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Refugees welcome! ICA continues resettlement efforts
Minister McCallum and ICA CEO Jean McRae

In April, ICA's CEO Jean McRae met with Minister McCallum in Ottawa, along with other Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) providers to reflect on and plan for ongoing refugee resettlement in Canada. At this meeting, Minister McCallum presented ICA with a commemorative coin acknowledging our efforts towards Canada's resettlement of 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February 2016.

To date, the CRD has welcomed 154 government-assisted Syrian refugees into the region. Of that number, 61 individuals have been resettled into permanent housing. This is a great achievement, but there is much work yet to be done! Our RAP workers are continuing to search for housing leads for newcomer families, and we need your help! Know of any housing opportunities?  Fill out ICA's
You're Invited: Student Film Screening - Exploring Masculinity & Misogyny 
Submitted by Paulina Grainger, Arts & Outreach Coordinator

Sid Boegman, Bryce Nurding, Terrence George, Ryan Aguilar-Littleton, Angus Silver and ICA invite you to the free screening of "Yes, MAM! - Y oung Engaged Students creating videos of Men Against Misogyny. The 12 short videos created were directed and filmed by the youth over their March Spring Break and address issues such as sexism, sexualized violence against women and consent.
Pressures are exerted upon young men by traditional ideas about masculinity, male superiority and male sexual entitlement, and as a result, many young people have observed inappropriate sexual encounters that alarm them and make them uncomfortable at parties, in class, in hallways, and at sports events, to name a few places. The intention of this youth-driven project was to create powerful messages to invigorate the dialogue and awareness of such misogynistic attitudes and to highlight the fact that young men must play an active role in affecting societal change. Youth not only have opportunities to intervene, but a shared responsibility to prevent harm, foster a sense of community, and create a culture of caring.

Join us at the public screening of these 12 'shorts' to hear what the five young men who participated in this video project have to say to other young adults. Tuesday, May 3, 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street. Read more....
Self-employment programs at ICA
Submitted by Deb Hamblin, Employment Services Manager
Peter Elkins, ICA's Entrepreneur in Residence

Over the past several months, Peter Elkins, a local business leader, investor, and advisor has generously volunteered his time at ICA to assist newcomers with business coaching.  As ICA's Entrepreneur in Residence, he works one-on-one with newcomers to provide direction and information on the ins-and-outs of starting and running a business in Victoria. 
In February and March of this year, Peter was involved in our Newcomers and Self-Employment Program.  He ran two sessions: Self-Employment Assessment and What you Need to Know about Self-Employment in Victoria. 
Read more....
LIP launches regional report: Our first 18 months
Submitted by Steven Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

On March 31, more than 80 members of the Community Partnership Network (CPN) and the Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership (GVLIP) celebrated the release of the 2016 report: "Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership: Our First 18 Months". 

The event was hosted at the Royal BC Museum and included representatives from government, education, health, businesses and community service agencies.

As the goal of the GVLIP is to foster community collaboration and promote the effective integration of newcomer immigrants in the Greater Victoria region, developing a regional immigration integration strategy is the long-term goal of the GVLIP.

The research and report were undertaken in partnership with ICA and the UVic Institute for Studies and Innovation in Community University Engagement (ISICUE). The research included input from hundreds of immigrant newcomers and service providers to learn about their experiences with the integration of newcomer immigrants in our community.

Key findings from the report included:
*Employment: Over 50% of newcomers identified affordable child care, English language acquisition, and education/training opportunities as being key elements to ensure access to meaningful employment. Read more...
Newcomer teens leading in active citizenship
Submitted by Lissette Tougas, Youth Services Facilitator

Happy Spring, everyone! The youth team here at ICA has rolled right into sunnier days with vibrant new programming!

The Youth Community Project (YCP) was 6 weeks of amazing relationships, community education, and general reflection on wh at it means to be an inclusive host community in a small city like Victoria. As a group, the youth involved with the project, planned, implemented and facilitated recreation and arts based activities for newcomer children and youth in Victoria. As an observer, I must say how proud I was of our ICA youth in their leadership, compassion, and team work. This year's YCP was an anamoly and a lot of flexibility was needed on the youth's end to ensure successful program delivery; but, they passed with flying colours! Some of the words they used to describe their experience were, "fulfilling," "eye opening," "exciting," and "love." It was an experience, I know I'll never forget! Can't wait for next year's project!

The Vibe
Speaking of vibrant and exciting experiences...The Vibe program begins this Monday, May 2 from 4 pm to 7pm. It will be 5 weeks of 3-hour Monday sessions and 1 full Saturday session. This year we decided to focus on what living a VIBRANT-full of life-healthy-enthusiastic-joyful life means to each youth. With the city of Victoria leading our way, we will be exploring all sorts of communities in hopes of meeting people and activities to bring us to life! We do have some planned activities including basketball, soccer, skate park visit, beach hikes, cooking classes, and visiting neighbourhoods we may never have known existed.

