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Reflecting on ICA's refugee resettlement support event!

On June 7, 2016 ICA hosted an event thanking partners and contributors for their refugee resettlement efforts over the past months, and to recognize this milestone as Victoria continues to welcomes more refugees. The event included speeches by notable public figures such as Martha Juillerat, Constituency Assistant to Randall Garrison, Member of Parliament, Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke; Carole James, Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA; Acting Mayor Charlayne Thornton-Joe; ICA's Board President, Cathy Hunter, and ICA's Chief Executive Officer, Jean McRae.

Along with speeches, Amanda Edward of the Cowichan First Nation offered a blessing ceremony to start our event and Sari Alesh, a Syrian musician recently arrived to Victoria, provided a musical performance on the violin that evoked an incredible mix of emotions from the audience. Along with food from Fig Delicatessen, and special "Refugees Welcome" pins, the event was considered a big success.

Read more about our event here, or check out the  photos!

Photos by Kirsten James
Upcoming: Theatre program for newcomer young women
Submitted by Salma Eddiani, Settlement Youth Worker 

ICA Youth Services is proud to present its newest summer addition: the Theatre Program! This series of 11 workshops aims to bring young women from different backgrounds together to celebrate diversity, express themselves through art and learn English! This is a great opportunity for newcomer young women to make friends and be engaged in their community.

The program is open to female youth between the ages of 15 and 25 years old and will take place at ICA every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30 to 4:30 pm starting July 12.

Our multilingual (Arabic, French, Tagalog and English) and talented team comprises director Yasmine Kandil, Settlement Youth Work Salma Eddiani and theatre facilitator Sam Claver. Come express your talent with us!  For more information, please contact Salma Eddiani at seddiani@icavictoria.org .

تقدم... نشاط صيفي جديد للبنات بين العمر15 و 25 سنة. هذا البرنامج يمكّن الشابات التعلم اللغة الإنجليزية، التعرف على الفتيات في نفس العمر، والتعبير عن النّفس عبر الفن
يضم هذا البرنامج المصرحي 11 حصص تبدأ 12 تموز/ يولي والذي يقام كل يوم ثلاثاء والخميس
ويشمل فريقنا الأستاذة ياسمين قنديل والميسرات سلمى الدياني و سام كلافر
لالمزيد من المعلومات المرجو الاتصال بسلمى الدياني    

Sponsors for refugees needed!
Submitted by Alexandra Dawley, Resettlement Case Worker

The need for refugee sponsorship remains urgent. Every day, our Private Sponsorship of Refugees team meets with concerned family members from countries throughout the Middle East and Africa, desperate to sponsor family members living as refugees, in hope that their loved ones can leave dire situations behind and begin a new phase of life in the safety of Canada. 

Months ago we were approached by the local relatives of two families living as refugees in particularly vulnerable circumstances.  We are actively looking for groups interested in sponsoring these families... LEARN MORE.
ICA recognizes volunteers!
Submitted by Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services 

More than 75 ICA volunteers and staff attended the annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration on Thursday, May 12, 2016. The event recognized the dedication and outstanding contributions made by volunteers. Special recognition went to those volunteers having dedicated 5 or more years to ICA. Festivities included fabulous door prizes donated by several local businesses, delicious Mediterranean food, a fabulous singing performance and a heartfelt thank you by the ICA's Chief Executive Officer Jean McRae. 

Read more here... or visit our Flickr page!

Photos by Carol Sherwood and Lauren Kelly
Information session on refugee sponsorship!
Submitted by Sabine Lehr, Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager

ICA will hold an information session on the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program on July 13, 2016, from 5:00 - 6:30 pm. If you are thinking about refugee sponsorship, but are not sure what it entails and whether this is a good fit for you, this is the session for you. The session will take place at our main office, 930 Balmoral Rd. If you are planning to attend, please RSVP Sabine Lehr (slehr@icavictoria.org) so we know how many people to expect. We look forward to seeing you.

Read more....
Gearing up this year's ACE Camp!
Submitted by Kay Otani, SWIS Youth Worker

A week of summer camp is such a valuable experience for everyone - especially for newcomer children and youth. ICA's ACE! (Active Community Explorers) Camp one-week day-camp is an investment in personal development, community exploration, and summer connections.
At the ACE! Camp, children will have the opportunity to breathe in fresh forest and ocean air; explore our beautiful community; make new friends in a multicultural environment; and participate in sports, arts and cooking classes. 

