Isa Lee is a mother, community leader, an experienced news anchor, and also a passionate cultural ambassador.
Having lived in Markham for more than fifteen years, Isa understands the needs of local residents very well. She is well-known in the community with more than a decade of work experience in journalism and media. She is a strong believer in community building and engagement as evidenced by her wide exposure in the business and public arenas and long-time participation in community organizations. This involvement has shaped Isa as a person and formulates her vision for the future development for the City of Markham.
Isa graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science (Political Science and History). She is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
Isa is passionate to bring the public’s voice to the council. She is persistent to bring residents with different backgrounds together to build a better community. Isa is the proud voice for all residents in Markham Ward 8.
She is currently the President of the Ontario York Region Heritage Lions Club, Vice President of Canada Hong Kong Alliance and a member of the Executive Committee of Chi Heng Foundation. She is also a public member of the Markham Public Library Board, working extensively on improving the utilization of the public library system as a community service hub.
As the President of the Ontario York Region Heritage Lions Club, she organized a wide spectrum of activities to support people in need, including bringing community groups to the Markham Christmas Markets and fundraising activities. She also organized environmental activities regularly, and an annual Effective Speaking Contest in Markham for youth. As the Vice President of Canada Hong Kong Alliance, she organized the Canada Hong Kong Week annually that promotes business collaboration and cultural exchange between Hong Kong and Canada.
Volunteerism and Community Service
Isa has volunteered with various not-for-profit organizations since she was in grade school
including Mon Sheong Foundation, Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation, Orbis Canada, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, and Sick Kids Foundation. She was the chairperson of the Volunteers Association at the University of Toronto that arranged numerous charity activities. She regularly supported the annual elderly funfair at First Markham Place that serves thousands of seniors every year.
Youth and Education
Isa is an educator with years of experience. She has been a teacher in Chinese schools that not only foster cultural heritage in youth, but also promote personal and social development. As the Executive Director of The Cross-Cultural Community Services Association (TCCSA), she expanded the TCCSA Chinese school to the City of Markham. The association’s youth program was also enhanced to promote participants’ community engagement. Isa also led the ‘Say Yes to York Campus Workgroup’ with other Markham residents, collected over 4,500 signatures and collaborated with other community groups that successfully brought the new York University campus to Markham.
Isa also works passionately to help new immigrants settle in the community. During her tenure at TCCSA, she worked closely with agencies from all levels of government on new immigrant services which covered career development, language training and settlement support. On behalf of the Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACCE), she collaborated with the Centre for Immigrant and Community Services (CICS) on career programs which pair up professional new immigrants with corresponding local industry partners to jumpstart their new careers in Canada. Working alongside numerous entrepreneurs, Isa understands that economic growth and development in the community are foundations of long-term prosperity for all residents.
She has visited First Nation communities for many years and brought Fairchild TV to a First Nation community in Quebec to film special programs that bring awareness of First Nation cultures and social issues to the local Chinese audience. Isa understands the needs of people in different communities with different cultures and backgrounds.
She participated in debate and public speaking contests since secondary school. She was the debate competition champion and best debater of the year of the Ontario Inter-Collegiate Chinese Debate Alliance. She is passionate in both Chinese and western cultures. She has attained the Grade 8 certificate for ABRSM for piano and the grade 10 certificate from the China Central Conservatory of Music for Guzheng. She has great interest in Chinese opera and has studied under Chinese opera masters Yim Wah Lau and Chau Noong Mak.