There are a few remaining spots left, so please feel free to contact Lissette Tougas, Settlement Youth Worker ltougas@icavictoria.org if this sounds like a program a newcomer youth you know could benefit from!  Read more here....
Applied Theatre for Community Building: A Workshop
Submitted by Yasmine Kandil

A Collaborative & Educational Workshop in partnership with ICA
Friday June 3 (5:30-9:00pm) & Saturday June 4 (9:30-4:30pm)
Sign up by May 25, 2016 - pgrainger@icavictoria .org
Attendance is Free
This workshop will introduce participants to tools and techniques for how to use  theatre and drama for community building and engagement.  Through hands-on experiential learning participants will engage with activities related to cultural sensitivity, storytelling processes, ethical practices, promotion of diversity and inclusivity, and the importance of the witness in dynamics of sharing personal stories.

What is Applied Theatre, and what is the impact of Community-based Arts practices on building connections and dealing with important social issues? Can this practice be used as a means of healing, of reconciling, and of the reintegration of marginalized communities into society?  How can organizations use theatre and the arts to foster inclusion and community building?  What is the power of creating a space where people share their personal stories of struggle and reconciliation?  What are the ethical practices necessary to ensure the safety of participants when telling personal narratives?
Lina de Guevara and Yasmine Kandil, experienced theatre directors and community-based arts practitioners with many years working with diverse groups have come together, alongside ICA's Arts and Outreach Coordinator, Paulina Grainger through their expertise and research to explore these questions during this workshop.  Read more here....
ICA marches to end sexualized gender-based violence
Submitted by Sabine Lehr, Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager

On April 16, ICA participated with other front-line anti-violence organizations in a march to end sexualized and gender-based violence. The march under the leadership of the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre and its Trans Inclusion Coordinator, Alexa Robin, was the culmination of two years of work by a seven-agency network of which ICA is a member. The network's purpose is to seed an ongoing dialogue about this topic in the community and come up with preventative mechanisms that will hopefully decrease the incidence of sexualized and gender-based violence.

The march led from the BC Legislature along Government Street to Spirit Square at Victoria City Hall. There, speakers from different organizations and representing different communities, as well as local and provincial politicians, gave testimonies and short speeches to raise awareness about the violence that people experience due to their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Thank you to all participants for showing your support to such an important cause.  Read more...
ICA wins the United Way Community Partner Spirit Award!

Meghan Mergaert, Development Manager and Lauren Kelly, Executive Assistant Photo courtesy of United Way
Along with the Quadra Village Community Centre, ICA was a finalist for a 2015 United Way Spirit Award in the Community Partner category recognized for our efforts during last year's workplace campaign. ICA representatives attended the awards ceremony on Friday, April 22, 2016 where we gratefully accepted our award! We are so thankful to the United Way Greater Victoria (UWGV) for all their support over the years, especially as we begin new projects and programming focused on refugee resettlement into the CRD.
During ICA's workplace campaign, we took pride in the opportunity to promote community service to over 450 English language students who access ICA's classes and encouraged them to be active citizens by contributing to the campaign. English language students rallied to host a delicious bake sale with all proceeds directed to the campaign.  Read more....
Give a toonie campaign for the Canadian Council of Refugees
Submitted by Sabine Lehr, Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager

To honour Refugee Rights Day on April 4, the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) challenged all member organizations to give a toonie in support of CCR's work, especially regarding the protection of refugee claimants. April 4 is the anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1985 Singh decision.
ICA staff donating to CCR efforts

In this decision, the Supreme Court of Canada found that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the fundamental rights of refugees. The Court decided that 'everyone' includes refugee claimants in the sentence: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice." Refugee claimants are therefore entitled to an oral hearing, in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice and international law.

Ra Ra for Refugees participates in the 47th annual Times Colonist 10K!

Sunday, April 24, 2016 marked the 47 th annual Times Colonist 10K, and ICA showed support by participating with our Ra Ra for Refugees team. Bright and early, last Sunday morning, ICA friends, volunteers and staff rose to the occasion by walking or running to the finish line along with over 10,000 other community members in this year's event, and look forward to taking part again next year! Congratulations to the Ra Ra for Refugees team and all TC 10K participants!  Read more here....
ICA continues to welcome new staff!
Alexandra Dawley, Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) Worker
I am glad to have taken-on the role of RAP Worker at ICA and I look forward to supporting Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) under the Canada's Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) through this position. ICA is doing meaningful work in support of newcomers while they embark on their next stage of life here in the Greater Victoria area.

Many thanks to Alexandra from the youth team and all the youth clients that you've worked so hard to support during the weekly "Meet Up".  Read more here...

