The Fobana Award 2022 was awarded to Shahidul Islam Mintu, editor of Banglamail, the most widely read Bengali newspaper in Canada. He is also serving as the CEO of NRB TV, Canada’s first 24-hour Bengali television channel. The 36th Fobana, the largest event of Bangladeshis living in North America, was held at Laval Sheraton Hotel in Montreal on September 3rd and 4th. The organizer is the Bangladesh Society of Montreal. Ezaz Akhtar Taufiq, President of Bangladesh Society of Montreal and Convenor of Fobana presented the Fobana Award 2022 to Shahidul Islam Mintu for his special contributions to journalism in the presence of thousands of spectators. Member Secretary Operations and Organization General Secretary, Muhim Ahmed, Member Secretary Administration, Lablu Akon and other leaders were present.
The opening ceremony was attended by Annie Koutrakis, MP for the Vimy riding in Montreal, Anthony Housefather, MP for the Mount Royal riding, and Marvin Rotrand, former city councilor and National Director of B’nai Barth Canada. Popular musicians SI Tutul and Tahsan performed.
Shahidul Islam Mintu is a familiar face in Toronto’s local community. He has worked in important positions in various leading national dailies and weeklies of Bangladesh including Dainik Ajker Kagoj and Banglabazar Patrika. He served as the President of Bangladesh Cultural Reporters Association, ‘BCR’, for four consecutive years. He has produced numerous popular TV dramas and telefilms including Bangladesh’s first beta format film ‘Devdas’.
He wrote several books. ‘Ekkattar’ and ‘Muktijudda Pratidin’ are his most popular books. After immigrating to Canada with his family in 2004, Shahidul Islam Mintu took a special course on documentary film making at the Canadian Screening Society. In 2009, he took the Professional Development and Training in Journalism course at Toronto’s Seneca College.
In 2014, he completed a Negotiation course and CSW from Canadian Business College. Later, he received a Digital Marketing Expert Certificate from Google Garage in 2020. In the same year, he completed the Leaders of Learning course online from the world famous HarvardX.
Shahidul Islam Mintu launched a new online Bengali weekly ‘Bengali Times‘, popularly known as ‘The Bengali Times.com’, on July 1st, 2008, from Toronto. On November 1st, 2012, he launched Banglamail, a different community weekly. In a very short span of time, Banglamail became the most read Bengali newspaper in Canada. Canada’s first 24-hour Bengali television channel NRB TV was established on February 1, 2016. In recognition of his work, he has received numerous awards including the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada Award 2016, the Canada Heritage Award 2017, Canada’s 150 Year Celebration Award 2017, the Bangladesh Cultural Reporters Award 2001, and the Bachosas Award 2003.
Shahidul Islam Mintu was the director of the Beaches-East York riding of the Conservative Party of Canada for four consecutive years. He has been serving as the official director of Bangladesh Business Chamber of Canada for the last five years. He is also a director of Bangladeshi Canadian Community Services (BCS).
Shahidul Islam Mintu said, “I am pleased to receive the Fobana Award 2022. Gratitude to the organizers of the Bangladesh Society of Montreal and all the organizers of Fobana.”