Pen Pals meet their match!
Submitted by Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services

The ICA Pen Pal Program matched 14 individual English language learners in an ICA intermediate level English language class with ICA volunteers from the Greater Victoria community. The Pen Pals exchanged letters over a 3-month period, between February and May 2016. Through their letters they shared the rich experiences of their lives and cultures.

The Pen Pals met one another for the first at a potluck which included a wonderful spread of dishes representing different cultures.  It was a festive atmosphere as the Pen Pals were given the fun exercise of figuring out who their Pen Pal was. 

Here is what some of the English language learners had to say about their experience...

ICA launches a new website!

ICA is happy to report that we have officially launched a new website! In collaborate with  McAllister Marketing, we have all been working hard over the past months to create a relevant, inviting, and interactive interface that appeals to the needs of our clients and partners!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank McAllister Marketing for all their support, and to remind our partners who have linked content to our website that they are welcome to reach out to with us any questions. URLs to specific pages may need to be updated, or web history and cache cleared in order to enjoy our new website to its fullest! We will continue working hard to ensure all information is up to date and appreciate any feedback.

Want to comment on our new website? Contact Lauren Kelly at  lkelly@icavictoria.org

Check out our new website here....
Success and Taxes
Submitted by Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services

This tax season, ICA was fortunate to have 8 enthusiastic volunteers who devoted their time and expertise to helping ICA clients prepare their income taxes.
ICA is one of several organizations that partners annually with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program through Canada Revenue Agency. Volunteers help newcomer clients fill out income tax forms, provide information, and answer inquiries about the Canadian income tax process.
Between March and May of 2016, ICA volunteers helped 240 clients file their tax and benefit returns!
Huge thanks to Volunteers Amanda, Glen, Jenny, Liane, Marleen, Peter, Sim, and Terry - we couldn't have done it without YOU!
For more information, contact Coordinator of Volunteer Services Liz Bean at lbean@icavictoria.org.

ICA's youth team continues to grow!
Salma Eddiani, Settlement Youth Worker

Hello! My name is Salma Eddiani, I was born and raised in Rabat, Morocco. The west coast of British Columbia was the first part of the world I have ever visited when I was 8 years old. The love of BC brought me back as an immigrant when I was 14 - that was in 2011! I then pursued a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Victoria and am now part of the team at ICA.  
One of the things I love most about Canada is its tolerant attitude towards differences as the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy. I was privileged to be brought up in a very multicultural society, and it nurtured a love for discovery and languages. My fluency in 3 languages allows me to explore many other cultures and to connect with individuals from different backgrounds. I feel strongly about the importance of multiculturalism in shaping an inclusive, productive and culturally rich society and was awarded the Maple Leaf Youth Award for an essay stressing the importance of multiculturalism in our Canadian society.

ICA's new youth team members, Zhiqi Jiang and Melody Wise
Zhiqi Jiang, Newcomer Youth Summer Camp Facilitator

Hello. My name is Zhiqi Jiang, I am one of the new summer students for ICA Youth Summer Camps. I just graduated from Claremont Secondary School in June. I arrived in Canada with my family from China in 2013, since then ICA has been very helpful to me and my family. Therefore, I became an active particip ant at ICA and volunteered at the Homework Club for one and a half years. Interacting with ICA triggered my interest in newcomer issues, I even started a club in my school to assist newcomer students. In addition, I volunteered for Craigdarroch Castle and Victoria Conservatory of Music. I love interacting with people and gradually found my passion in humanity issues. In September, I am heading to the University of Toronto to major in International Relations. I am very excited to spend my last summer of high school working in this friendly and familiar environment. I am also looking forward to meeting new friends, and to gain new knowledge and skills.

