Immigrant Welcome Centre

Free Professional Services for Immigrants & Newcomers

SUMMER 2019 Coalition Newsletter


Welcoming Communities Coalition

Working together for diverse, inclusive and welcoming communities


Welcome to Summer!  Our winter/spring season has been a very busy one for the Coalition, connecting with our members through community forums and working groups, building and expanding our local immigrant partnerships, and initiating a number of important local projects that support enhanced Newcomer integration and settlement.

Staying Connected!

Effective communication has continued to be an important sub-theme of Coalition focus and action other the last year.Welcoming Communities Blog Site was set up in early 2019.  Plans for the Blog include reporting Coalition member events, project updates and the sharing of Newcomer success stories.

We will also be distributing a Coalition e-newsletter twice a year.  Don't forget to follow us on our Facebook page for event updates and activities!

Campbell River

Not a member of the Welcoming Communities Coalition but would like to be? Please contact Coalition Coordinator:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Current Coalition Projects!

Passport to Settlement

We are excited to introduce TaraLee Houston as the new Project Assistant contractor for the development of our Passport to Settlement tool. TaraLee has dedicated herself to serving the community as a volunteer and an employee for over 20 years working with children and families in the region.

TaraLee Houston

The Passport to Settlement tool is designed to connect and engage Immigrants and Newcomers with citizens and community organizations in the Campbell River region. This innovative booklet and engagement process will greatly assist Newcomers settle and achieve their personal goals more effectively by increasing interaction with community organizations and citizens. Newcomers will use the tool to better navigate Campbell River and in doing so attain new knowledge and awareness of multiple community resources in order to leverage their personal and professional success.

The Passport is a multi-page booklet with sections that focus on key community sectors and services that are important for Newcomers.Sections include: English Language learning; Health Awareness; Employment Readiness; Banking; Education; Arts & Culture; and First Nations History. Under each section heading will be a checklist of tasks, activities and suggested community organization visits that will reinforce the interaction and learning. The Passport will be completed in August.A Comox Valley version will be initiated in the fall of this year.

Please let us know if you would like your organization and newcomers support services profiled in the Passport!

Other Coalition projects currently in development include; the planning and hosting of a series of Immigrant Youth Engagement Focus Groups for the fall; working group established for the development of terms of reference for a future Immigrant Advisory Table, New Foundations – community-based indicators project for Newcomer Integration and current review and update of the Coalition 2018/2021 Strategic Plan.

Upcoming Events!

Special thanks to Robyn Yow at Island Grind Cafe in Campbell River and Josh Maxwell & Hway-ru Tin Town Cafe Courtenay for being amazing hosts for our 2019 Conversation Cafe series.Please don't miss our last Cafe event this month before our summer break.

Thursday June 20th, 7:00 pm

Tin Town Cafe, Courtenay

 How big is your Eco-footprint?

How do we create a more livable and sustainable environment - your favorite strategies?

July 1st Celebrate Canada Day 

Celebrate Canada and support the IWC! Please consider supporting IWC by becoming a member or renewing your membership by Wednesday, June 26th to be entered in our Canada Day gift basket draw.

Individual memberships start at $10. For more information please call our office:

Campbell River: 250-830-0171
Courtenay: 250-338-6359

Save the Date!

2nd Annual Fall Collaboratory - October 15th & 16th

We are very excited to announce that the IWC and the WC Coalition will be hosting our Annual Fall Collaboratory – Wednesday October 15th in Comox at the Blackfin Pub & Restaurant, and Thursday October 16th at the Oyster River Resort, Campbell River region.  The Collaboratory is part community forum, conference and workshop with a special focus on identifying critical needs and gaps in regards to developing and supporting Welcoming Communities for Newcomers.This year's theme will be on identifying key community indicators that contribute to successful Newcomer integration.

Coalition Organization profiles

Greenways Land Trust -Campbell River

Greenways Land Trust is a registered charity and conservation organization in Campbell River that works to enhance the community through the creation and management of greenways networks, based on principles of stream and land stewardship.

Immigrant Welcome Centre LINC students (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) Campbell River recently joined Greenways Land Trust on a rainy day to Charstate Park to help build garden beds. This was a great opportunity for LINC students to get out in the community and volunteer while practicing their English. The students have since been back to the community garden and have started planting! 

The Boys and Girls Club of Centre Vancouver Island – Comox Valley

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island provides experiential learning environments that inspire children, youth and families of diverse abilities to acquire and develop the critical cognitive, emotional, and social skills needed to become resilient and contributing members of society.

The BGCCVI partnered with the Immigrant Welcome Centre in December of 2018 to initiate a Youth mentorship and training program with teens at the Girls & Boys Club.Youth were provided opportunities to co-facilitate at the monthly IWC Conversation Cafe events in Courtenay. Besides learning community leadership and facilitation skills, the student were introduced to many of the common issues facing Newcomers in the Comox Valley.8 students took part and successfully completed the program in May. 

Coalition Volunteer Profile - Comox Valley

Thank-you to our Coalition Volunteers!

Amgalan Uyanga (Erica) has been a frequent participant at our winter/spring Conversation Cafes in Courtenay, and is currently active in a Coalition working group developing a terms of reference for a future Immigrant Advisory committee.

Originally born in Jargalant soum, Tuv Aimak, Mongolia, as a young girl Erica developed an intense passion for Mongolian Horse Racing – know as one of the world's most dangerous sports! Erica's self-confidence, fierce independence and sense of adventure eventually led her to immigrating to Canada in 2014.On first arriving to Ottawa Erica recalls how happy and care-free people appeared – a considerable contrast to the work culture in Mongolia.In fact, with so many people smiling and welcoming she was convinced that everyone she met must be on vacation or not working.  

Thank-you Erica to your volunteer work and contribution to the Welcoming Communities Coalition!

​Did you know!

British Columbia is currently the most ethnically diverse province in the country. Immigrants provide enormous contribution to our communities, and have helped shaped our North Vancouver Island communities that we call home.According to the Centre for International Governance Innovation in their 2017 report, "the Diversity Dividend", a 1% increase in ethno-cultural diversity is associated with a 2.5% increase in organizational revenue in Canada.

Newcomers Matter 365 days a year - 365 Campaign

Maintaining and sustaining community outreach, action & impact

During the spring of this year as a means to ensure a more stable and sustained approach to supporting Coalition projects and outreach we developed an innovative fundraising campaign entitled Newcomers Matter 365. The campaign is a targeted sponsorship and donor fundraising effort to support Coalition community outreach initiatives and special events.The Welcoming Communities Coalition Coordinator and Coalition members will be advancing the campaign this summer.Please consider contributing to our campaign – your donation will make a tremendous contribution towards increasing our efforts in supporting Welcoming Communities in North Vancouver Island!

Big Thank-you to the Campbell River Community Foundation!

The WC Coalition was successful this spring in receiving a grant from the Campbell River Community Foundation to support both guest speakers and workshop leaders for our fall Collaboratories.

And...thank-you to all of you, our Coalition members for your steadfast commitment in cultivating and fostering Welcoming Communities in Campbell River and the Comox Valley!  

September is Back to LINC Classes
Launch of the Welcoming Communities Idea Bank!

Main Sponsors