Crowe MacKay Celebrates Diversity Day

Staying connected through cultural diversity

News Story
| 5/21/2020

Crowe MacKay values diversity and promotes a culture of inclusivity. When we embrace diversity in our teams and decision-making we create value for clients and a workplace our colleagues are proud to be a part of.

To celebrate the unique cultures present within our firm, we celebrate Diversity Day, sharing with our communities the importance of cultural diversity and harmony.

Introduced by the United Nations in 2002, May 21 brings awareness to diversity, helping our communities understand the value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together in harmony.

This year our global community is enduring uncertain times, and it is now more than ever we see how resilient culture is, and the power it has in bringing us together when we are forced to be physically apart. Virtual gatherings, celebrations, and concerts are just some of the ways we continue to connect and find comfort within our communities.

In celebration of Diversity Day Crowe MacKay team members from across northern and western Canada share their favourite cultural activities, celebrations, and recipes.

Diwali (Festival of Lights)

Diwali marks the day that the sixth Sikh Guru was freed from imprisonment by the Emperor. Rather than simply leaving after his release, Guru Hargobind Rai requested that 52 princes also be released.

The Emperor agreed with the condition that only those who could hold on to the Guru's cloak tail would be freed, thinking this would limit the number. However, the Guru outsmarted the Emperor by creating a cloak made with 50 tails in order to free all of the princes.Diya

The selflessness of the Guru is celebrated to this day by decorating houses, shops, and public places with Diyas (miniature candle-like lights) and has evolved to also include the exchanging of gifts and sweets.

Diwali is also used to celebrate a successful harvest.

“I particularly like this celebration due to the atmosphere at the Gurudwara Bandi Chor (Sikh temple built on the site of the Guru’s imprisonment) and the beauty of the Diyas lit at the entrance. There is a warm feeling overall.”

- Ravinder Gill, Kelowna, Articling Student

Bannock

“Bannock is a GREAT summer campfire favourite. You can mix it all up in advance and add water at the campsite, wrap it around a stick and cook it over the fire.”

- Danielle Maristany, Kelowna, Administrative Assistance

 Ingredients 

Bannock

3 cups all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon salt 

2 Tbsp baking powder 

1/4 cup butter, melted 

1 1/2 cups water 

Instructions 

Measure flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir to mix.  

Pour melted butter and water over flour mixture. Stir with fork to make a ball. 

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times. Pat into a flat circle 3/4" to 1" thick. 

Cook in a greased frying pan over medium heat, allowing about 15 minutes for each side. Use two lifters for easy turning. May also be baked on a greased baking sheet at 350° F (175° C) for 25 to 30 minutes. 

JunkanooJunkanoo

“My favorite celebration from my culture is ‘Junkanoo.’ It is a street parade held every Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve (and sometimes throughout the summer months) with lots of music, colourful costumes, and dancing.”

- Brianne Wilson, Yellowknife, Staff Accountant

Chicken Veronique

“There's no particular significance to this dish,  I just like it.! The recipes that my family brought from the old countries have been kind of lost over the 400 years that we've been in North America.”

- Elizabeth McVicar, West Coast Offices, Payroll & Benefits Manager

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil or 2 tablespoons olive oil, if the pan is not non-stick

4 boneless chicken breasts, halved

Chicken Grape Meal

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

150 g mushrooms, chopped

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 1⁄2 cups seedless grapes

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large pan (preferably non-stick) over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast halves and sauté for about 3 minutes. Turn the chicken breast halves over, add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté for another 3 minutes, or until the garlic and mushrooms soften and the chicken is golden brown.

Remove the chicken breast halves, garlic and mushrooms from the pan, keep warm, and pour off the excess oil. Add the sugar and half of the wine to the pan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the remaining wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half.

Mix the stock and cornstarch in a small bowl, whisk into the wine mixture and simmer for 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the sauce.

Add the grapes and simmer for a further 2 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

Serve over rice or noodles with your favourite side dish.

Celebrating Metis Family Heritage

Celebrating Metis Family Heritage“My favorite activity from my culture is going to the cabin with my grandmother and family, sitting around the fire playing crib, and listening to her stories of where I come from and my grandmother’s wild life.

I am proud every day to be Metis and proud of my heritage. A lot of my family tree is a long line of strong indigenous men and woman. I am Metis from Sahtu Tulita. My grandmother was born just north of Tulita in the bush where her and her siblings lived in a tent frame in temperatures of up to 40 below.

My favorite memory my grandmother shared with me is when she was chased by a black bear at seven years old and escaped by jumping over a creek and her father shooting it. Months later, she was sent to a residential school for a year. She still jokes about the itchy blankets she was forced to sleep with at night, while the nuns sang in an awful pitch.

I am so fortunate and grateful for my family. I wouldn't change who I am for anything.

The photo is of my mom and I at the cabin out at Cameron River.”

- Darcy Taylor, Yellowknife, Receptionist

Steamed Pork Buns

“I've been having this from my childhood as it's one of my favorite weekend meals.”

- Michael Yu, Vancouver, Staff Accountant

Ingredients 

Yeast Activation

1 tsp active dry yeast powder

¼ cups warm water

1 tbsp white sugar

Steamed Pork Buns

Dough

½ cup warm water

4 tbsp white sugar

2 cups plain flour

1 cup cornstarch

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 ½ Baking powder

Pork Filing

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/3 cup finely chopped eschalot or white onion

1 tbsp sugar

1 ½ tbsp soy sauce

1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

½ cup water

1 tbsp cornflour dissolved in 1 tbsp water

1 ½ cups Chinese BBQ Pork

Instructions

For instructions on how to make steamed pork buns, click here

Canada Day

“Canada Day, which celebrates the birth of our country, is my favourite because it's a day off in summer with fireworks and most of my family has been in Canada since before Canada was Canada.”