Amneet Sanghera, Youth Services Facilitator
My name is Amneet Sanghera and I recently completed my undergraduate studies in the Health and Community Services program at the University of Victoria. My areas of concentration within this program were International and Global Health and Human Development, and Ageing. I had the opportunity to complete my final practicum at ICA earlier this year. Over three months as a Settlement Practicum Student, I developed a deeper passion and interest in working with and supporting newcomers. I am so happy to be a part of ICA's team as a Youth Services Facilitator and excited to continue to learn and grow!  Read more here....

In This Issue
Refugees welcome! ICA continues resettlement efforts
You're Invited: Student Film Screening - Exploring Masculinity & Misogyny
Self-employment programs at ICA
LIP launces regional report
Newcomer teens leading in active citizenship
Applied Theatre for Community Building: A Workshop
ICA marches to end sexualized gender-based violence
ICA wins the UWGV Community Partner Spirit Award
Toonie campaign for refugees
Ra Ra for Refugees participats in the 47th annual TC 10K
ICA continues to welcome new staff!
What's Happening?
Community Events




ICA announces its annual Diversity Scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students. More information here.



Interested in supporting refugees resettle in our community on an ongoing basis? 


Build your donation into your monthly budget by making a 

monthly donation to ICA.


What's Happening?  

Weekly Settlement Orientation 
Important information to help newcomers settle in Victoria. 
Available in Arabic on Wednesdays
12:30  - 2:30 pm  
Available in Mandarin on Wednesdays
9:30 am - 11:30 am
普通话讲座: 周三上午9:30 - 11:30
  Learn more...

Financial Workshop hosted by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education
Presents a workshop for newcomers on the stock market, property investment or real estate, opening a small business, wealth management and taxation. Register at ICA reception.
Wednesday, May 11
3:30 - 5:30 pm
930 Balmoral Road (at Quadra)

The VIBE: Living Vibrant Healthy Lives
A free 6-week program for newcomer youth ages 13-18. Live your best life. Physical health, eating to perform, self-care and community exploring.  
May 2, 9, 16, 30 & June 4. 

930 Balmoral Road (at Quadra)

Seniors Living Well in Community
Learn English while you learn and have fun with health and wellness activities. 6 fun-filled multicultural sessions. Come and make new friends. 
May 10 - June 14, 2016

12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
930 Balmoral Road (at Quadra)

Lunchtime Topics
Learn and talk about Canada through music led Amanda Gaunt. LINC 4 English or higher.   
Wednesday, May 11 - June 1, 2016

11:40 am  - 12:20 pm
930 Balmoral Road (at Quadra)

Youth Homework Club
Peer tutoring for immigrant and refugee youth ages 8-18. 
January 13 - June 8, 2016

4 pm - 5:30 pm
930 Balmoral Road (at Quadra)

Citizenship Classes 
Help applicants prepare for citizenship tests.  
Two Fridays per month.    

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

Community Events

Theatre SKAM presents Fashion Machine
he talented and high flying performers from Cirque de la Symphonie return to the Royal to delight and amaze.  
Saturday, April 30, 2016
2 pm
George Jay Elementary School, 1118 Princess Ave.  

Cirque de la Symphonie
The talented and high flying performers from Cirque de la Symphonie return to the Royal to delight and amaze.  
Friday, April 29 - Sunday, May 1, 2016
Royal Theatre 

China Town Walks
Explore Canada's oldest Chinatown on a 90 minute walk with top-ranked guides. Visit the Tam Kung Temple, Fan Tan Alley, and many other cultural and architectural highlights. 
Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays
10:30 am 

Let's French! Un Concerte- Benefice
A benefit concert with music, food, drink and culture organized by the Francophone and Francophile community. 
Friday, May 6  
6 - 9 pm 
Ecole Victor-brodeur, 637 Head St.

Orkestra Slivovica - Balkan Dance Party
Vancouver's ten piece Balkan Brass band and their Ederlezi Sprintime Celebration and Dance Party. 
Friday, May 6
Doors & Dance Lesson at 8 pm
Norway House, 1110 Hillside Ave. 

"Elder in the Making" Documentary Film Screening
Critically acclaimed documentary is back for its second screening in Victoria. FREE 
Tuesday, May 10  
6:30 - 8:30 pm 
Victoria Native Friendship Centre, 231 Regina Ave. 

Sannich Police Week Event
Join the Saanich Police for an opportunity to chat with a police offcer. Includes transportation displays and fun activities for kids. See poster for details. 
Saturday, May 14  
11 am - 3:00 pm 
Behind Saanich Municipal Hall

Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival
The 153rd Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival celebrates Scottish music, culture, and arts.   
Saturday-Monday, May 21-23, 2016
All day event
Topaz Park

African Cultural Week and Afro Festival
The African Cultural Week and Africa Fest Victoria is quickly becoming one of BC's largest cultural fairs.   
May 25 - 28, 2016
Vic West Community Centre

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