Immigrant Welcome Centre

 

Free Professional Services for Immigrants & Newcomers

 

The Immigrant Welcome Centre is run by the Multicultural & Immigrant Services Association of North Vancouver Island (MISA), which is a registered not-for-profit society. A not-for-profit society does not belong to the government. It is a legal entity that is registered under the provincial or federal Societies Act. The main difference between a for-profit and a not-for-profit organization is the ability to distribute profits. In a not-for-profit, any profit must be retained within the organization and cannot be distributed to its members.

 

Campbell River, Comox Valley

 

 

Our board brings a strong and varied set of skills and experience. Our volunteer Board of Directors oversees MISA’s executive activities and sets policy and direction for the organization. Their work is vital to our success. We are proud and grateful to have such a great team.

 

Layne Marshal - President

Lisa Blackburn - Vice-President

Cathy Voth - Secretary-Treasurer

Leanne Brunt - Director

Maria Kirley - Director

Lorraine Theron -

Cathy Reyno - Director

 

 

Vision Statement

A North Island region that embraces diversity and inclusivity while actively engaging with the vibrant cultures in the region, and where newcomers feel welcome, safe and respected.

Mission Statement

The Multicultural and Immigrant Services Association of North Vancouver Island (MISA) assists local communities in attracting and retaining newcomers by providing education and professional services to members of those communities while offering advocacy for vulnerable populations and settlement services, thereby fostering welcoming and inclusive communities.

Values Statement

MISA believes that:

  • All people have a right to be treated, and feel that they are treated, with respect, dignity, and fairness
  • All people have a right to privacy, and to be treated and feel that they are treated with confidentiality and respect to personal boundaries
  • All people have a right to be and feel safe in their communities, neighbourhoods, and workplaces
  • All people have a right to self-determination and to build their capacities to be self-reliant and independent
  • All individuals, community groups, organizations, and employers need to understand and fully implement all related government statutes, regulations, and case law
  • All people have a right to be included, and to not be discriminated against for reasons of gender, age, culture, race, language, religion, ability, social class, and sexual orientation
  • All organizations have a responsibility for continuing to learn and implement best practices

Commitments Statement

MISA is committed to implementing and being a model for these ethics statements in all of its work, and, in addition, to being in its relations with customers, clients, funders, and stakeholders:

  • Transparent
  • Professional
  • Accountable

 

 

To successfully meet our goals and serve our clients, we rely on extensive partnerships and relationships in our community. Please join us in thanking them: City of Campbell River, Department of Recreation and Culture, Chamber of Commerce, North Island College, North Island Employment Foundation.

 

 

North Vancouver Island is home to a growing number of people from diverse cultural backgrounds. The Immigrant Welcome Centre began in Campbell River in 1992. The organization was created by our founders: Naomi Wolfe, Heather Downing and Susan Dobie, in response to needs expressed by newcomers, visible minorities, parents and community services providers. 

During those early years, we coordinated multicultural potluck gatherings and English Language classes, which took place at various locations including the Sikh Temple and the Women's Centre in the evenings. In 1994, the organization relocated to St. Ann's Road. We took on several projects including the Interpreter Project, an inventory of the languages used in the community and service providers that would use this service. Under this project, volunteer interpreters were recruited and professionally trained.

Since then, we have been growing rapidly. In 2010 we began promoting to the public as the Immigrant Welcome Centre, a partner of the other three Immigrant Welcome Centres in Central Vancouver Island, Cowichan Valley and Greater Victoria. In October 2011, we established an Immigrant Welcome Centre in the Comox Valley to provide settlement services. Today, we have become a well-respected entity, with 20+ employees, many contractors and volunteers offering programs and services at various locations. Our involvement in different committees at local, regional and provincial levels helps provide high quality services and up-to-date information that impacts immigrants and minorities, as well as advocate for adequate services for people who face language and cultural barriers.

Currently, we offer a number of different programs to support immigrants living in a new culture, increasing English proficiency and learning the Canadian culture:

● International Family Place

● English Conversation & Social for Immigrants 50+

● International Men's Soccer Group

● International Women's Group

With support from volunteers and board members, we are committed to helping newcomers to settle to North Vancouver Island and adapt to life in Canada. We are creating a welcoming community that promotes dignity and inclusion of newcomers and people of diverse backgrounds.

Agreements with the Immigrant Welcome Centre

Vancouver Island attracts thousands of new immigrants each year. Immigrant settlement agencies welcome newcomers and help with the transition to life in a new community and a new country. In 2011, the island's leading immigrant settlement agencies formed the Vancouver Island Immigrant Welcome Centre Alliance.

Four agencies have come together to develop and sign a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance the capacity of the agencies on Vancouver Island to provide services to immigrants and build a welcoming and inclusive community. The agencies include: Immigrant Welcome Centre of Central Vancouver Island, Cowichan Intercultural Society, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria and the Immigrant Welcome Centre (Campbell River, the Comox Valley & North Vancouver Island).

 

 

Safe Harbour affiliation is a great way to demonstrate our organization’s values to employees and clients. The Safe Harbour decal for storefront display is given to all member organizations that complete Diversity & Inclusion training and commit to creating welcoming and inclusive spaces.

 

Click here for more inforamtion about Safe Harbour.

 

Web Safe Harbour Logo Transparent 200px 75dpi

 

 

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