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Barj S. Dhahan

Community Builder. Entrepreneur. Visionary.

“His unique set of talents, combined with the growing inclusiveness of our political system, make him an ideal candidate for a future leadership role in Canada.”

– Dr. John Pierce from Simon Fraser University, inThe Vancouver Sun, January 2, 2014

From his volunteer work to his philanthropic ventures, Barj S. Dhahan is committed to supporting communities and working towards prosperity for all. Barj is a community-oriented business owner known for his balanced, inclusive and compassionate approach to leadership.

Barj has over thirty years of successful experience in establishing and operating businesses in land development, construction, food services, and the distribution of refined petroleum products. In 1981, Barj started one of his first business ventures which later grew into the Sandhurst Group of Companies. Sandhurst Group supports education and youth in the community, and has awarded almost forty bursaries to high school graduates in British Columbia, helping these students reach their post-secondary education and career dreams.

In the Community

Trailblazing is ingrained in Barj’s genes. His extended family was involved in the freedom movement in India, and here in Canada, they have played the role of community builders since immigrating in the early 1930s. Today, Barj carries on the tradition of advocating for equality and social justice through his work in community development, education, and health care.

Barj played a key role in establishing a centennial scholar's award for Indigenous students at the University of British Columbia. He has supported literacy skills for students through the Wonder of Reading program at John Oliver Secondary School in Vancouver. He has supported youth camps in BC, services for self-employment training programs, and Cops for Cancer – Tour de Valley campaigns. Barj also coached youth soccer for several years with the Marpole and Point Grey Soccer Associations

On a global scale, Barj helped launch one of the first international collaborations in nursing education between Canada and India through the Canada India Education Society. Barj’s vision and dedication to higher education has helped 1800 young women graduate in nursing in Punjab, India, and 200 of those women now live and work in Canada.

In 2013, Barj founded the Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature, celebrating Punjabi language and building bridges between communities in Canada, Pakistan, and India. A passionate volunteer, Barj has volunteered his time and expertise to many organizations.

Barj is also a recognized thought-leader on Canada-India relationships, and is often called upon by different levels of government for advice about trade, investment, and higher education. He has been a member of several official trade missions to India with the provincial and federal governments.

A graduate of the University of British Columbia and Regent College, Barj is a certified Yoga teacher and a motivational speaker and facilitator. Barj and his wife Rita live in Vancouver, BC and have three adult children and three grandchildren.

Awards

2018 Chancellor's Community Recognition Award, Royal Roads University

2014 Writers International Network Ambassador Award

2013 UBC Global Nursing Partnership Award

2012 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Award

2011 Featured on The Power List by India Abroad

Community Involvements

Chair, Board of Directors, IC-Impacts

Member, Vancouver Police Board, Vancouver Police Board

Advisor, “E” Division Commanding Officer’s Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee, RCMP

Founding Donor and Board Member, Canada-India Centre for Excellence, Carleton University

Founder, The Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature

Co-Founder and Director, Canada India Education Society

Sponsoring Member, Global Civic Policy Society

Member, India Advisory Council, Simon Fraser University

Member, Board of Trustees, Guru Nanak Mission Medical and Educational Trust, Punjab, India

Former Member, Board of Directors, Industry Training Authority (ITA) of British Columbia

Former Member, Rotary Club of Vancouver Fraserview

Former National Chair, Canada India Foundation

Former Member, Board of Governors, Royal Roads University

Former Member, Nursing Advisory Council, University of British Columbia

International Work

Advisor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences,
Faridkot, Punjab, India, 2011 to Present

Delegate with Governor General David Johnston
2014 mission to India

Delegate with Prime Minister Stephen Harper
2012 mission to India

Delegate with BC Premier Christy Clark
2011 mission to India

Past Projects

Member, BC Economic Immigration Task Force, 2011–2012

Member and Director, Assets Vancouver, 2002-2004

Director, Richlode Investments Corp, VSX, 1994-1995

Founding Member and President, Vancouver Chapter of Mennonite Economic Development Associates, 1994-1997

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