The Immigrant Welcome Centre celebrated its 30th Anniversary with two Open House events – one each in Campbell River and the Comox Valley!
On June 16 In Campbell River, our team was ready to welcome guests with free coffee – generously provided by Merecroft Village Tim Horton’s – and celebratory cupcakes. The Welcoming Communities Coalition involved visitors with engaging and informative activities, including the Coalition’s Hope Rocks rock painting project, a “welcoming new friends” Play-Doh activity, a Canadian Citizenship quiz, and a Story Walk about resilience provided by the Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Centre. Staff from the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex handed out free rec centre passes to attendees, and PLAY Campbell River set up a fun balancing activity for children.
IWC settlement staff were on hand to offer information about the organization’s settlement services, while local musician Tony Fantillo’s accordion created a wonderful musical background environment. And let’s not forget about the food! We were lucky to have Baba Gannouj‘s food truck at the event, and many of our guests were happy to get their lunches there.
We were fortunate to have beautiful weather for our June 23 event in front of our Courtenay office. Volunteers welcomed our guests with cupcakes and encouraged attendees to snap selfies at our multicultural photo station (with flags from around the world!), while staff from McDonald’s in Courtenay generously served hot coffee.
Many attendees participated in the Coalition’s Hope Rocks project, painting the word “hope” in different languages on the rocks to highlight the diversity of languages in our communities. The Play-Doh activity and Canadian Citizenship quiz were also popular, and IWC staff answered questions about our settlement services and provided office and classroom tours. Representatives from the City of Courtenay were present to hand out resources about the city’s recreational opportunities.
We want to give a huge thank you to our event sponsors once again: the Campbell River Open House was made possible by the Campbell River Community Foundation, and we received generous in-kind sponsorship from The Comox Valley Record for our Open House in Courtenay. Peninsula Co-Op’s marquee tent kept us dry in Campbell River and cool in the Comox Valley. We’d also like to thank the manager our our Courtenay office building for letting us use the parking lot, and the VIRL branch of Campbell River for sharing their courtyard with us, providing chairs, and for setting up an enjoyable cultural food matching activity.
Last but not least, we want to give a shout-out to our supportive IWC team and volunteers who helped make the events a success, and to our clients, community partners, and other supporters. It was heartwarming to see so many smiling faces joining us to celebrate our 30th Anniversary!