Melody Wise, Newcomer Youth Summer Camp Facilitator

I've been involved with ICA for a little over a year as a volunteer with youth programs such as the Homework Club, Youth Community Project, and the Vibe. This summer, I am more than excited to be taking on the role of Immigrant Youth Summer Camps Facilitator. I'm inspired by the unbounded potential in newcomer children and youth and have dedicated six years to working with youth in recreational and educational environments. As a volunteer at the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, and the daughter of an immigrant, I have a special appreciation for the difficulties faced by newcomers. I have great admiration for the support that ICA provides to newcomers in Victoria and feel incredibly lucky to aid an organization like ICA in creating welcoming and inclusive communities.
Learn more about Zhiqi and Melody.... 
A warm welcome to Pedro Oliveira, ICA's newest Employment Case Manager
I was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal and moved to Canada when I was 20 years old. I have held a variety of jobs from management to marketing. While in marketing, I was fortunate to go to China where I worked in cities such as Beijing, Dalian City and Chengdu. Eventually my career took me to employment services and I enjoyed working in the field for 8 years and then went on to pursue my MBA at Royal Roads University in Human Resources.

Upon graduation I returned to employment services and returned to the employment field at Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society with a program called Skills Connect for internationally trained professionals. After switching over the Human Resource sector in retail for almost 4 years, I realized I missed supporting immigrants and refugees reach their employment goals. Today, I am very pleased to be back in the field and working with the EPBC program here at ICA.

In This Issue
ICA's Refugee Resettlement Event
Upcoming: Theatre program for newcomer young women
Sponsors for refugees needed!
ICA recognizes volunteers
Information session on refugee sponsorship
Gearing up for ACE camp
Pen Pals meet their match
ICA launches a new website
Success and taxes
ICA Youth Team Expands
Welcoming more 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...

Theatre Program for Newcomer Young Women 
Learn English and make friends using the arts. For immigrant and refugee young women aged 1525. 
July 12 - August 19, 2016

12:30 pm- 4:30 pm 

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

Oak Bay Night Market
Beginning June and continuing to September, Oak Bay Village is transformed into a European style market.  
Monthly, every second Wednesday
4 pm - 8 pm
Oak Bay Avenue  
Ship Point Night Market
Select weekends throughout the summer featuring artists, musicians, entertainers, and food vendors.  
Fridays & Saturdays
6 pm - 10:30 pm 
Ship Point

Oaklands Sunset Community Market
Showcases local farmers and vendors selling food, crafts, art, and jewerly. 
Wednesdays, June 22 - August 24, 2016
4:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Canada Day at Fort Rod Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse
Victoria's biggest Canada Day celebration, includes live music and fun activities. 
Friday, July 1, 2016  
10:30 am - 4:30 pm 
Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse NHS.

Cultural & Arts Festival of India
Come and enjoy the festival during the Canada Day weekend at the Victoria Hindu Temple.   
July 1, 2016
11 am - 6 pm
Victoria Hindu Temple
Gorge on Art
Offered as part of the Gorge Canada Day Picnic, this free community event features artists exhibiting their work along the scenic Gorge Waterway.
Friday, July 1, 2016
9:30 am - 4 pm
Gorge Park Waterway

Songhees Islands Cultural Tour
Songhees First Nation in partnership with Eagle Wing Tours invites you to join us on an exciting First Nations Cultural tour that includes whale and wildlife viewing.   
July 6 & July 13, 2016
9 am - 2 pm
Eagle Wing Whale Watching Tours

Pride Parade
Starting on the corner of Government and Pandora, join in over 100 colourful groups and floats by local businesses, nonprofits, and LGBTQ community members and allies. 
Sunday, July 10, 2016
12 pm - 1 pm 
Government Street 
Colour Vibe 5K 
The Colour Vibe is coming to Esquimalt-Victoria and wants you to experience the most vibrant 5K!
July 10, 2016
9 am
Bullen Park

Languages Canada World Student Day
Join Languages Canada schools and international students as they celebrate the third annual World Student Day.
July 15, 2016
11 am - 2 pm
Centennial Square
Learn to Camp 
Parks Canada and Moutain Equipment Co-op are hosting this fun event for families to stay overnight in a tent at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site. 
Saturday, July 23 - July 24, 2016 
1 pm - 11 am (next day)
Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse NHS

Victoria Symphony Splash
The Victoria Symphony performs on the shores of the Inner Harbour.   
July 31, 2016
7:30 pm - 10 pm
Inner Harbour

Shakespear by the Sea
Daily at Fisherman's Wharf Park with performances of Othello, Much Ado About Nother, and locally-written, Shakespeare-inspired play, Richard the Lionhearted. Join on the lawn for Victoria's fifth season.   
June 28 - August 7, 2016
7 pm - 9 pm
Fisherman's Wharf Park

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