- Elizabeth McVicar, West Coast Offices, Payroll & Benefits Manager

Gulab Jamun

“While it's difficult to pick one favourite recipe (go figure), I would have to go with Gulab Jamun as I have always enjoyed this treat.”

- Ravinder Gill, Kelowna, Articling Student

Ingredients

Gulab Jamun

1 cup milk powder

5 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp GHEE or oil

1 tbsp GHEE or oil for greasing

2 to 4 tbsp milk

1 tbsp curd (yogurt or ¾ tbsp lemon juice)

1 large pinch Baking soda

GHEE or oil for deep frying

1 tbsp pistachios

Sugar Syrup

1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups of sugar

1 ½ cup water

4 pods green cardamom

1 tsp rose water

Detailed instructions can be found here.

Dutch Shuffleboard 

Dutch Shuffle Board

“My family has this ancient, wooden, hand-made shuffleboard - it's a game where you attempt to slide wooden pucks through gates at the end of the board in order to get points.

The board itself has our family's high scores from over the generations carved into it. It's tradition to play during New Year's Eve, generally while eating sugar-encrusted oliebollen, which is a type of Dutch donut.

I've never gotten a high score but it's fun regardless!”

- Jess Lenz, Kelowna, Senior Tax Accountant

Olie Bollen (Dutch Donut)

“Dutch olie bollen is traditionally eaten on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day as either a snack or as (a very unhealthy) breakfast.”

- Jess Lenz, Kelowna, Senior Tax Accountant

Ingredients

1 pkg yeast 

1 cup lukewarm milk 

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 

2 teaspoons salt 

1 egg 

1 cup raisins 

1 granny smith apple, finely diced 

1 quart vegetable oil for deep frying 

1 cup icing sugar for dusting   

Instructions 

1. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk and allow to sit.

2. Sift flour and salt in large bowl, then add yeast mixture and egg and mix into smooth batter.

3. Stir in apple and raisins.   

4. Cover bowl and allow to rise until double in size. 

5. Heat deep-fryer to 375 degrees F. 

6. Shape scoops of dough into balls and drop them into hot oil. 

7. Fry until golden brown (about 8 min), they should be soft and not greasy.

8. Allow draining on paper towel. 

9. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Moose Stew

“It was always a treat when I got to eat bannock and jam or Moose stew. My grandma is the best cook!”

- Darcy Taylor, Yellowknife, Receptionist

Ingredients

10 mL (2 tsp) canola oil

575 g (1 lb 4 oz) moose, cubed

Moose Stew

2 small onions, cut into large chunks

3 celery stalks, chopped

5 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 L (4 cups) no salt added beef broth

5 medium yellow fleshed potatoes, peeled and diced

750 mL (3 cups) mixed vegetables, frozen

2 mL (1/2 tsp) parsley, dried

2 mL (1/2 tsp) thyme, dried

4 bay leaves, dried

5 mL (1 tsp) pepper

Instructions

In a large shallow saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Brown the moose meat and put aside.

Add the onions to the saucepan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the celery and carrots. Cook about 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the moose meat and stir. Add in broth, potatoes, frozen vegetables, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and pepper and stir. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for 2 hours. Remove whole bay leaves before serving.

Making Pastizzi

"I come from a large family with Maltese heritage - my grandpa was born and raised in Malta before moving to Canada after the war. Many of us actually hold our Maltese citizenship, and many have the Maltese cross tattooed on ourselves. Because we are all proud Maltese, our family gatherings are never complete without a fresh tray of Pastizzi.

Pastizzi is a traditional Maltese food and can be found on nearly every corner in Malta. It is a savoury pastry typically stuffed with a ricotta filling with a flaky crust.   

Because of this I have to say my favourite activity to celebrate my Maltese heritage is making homemade Pastizzi. My grandpa taught me and my sister last year and monthly we make a large batch and freeze them! It helps us feel connected and is such a meaningful time to spend with our grandpa.

There is nothing like pulling out a freshly baked tray of Pastizzi and having all your family rush into the kitchen to ensure they don't miss out."

- Brianne Formosa, Manager, Vancouver

About Crowe MacKay LLP

Serving Northern and Western Canada for over 50 years, Crowe MacKay LLP is one of the leading accounting and advisory firms in the country. With a team of 400 across nine offices, we are a vibrant team of trusted advisors. We believe strong relationships are the cornerstone to success and strive to create innovative solutions for our clients in both private and public sectors. We have a passion for quality in the services we deliver to our community and clients from a wide range of industries. A firm focused on people first, Crowe MacKay’s corporate culture is built on maximizing potential for clients and staff. Our belief is that we are truly our best when we invest in our people and communities. Committed to showing we care about the people we serve through our work and actions, we strive to make a difference in the regions we serve.

About Crowe Global

Ranked the eighth largest accounting network in the world, Crowe Global has over 200 independent accounting and advisory firms in 130 countries. For over 100 years, Crowe has made smart decisions for multinational clients working across borders. Our leaders work with governments, regulatory bodies, and industry groups to shape the future of the profession worldwide. Their exceptional knowledge of business, local laws, and customs provide lasting value to clients undertaking international projects. At Crowe, the professionals all share one commitment, to deliver excellence.