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Building a showcase of the BEST programs, and TALENTED autistic individuals in the world for mainstream partnerships and inclusive opportunities is no small feat for the ANCA organisation.

In less than 6 years, Leonora Gregory-Collura and Charlie Collura, principles behind such an invested venture have brought together individuals and organisations from 25 countries worldwide to ‘connect’ and participate in this growing partnership.

Such countries whereby nominees represent their countries span the globe from Uruguay (S. America) to South Africa, Morocco, Turkey, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Bosnia, Kazakhstan, Romania, Greece, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Russia, England, Scotland, Ireland, USA, Canada, Philippines, Malaysia, China, India and Pakistan to name just a few of the countries involved to date, notwithstanding over 42 international judges representing technology, industry, holistic health, businesses, film, television, theatre, performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, sports, journalism etc… 

This event is not a charity – it has been built upon the foundation of philanthropy, vision, unification and understanding of the attributes autistic people and those who support this growing community have to offer and to contribute to society. Events like this help build the fabric of societies; events like this ‘enable’ the community to come together and to support one another through innovative partnerships and sponsorships (not unlike those seen in the dramatic and performing arts, international sporting events and industry innovations). 

Cross cultural partnerships are key to the success of emerging groups in society as well as marginalised groups. This annual event has demonstrated cross-cultural partnerships as a contributing factor of its success.

This year at the 6th annual event to be held in Vancouver, BC, Canada will witness such innovative projects during interactive workshops presented by Francisco Varela, the Uruguayan Ambassador for the Viktor Kee Foundation specialising in juggling skills with professionals in the art of juggling and developed programs for autistic people as well as CP, the Blind etc…; Parasuram Ramamoorthi of  Velvi  professor of dramatic and visual arts, representing India; Tracey Rosser representing Australia of Rush Rain Forest Retreat for 30 years Ms. Rosser has devoted her expertise: operating Balance the Body with Intent from Ruah Rainforest Retreat. Tracey is able to assess your physical body, identify where imbalances are and how they manifested, and treat you with vibrational kinesiology; Master Michael Sirota representing Canada of Sirota Alchemy and the World Para Taekwondo organisation and the Global Para Taekwondo University; Erdal Ates, founder of Otisium Turkey a sports related organisation developing talent and abilities through the use of sports – a comprehensive consulting program; Inna Sergiyenko Founder ofChild with a Future, Counsel for Autism Europe and advocate for an equitable education system including employment partnerships through autism awareness with businesses bridging dialogue with various ministries in the Ukraine and throughout Europe; Jean Nicol founder of ‘The Eating game‘ representing Canada – a Special Education Teacher who after 11 years of retirement continues to be a very passionate autism advocate especially in the international autism community via social media. In 1970 Jean received a BSc in Nutrition at St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia; Rod Morris MA, an academic, researcher, author and consultant: Mr. Morris met with Cheryl Gillan MP to discuss her Autism Act for England, which he welcomed but sought to assist in it achieving what it intended. Rod Morris is a high achieving adult on the autistic spectrum who, in his own words, “was written off in life, leaving school as a ‘no-hoper’  yet who has since become a published author, set up a Social Enterprise whilst achieving his MA in Autism”; Paul Cojocaru, representing Sport Autism Romania Terapia 3C – Paul applied 25 years of his martial arts discipline Qi Kwan Do into developing his program on a volunteer basis for families  and children on the autistic spectrum; Jeremy Samson represents Australia as a young entrepreneur on the autistic spectrum bringing an up to date contemporary outlook to the autistic community in the area of sports and co-ordination based on his personal life experience growing up Time 2 Train is an innovative program that many young autistic individuals may view as mentorship toward employment opportunities; Ned T. Sahin through technology innovation has created another ‘hip-contemporary’ approach for the autistic community in his Brain-Power Glasses –  Dr. Sahin is a neuroscientist and neurotechnology entrepreneur. He holds degrees in neuroscience from Williams College (BA), MIT (Master’s), and Harvard (PhD), and completed post-doctoral fellowships at UCSD Medical School and the Salk Institute in San Diego. His academic work has been published in journals such as Science and Nature Neuroscience, and he has been invited and presented his research in dozens of cities across twelve countries; Khurshid Alam of Pakistan and the SADA organisation, shares how community works together from a first person experience, building infrastructures and providing equipment for the many with a cross-section of physical and cognitive needs through the organisation he represents; In the Visual & Performing/Literary Arts we will be showcasing and featuring a cross section of such international innovators and contributors to society as Phoebe Murer –  USA, April Dawn Griffin – Canada, Steven Coventry – Australia; Jean Louis Hetu – Australia, Orko Roy – India, Tammy Klein – USA, Jeremy Samson – Australia, Salem Fox – Australia, Joshua Cochrane – Canada, Curran Dobbs – Canada to name a few…. In technology, science and entrepreneurial categories we will be showcasing 2015 nominees representing the USA, New Zealand, Germany, Turkey and many more…. 

Our Guest Keynote Speakers, Emcees, performers and hosts may be viewed by clicking this link here. For Sponsors and product companies 2015 AWAF partnerships please click here.


Media coverage provided by: ROMPOST TV & Sonia Productions Inc.

Music provided by: Sebastian Hugeneck from the musical score for the Film: CONNECTED, a film about autistic people, filmed on location in Edinburgh, Scotland at the 2014 AWAF 

Photography provided by: Lucho Berzek and Sergey Sergiyenko

Hair provided by: Suki’s

Make-Up provided by:  Blanche Macdonald School

Volunteers: Scouts Canada

Official Hotel: Best Western PLUS Chateau Granville Hotel & Suites and Conference Centre

Theatre: Performance Works Theatre, Granville Island2015 NEW LOGOS 1

Contributed June 18, 2015 – by ANCA Submissions Copyright July 12, 2015. All rights reserved.

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