ICA & GT Hiring Solutions 2017 WorkBC Job Fair - A Great Success
Submitted by Laura Guarin, Employment Case Manager

As 10 am approached on November 1, 2017, the line of eager job seekers formed in front of the Central Baptist Church on Pandora Avenue. They were waiting for the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) and GT Hiring Solutions (GTHS) to open the doors to their 1st Joint WorkBC Job Fair. This is the first job fair of this magnitude for ICA.

The fair featured nearly 40 employers from diverse industries. The flow of people was steady throughout the day as people wandered through the rows of employers, each looking for the best candidate to fill vacancies or expand their current staff. ICA wanted to create an event that would develop greater opportunities for their clients, help them find meaningful employment, and speed up the process. In total, over 500 people attended the job fair. 

Check out some photos from the event on our Flickr page here

Or read the article from our blog! 

ICA Youth Update: For the love of the forest
Submitted by Robin McGeough, Settlement Youth Worker

"You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here." Alan Watts, English Philosopher.

You may have gone for a walk in the woods, but have you ever taken a forest bath? While taking time to heal in nature has roots in many cultures, forest bathing as a form of therapy became an intentional practice in Japan in the 1980s. Known in Japanese as "Shinrin-Yoku" (森林浴), forest bathing involves setting intentional time to immerse oneself in nature, focus on the senses and appreciate the surroundings. Researchers began noting positive changes to immune markers, stress hormones, blood pressure, energy and focus in people who took regular visits to the forest. Forest bathing can also increase our exposure to air-born essential oils given off by trees (called phytoncides), which offer anti-microbial benefits and essential boosts to our immune system.
Community Partnership Network: Challenging and Exploring our Biases
Submitted by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

What biases do we bump up against when we interact with others who are different? How do our biases impact our interactions with others? These and other key questions were explored on November 29 at a Community Partnership Network (CPN) education event hosted in collaboration with the Francophone Society of Victoria and the B.C. Francophone Immigration Program. Showcasing the video DiverCity Victoria, the CPN event invited participants to view the video and, with a panel discussion, to explore our biases and perceptions related to diversity in our community.

"DiverCity Victoria" is a recently produced Leadership Victoria video designed to enhance our awareness and understanding around biases and diversity. The personal stories of five persons from the immigrant, refugee, transgender, Aboriginal and homelessness communities are highlighted in the video. The DiverCity Victoria video was recently produced by the team Bellatonia of Leadership Victoria as part of a project to broaden awareness about diversity and inclusion. A panel presentation with guest speakers featured from the video included...   Keep reading on our blog...
Germany in search of legal pathways for refugee admissions
Submitted by Sabine Lehr, Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager

In the wake of large numbers of refugees that have arrived in Germany over the last two years to seek protection, Germany is now looking for new and enhanced mechanisms to bring more refugees to the country under resettlement and humanitarian visa programs, including private or community sponsorship schemes. To that end, the German NGO Caritas, in collaboration with the UNHCR in Germany, organized a symposium in October 2017 that brought together mostly German civil society and Government representatives to ponder next steps. Caritas is the NGO co-chair of the 2018 Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement (ATCR) which will take place in Geneva in late June 2018. Read more from Sabine...  
We Speak Translate across Canada
Submitted by Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator
UVic HR Participants

The ICA We Speak Translate (WST) project continues to expand with over 1450 participants trained since the project launch in April 2017. While most of those training's have occurred in Victoria, the project is moving across Canada to cities like London, Ontario and Regina, Saskatchewan via webinar. Webinar trainings have been delivered as far away as Australia and New Zealand. For more information on upcoming We Speak Translate webinars and in-person trainings please visit http://www.icavictoria.org/community/we-speak-translate/

Read more on our blog.  

Mom and son participating in a We Speak Translate webinar
Welcome to ICA Tahia, Yara, and Maryam

Hello, my name is Tahia and I have been working as a community organizer, facilitator, and researcher for the past 7 years. I was involved in various nonprofit organizations in Vancouver before moving to Victoria. I have a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and am currently pursuing a Masters in Urban Studies. My passion for community development and social justice fuels the work that I do. I am also the Coordinator of the City of Victoria Youth Council, a yoga instructor, and a birth doula.

