to their progress. In 2013, Ruzana's family moved to Canada where she attended Seneca College, continuing on to begin working in the field of natural cosmetics.

Ruzana feels it is a true pleasure for her to be a part of SOAR Toronto and help to make the lives of children a little better.

Nune Zohrabyan

Nune grew up in Yerevan and graduated from The National Polytechnic University of Armenia with a PhD in Computer Science. She moved to Toronto in 1998 with her husband, Arthur, and son, Ara. There she graduated from The Burwin Institute of Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound. Nune is working as a Personal Medical Assistant in the cardiology department of Humber River Hospital and loves her job! She is also editor in chief of " Hayreniq" magazine, organizes yearly art shows promoting Armenian artists, and is an author and producer of some documentaries about Armenia.

Nune is excited to be a part of SOAR Toronto and help Armenian orphans, as she strongly believes that any country’s or nation’s future is in our children.