We are excited to announce that the speaker at this year’s Change Makers event is Soulafa Al-Abbasi. This year’s event will be held on May 19th, 2022, at 6:45 PM at the Malcolm Hotel. 

The Change Makers event will host the Women of Distinction Awards. Nominations for these awards close on April 29th, 2022.


Soulafa Al-Abbasi is a Syrian-born Canadian citizen. She is a dynamic visionary leader with a flair for networking and has more than fourteen years’ experience in capacity building, strategic planning, program development and non-profit management.

Al-Abbasi is a certified fund-raising executive and holds a master of development economics from Dalhousie University. She is a published author of a learned treatise on micro-finance, institution- building and development. Her experience as a leader was developed in several roles: regional co-ordinator for the UN Association of Canada; board member of Credit Union Atlantic; and vice- chair of Fusion Halifax. She has served as the Atlantic Youth Ambassador for Passages to Canada and an Aga Khan Foundation of Canada Fellow.

Al-Abbasi has worked with International Ocean Institute Canada, and Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia as an employment specialist. She has also served as general manager of the Canmore Folk Music Festival Society; board member of the Canmore Business and Tourism; member of the Bow Valley Immigration Partnership. She led the Canmore and Area Health Care Foundation as executive director. She has joined the Alberta Cancer Foundation as Directory of Community Philanthropy and has been appointed to the Canmore Public Library Board as vice-chair and to the Bow Valley SPCA Board as vice-president. She is also a small business owner of PS Modern, a family-run business.

Al-Abbasi received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Innovation Award in 2021. She was recognized as an Association for Healthcare Philanthropy 40 Under 40 honoree in 2019, as one of the Top 50 Atlantic Canadian Leaders under 40 in 2015, and as one of Atlantic Canada’s emerging leaders by the 21 Inc Leaders Program in 2014. She was shortlisted as a Top 75 finalist for the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards of 2016. She was also selected as a visionary local leader to present at the CBC/Radio-Canada 2017 Starts Now.

Al-Abbasi has been featured in several publications, including The Globe and Mail, as one of the “Faces of Immigration,” in the national campaign of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, and in the Canadian Immigrant Magazine. She was also recognized as a community leader, such as one of Halifax’s “Power People” in Halifax Magazine, a Canadian “Agent of Change” in the Bridges that Unite national exhibit – a partnership between Canada and AKDN.

Al-Abbasi enjoys living in Canmore, AB, with her spouse and two children.