Immigrant Welcome Centre

 

Free Professional Services for Immigrants & Newcomers

 

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).

 

Main Sponsors