Director @ The Grand Hotel Nanaimo
Ashwak Sirri is the owner of the Grand Hotel and the Waterfront Suites and Marina, in Nanaimo, British Columbia. She has been a businesswoman in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island for more than 30 years.As a community leader, she currently serves as a representative for numerous non-profit organisations, including as President of the Nanaimo Hospitality Association, and as a director for the Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society. In 2014, she served as Director of Food and Beverage for the BC Summer Games. Ashwak is an ally of Indigenous communities. She is a vocal supporter of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and has worked closely with its leaders to advance the social and economic needs of Indigenous peoples.
In 2014, Ashwak founded a grassroots initiative, “Women & Politics,” to encourage more women to run for public office in Nanaimo. Her efforts were a precursor to the Central Vancouver Island Chapter of Equal Voice, of which she currently serves as Chair. In this role, she advocates for an intersectional approach to increasing women’s representation. She encourages and supports women of different social and economic backgrounds to reach positions of leadership in politics, business, and non-governmental organisations.
Born in Iraq, Ashwak lived and worked in the UAE for nearly a decade. In a previous career, she taught at the American Community School in Abu Dhabi. She and her family immigrated to Canada in 1986. She is a proud mother of four children and grandmother to two grandchildren. She holds a BSc in Psychology from Texas A&M University.