Immigrants Support the Canadian Economy
Catherine Holt, CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Canada is already facing a chronic labour shortage, and it will only get worse as we progress towards negative population growth by as early as 2034. Immigrants are making a significant beneficial contribution to our social, cultural and economic prosperity.
This spring, at a meeting of the Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership (GVLIP), Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO, Catherine Holt, noted that immigration is "vital to our economic prosperity." According to the Conference Board of Canada, our economy could slow down by 1/3 or more unless we boost immigration targets to 1% of our population by 2030. Based on Canada's current targets, we will see around 340,000 newcomers in 2020 with approximately 1,500 people coming to the Greater Victoria area, so these targets are well with in reach... 

For more information on Game Changer, email Ai Sakamoto at
Camp Connect / Adventurers + Explorers 

The end of the school year is just a few short weeks away, and many parents are scrambling to find affordable options for summer programs that will deliver a great summer experience for their children.
Under the direction of Youth and Family Services Coordinator, Gita John-lyam, and her team, ICA's Camp Connect programs have grown and offer fun, educational, active camps that get kids outdoors, develop their creativity and help them build community. The program offers camps that are 5 days long, from 9 am to 4 pm. The Adventurers camp is for youth, ages 7 to 10 years, and the Explores camp is for youth, ages 11-14 years, along with additional programs for older youth.
As Gita points out, "Collaborations with our community partners, like Power To Be and Science Venture, have really helped to expand the richness of our camp experience." 
The sliding scale of fees keeps the program accessible to those who would benefit from some financial assistance.
Visit our website or contact our Youth and Family Services team for more information and camp registration. Email: Robin McGeough at

New BVOR Fund to Help Cover Refugee Settlement Costs

We have some exciting news to share with you! ICA was recently informed that there is a new, time-limited Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Fund available. What this means is that there are funds available to cover a large portion of the settlement costs associated with the sponsorship of refugees referred to Canada by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)...

The Value of Aging Across Cultures

Statistically speaking, we are living longer in a youth-obsessed society. As a result, ageism and stereotypical attitudes against aging seem to be more widely accepted in our society, and many seniors are feeling disenfranchised.
But what is old? How do youth view aging? What is the real story behind the lived experience of seniors? How do cultural perspectives inform our attitudes?
We examine these questions in the Value of Aging Across Cultures, a senior-led project funded by the New Horizons for Seniors program. ICA is inviting participants to join us for two community conversation sessions, June 13 and June 15, to explore this topic in depth. 

Paulina Grainger, Manager of Arts and Community Engagement, says, "I hope to see a diverse group of people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and lived experience at these sessions. This will give us the most telling picture of what aging in our community really looks like." 
From here, our goal is to work with some of the community participants and our committee members to produce a beautiful book that reflects the truth and the value of aging.
To participate in these two sessions, contact Paulina Grainger at   or 205.388.4728 ext. 138 to register.
World Refugee Day

International World Refugee Day (WRD) will be held in Victoria on Thursday, June 20.  ICA is an involved and active supporter of World Refugee Day events. We observe this day to commemorate the strength, courage, perseverance, resilience and ongoing struggles of the millions of people who have been and are now considered refugees globally. 
As defined by the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is...

Welcome to ICA: Karman and Sandy  
Karman Lippitt: Community Engagement Facilitator
Karman has recently relocated to Victoria from Northern Australia, where she lived for the last 27 years. "My experience in community development and natural and cultural resource management has allowed me to work extensively in cross-cultural and inter-cultural  contexts. I've always had a strong interest in diverse cultures, languages and perspectives. 

Karman has a solid professional background in delivering employment and training programs, managing large government and private sector investments, and working on projects with culturally diverse and cross-sectoral partners with and for Indigenous people and communities.  We are excited to welcome her to the ICA  Community Engagement team.

Sandy Sifert: Immigrant
Employment Specialist

"I grew up on the Island, in the West Shore communities, before spending 10 years in the US, and I am delighted to be back in Victoria working with the ICA's Employment Services team, helping our clients gain the skills they need for obtaining and retaining employment in Canada."

With a background in marketing, sales and as a career advisor for private schools, Sandy completed her degree this past year at the University of Victoria and has been working in employment services for over five years. "I have assisted several individuals with many different skills, abilities, and backgrounds in seeking and securing sustainable employment, allowing them to flourish in their jobs and be an integral part of their community."
Employment Resources 

Did you know?

ICA is a Work BC Employment Services Centre? We have a full suite of services for all your employment needs, including a variety of workshops and programs.