Canadian Mortgage Awards 2021

It’s always been the biggest day of the year for Canada’s mortgage industry, an opportunity for mortgage professionals to network, connect and celebrate the year’s highest achievers in a range of different categories. Yet over the course of the past 12 months, the Canadian Mortgage Awards (CMAs) have taken on an added significance as the largest virtual gathering of the mortgage industry across the country since the outbreak of COVID-19 pushed workers out of the office and into a home working model.


Against the backdrop of the pandemic, the CMAs have shone a light on how the mortgage industry is coping with the unprecedented circumstances cast upon it. A series of virtual panels, chaired by prominent industry figures and featuring the views of award finalists, allowed attendees to listen and learn from some of the mortgage space’s leading voices on how they’ve adapted their approach to their daily work since the outbreak.


The pace of change in the industry since the outbreak of the pandemic may have taken some by surprise. One of the biggest transformations has been in the technology space, with an end to face-to-face meetings and client visits precipitating an enormous surge towards the adoption of technology tools – even among those brokers who were previously reluctant to embrace the digital side of their job.



The Home Trust Award for Woman of Distinction

The Avison Young Award for Broker of the Year – Commercial 
  • Daniela Peeva
    Mortgage Alliance Commercial

The Canadian Mortgages Inc. Award for Broker of the Year - Private Lending
  • Shawn Allen
    Matrix Mortgage Global

The CIMBC Award for Lender BDM of the Year
  • Chris Woodhouse
    RFA Mortgage Corporation

The Community Trust Award for Alternative Broker Specialist of the Year
  • Kuljit Singh
    AKAL Mortgages

Broker of the Year (Fewer than 25 Employees)
  • Bernadette Laxamana
    Karista Mortgage

Broker of the Year (25 Employees or More)
  • Luisa Hough
    Verico Xeva Mortgage

Lender Underwriter of the Year
  • Brett Van Driel
    Paradigm Quest

Lifetime Achievement in the Mortgage Industry
  • Rena Malkah
    President, CFO, CEO and Broker of Record with CYR Funding Inc.

Young Achiever of the Year
  • Shabnam Gill
    Mortgage Outlet



Brokerage of the Year (Fewer than 25 Employees)

The Centum Award for Industry Service Provider of the Year
  • Newton Connectivity Systems / Velocity

The CWB Optimum Mortgage Award for Brokerage of the Year (25 Employees or More)
  • CanWise Financial

The Haventree Bank Award for Digital Innovator of the Year
  • DLC Expert Financial

The HomeEquity Bank Award for Outstanding Customer Service by an Individual Office
  • CanWise Financial

Brokerage of the Year – Diversification
  • Premiere Mortgage Centre

Employer of Choice
  • MERIX Financial

Excellence in Philanthropy & Community Service
  • Mike Brain
    WE Advantage Mortgages

National Broker Network of the Year
  • Centum Financial Group

New Brokerage of the Year
  • The Collective Mortgage Group


Nominations were solicited and received from a wide range of mortgage professionals and organizations from across Canada, including brokers, brokerages, lenders, BDMs, underwriters, agents and service providers. Nominations were open from November 18, 2020 to January 15, 2021 and were free of charge. Nominators were asked to provide the nominee’s contact details and a brief reason for the nomination.


The Canadian Mortgage Awards team conducted research and drew on knowledge and information gained through and CMP magazine to supplement the nominations received and to ensure no one deserving of recognition was missed.


Once all nominations were considered and research was complete, finalists were selected in each category (except for the Lifetime Achievement Award) and notified. All finalists were then invited to complete a detailed submission that addressed the category criteria in more detail. That submission remained confidential unless marked and was not shared with any third parties other than the judges. Finalists were announced on the event website and promoted in CMPand on


All finalist submissions were forwarded to an independent judging panel composed of mortgage and real estate industry leaders and senior representatives. The panel assessed and voted for the winners in each category according to the relevant category criteria. Any judge with a conflict of interest in a category recused themselves from judging that category.


Using a simple points system to aggregate the judges’ votes, the CMA team identified the finalists with the top scores in each category, who were named as winners at the virtual Canadian Mortgage Awards show on April 29.