Immigrant Welcome Centre

Free Professional Services for Immigrants & Newcomers

Welcoming Communities Coalition Winter 2020 Newsletter


Working together for diverse, inclusive and welcoming communities


The Welcoming Communities Coalition brings together local stakeholders to enhance current services and to build welcoming and inclusive communities on North Vancouver Island. The Coalition is operated by the Immigrant Welcome Centre in Campbell River and Courtenay and is funded through the Local Immigrant Partnership initiative of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Our Fall/Winter season has been a very busy one, reengaging with our Coalition members through community forums and working groups, and implementing and monitoring a number of local projects that support enhanced Newcomers integration and settlement.
The 2019 Fall Collaboratories (in Campbell River and Comox Valley) were successful. The events were amazing opportunities to brainstorm with participants who are members of community service organizations, government representatives, business owners and residents. Amazing ideas were brought forth especially about how to inclusively build and improve our community for everyone who calls North Vancouver Island, home. Some newcomers also shared their experience (successes and challenges) as regards feeling welcome to the community and this was a special highlight of the events.

Current Coalition Projects 

Passport to Settlement: The Passport is being distributed to help newcomers settle and increase interaction with community organizations and citizens. Newcomers are using the tool to better navigate Campbell River to gain knowledge and awareness of multiple community resources in order to leverage their personal and professional success.

The Annual Campbell River International Welcome: The first of its kind in Campbell River was fun and exciting with food, games and cultural expression. It will be hosted again in fall in Campbell River and Courtenay in collaboration with community partners to celebrate our community and show our rich history of welcoming new community members.

Conversation Cafes: These are monthly conversations with residents and newcomers in Campbell River and Comox Valley that explore innovative ways to foster a welcoming and inclusive community. To celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, please join us for the next one on the 21st of March at the Campbell River Art Gallery at 12:30 pm. You can see more details here

Newcomers Matter 365 days a year - 365 Campaign: This innovative campaign is a targeted sponsorship and donor fundraising effort to support Coalition community outreach initiatives and special events. Individuals or organisations can be a part of our clients' success stories 365 days of the year by donating $365 or more. Funds acquired will ensure that the IWC increases outreach and impact in fostering a healthy, positive and productive community. Please consider contributing to our campaign. Your donation will help tremendously towards increasing our efforts in supporting Welcoming Communities.

Other Coalition projects currently in development include;

Immigrant Needs Assessment: As part of the project ideas that emanated from the Community Forum, a Needs Assessment will be explored by the Steering Committee as one of the focus of the Welcoming Communities Coalition for 2020.

A Credential Recognition Letter of Support to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for a streamlined process of Credential Recognition for newcomers to Canada. Highly qualified newcomers are faced with multiple barriers to getting their credentials recognized. It would be beneficial not only to our province but to our country to work with the licensing bodies to streamline Credential Recognition.

Raising Awareness about Cultural Diversity: We are exploring a Multicultural/Diversity Week with activities such as the Annual International Welcome to showcase various cultures through story-telling, community events, multicultural expos, food fairs, etc. Cultural diversity helps us recognize and respect "ways of being" that are not necessarily our own. So that as we interact with others we can build bridges to trust, respect, and understanding across cultures.

Immigrants bring valuable knowledge and skills to the Canadian economy; however, in spite of their high qualifications and hard work many of them face challenges with expected Canadian soft skills. The Canadian Workplace Culture and Soft Skills Training for Newcomers in Courtenay was organized to help newcomers avoid misunderstandings while putting them on the road to success. We are also exploring the possibility of another one in Campbell River.

The Welcoming Communities Coalition in collaboration with other Coalition partners is exploring Youth Engagement in our communities. If your organization is working on youth engagement and is interested in partnering with the IWC, please reach out to our Coalition Coordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 A Big Thank You!

Special thanks to the Campbell River Art Gallery, for being amazing hosts for our 2020 Conversation Cafe series.

Special thanks to the Campbell River Community Foundation for funding the 2019 Campbell River Community forum at Oyster Bay Resort.

Special thanks to the Comox Valley Community Foundation for funding the Canadian Workplace Culture and Soft Skills training.

Thank you to all staff of the IWC, our volunteers, community partners, coalition volunteers, and coalition members for your steadfast commitment in cultivating and fostering Welcoming Communities in Campbell River and the Comox Valley!

 Did you know?

Did you ever wonder what the BC flag stands for? We have the answer: On the top part there is a Royal Union Flag, reflecting British Columbia's British heritage. It is marked by the King Edward crown in the centre, which represents the Royal Family. The lower half shows a setting sun, representing the western location of the province. The blue and white lines behind the sun symbolize BC's location between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. 

 Staying Connected!

Effective communication continues to be an important theme of Coalition focus. This Blog was set up in early 2019 and plans for the Blog include reporting Coalition member events, project updates and the sharing of Newcomer success stories. If you would like to know more about the Welcoming Communities Coalition, you can check here.

If you know anyone (businesses, individuals or organisations) who would like to collaborate, be a part of our coalition or a working group, or fund our projects, please let us know. Don't forget to follow us on our Facebook pages for event updates and activities.

Campbell River


Coalition Organization profiles: Please let us know if you would like your organization and newcomers support services profiled on our blog.

If you have news or an event you'd like us to share on the Immigrant Welcome Centre Facebook page, please send them to our Coalition Coordinator.

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.

Thank-you for your commitment in cultivating and fostering Welcoming Communities!

Support the IWC!

Please consider supporting IWC by becoming a member or renewing your membership. As a member of our organization you will receive newsletters with our latest program, project and event information and also be able to vote at our Annual General Meeting (AGM). Individual memberships start at $10. For more information please call our office:

Campbell River: 250-830-0171

Courtenay: 250-338-6359

Cancellation of Events Due to COVID- 19 Safety Con...
March 2020 Welcoming Communities Conversation Café...

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