Yara Dani -  Intake Worker

Hello, My name is Yara Dani. I arrived in Canada on October 1, 2016.
I have MBA in Management Information Systems. I call research my game. I have dedicated myself to be a life-long learner. I am currently an online student at the University of Victoria in the Computer Based Information Systems certificate.

Prior to coming to Victoria, I worked in management, sales, and customer service environments since 2009.

I am a newcomer who fell in love with the city of Victoria and the beauty of its nature and I call it home. In my free time and on weekends, I like to go for a hike or a bike ride with my friends.

Hello, my name is Maryam Pirjaberi and I was born and brought up in Iran. My family and I immigrated to Canada in 2006. We moved from Vancouver to Victoria in 2009. I have a Masters in English Language and Literature, and more than 20 years of experience in teaching English to students from all around the world. I started teaching when I was a university student in language colleges in Iran and after graduating from university I started teaching English at the Art University of Tehran. When I immigrated to Canada, I got my TESOL certificate from VCC and started teaching immigrants in ELSA programs in Vancouver. Since moving to Victoria, I have worked as an ESL and IELTS Instructor at UVIC, Camosun College and SSLC. Teaching is my passion and I can adapt my teaching method to fit the needs of the learners. I enjoy decorating my house, walking in the nature, and reading Psychological books in my free time.

Happy Holidays from ICA
Thank you for all of your support in helping to resettle newcomers this past year. From all of us at ICA, wishing you a warm and safe holiday season and a Happy New Year.

In This Issue
ICA & GT Hiring Solutions 2017 WorkBC Job Fair - a Great Success!
ICA Youth Update: For the love of the forest
CPN: Challenging and Exploring our Biases
Germany in search of legal pathways for refugee admissions
We Speak Translate across Canada
Welcome to ICA Tahia, Yara, and Maryam
Happy Holidays from ICA
What's Happening?
Community Events
Multifaith Calendars for Sale:
ICA now has 2018 Multlifaith Calendars for sale at our main reception. $20 a calendar and developed by the

What's Happening?  
Citizenship Classes 
Help applicants prepare for citizenship tests. 
Two Fridays per month.    

Pre-Natal Classes
Information about changes to a woman's body during pregnancy; fetal development; and nutrition, diet, and lifestyle.
10 am - 11 am
Fridays, February 23 &
March 2, 9, 16, 23, 2018

Settlement Orientations in English
Learn important information about Victoria
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm 
Wednesdays, January 3 - February 7, 2018

Baby Talk 
Learn about feeding your baby, car seat safety, and more. 
10 am - 11:30 am 
Fridays, January 19 - February 16, 2018

Women's Health & Yoga Group
Learn about staying healthy and practice some beginner-friendly yoga.
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Tuesdays, January 30 - March 6, 2018
Learn more...

Job Search for Newcomers
Employment workshops for newcomers.
Tuesdays, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Thursdays, 9 am - 12 pm  
January 9 - 25, 2018
Learn more...

Homework Club 
Safe place to work on your homework for children and youth ages 6-18.
3:30 - 5:30 pm
Wednesdays, September 2017 - June 2018

The Meet Up
A free weekly program for newcomer teens ages 13 - 19.
4 pm - 7 pm
Fridays, September 2017 - June 2018

ICA Employment Services
If you are looking for employment or need to upgrade, ICA's Employment Services Centre can help!  

Community Events

9th Annual Gingerbread Showcase
Celebrating Canada 150.  
19 am - 9 pm 
November 18 - January 2, 2017
Parkside Hotel

Magic of Christmas
Lights, wreaths, carollers, and ice skating.  
December 1 - January 6, 2018
Butchart Gardents
Tickets 29 - $85

Theatre for the Living: What does reconciliation mean to you?
Touring into 19 communities across BC and Alberta with each tour performance co-hosted by local, collaborating Indigenous and non-Indigenous community organizations. 
7:30 pm
Friday, January 19, 2017
Songhees Wellness Centre

Annual Polar Bear Swim
An invigorating start to the new year with a polar bear swim.
January 1, 2018
12 pm noon
Lochside Drive
Learn more here...