Immigration Waterloo Region Weekly

September 12, 2022

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Immigration Partnership News

Last Two Weeks to Apply to the Fund for Immigrant Economic Wellbeing

Accepting applications until Sept 23. Agencies, individuals, groups and businesses involved in the settlement, integration and economic wellbeing of immigrants and refugees in Waterloo Region can still apply for support from the Fund for Immigrant Economic Wellbeing.

This Fund targets initiatives that enhance the immigrant employment, entrepreneurship and economic wellbeing. Supported through the Region of Waterloo’s Equity Fund, a total of $1 million is available for granting.

October 5 is the next deadline to apply to the Immigration Partnership Fund for Immigrant and Refugee Initiatives. Established at the Waterloo Region Community Foundation as a signal of the welcoming community Waterloo Region strives to be, this fund supports initiatives that facilitate the welcoming, settling and integration of Ukrainians fleeing war and Afghan and other refugees in the Region.

Visit for further information on eligibility and application links.

For more information, please contact Tara Bedard, Immigration Partnership Executive Director at

Join Waterloo Region Welcoming Week 2022

Sept 9-18

Welcoming Week 2022 is Underway! Last week, Welcoming Week 2022 Kicked off with health and wellness tours at the YMCA of Three Rivers, a picnic for newcomers at the Kinbridge Community Association by City of Cambridge, a virtual art show and colouring contest by Muslim Women of Cambridge and Greenway-Chaplin Community Centre.

Welcoming Week continues through Sept 18 with various activities for newcomers to connect with community services and get to know their new home:

  • Health & Wellness Tours, hosted by YMCA of Three Rivers
  • Invitation to Belonging, hosted by Volunteer Waterloo Region
  • Welcome Week Tour and Practice your English Events, hosted by Idea Exchange
  • Territorial Acknowledgements: From Awareness to practice, hosted by Immigration Partnership
  • Newcomer Info Night, hosted by KW Multicultural Centre and Public Kitchener Library
  • GRT Ride a Bus, hosted by Region of Waterloo

Everyone is invited! Welcoming Week 2022 is also a great opportunity for quality interactions between old and new residents. Join us this week and say "Welcome to Waterloo Region!"

Visit to check details and registration links of the events and activities happening during this week.

Last Days to Get Your #RacialEquityWR Sign

During Welcoming Week 2022, residents can still pick up a FREE #RacialEquityWR lawn sign at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener Public Library, Waterloo Public Library, Region of Waterloo Library or Idea Exchange Library locations, and display it in their home or business to show solidarity, share how they take action against hate and help spread the message of embracing diversity, belonging and equity for all. Details at

About Welcoming Week

Welcoming Week is an annual campaign and celebration to showcase the movement of communities striving to be more welcoming places for all, including immigrants. This year’s Welcoming Week marks the 10th anniversary of what is now a global event, Canada’s third year participating nationally and Waterloo Region's first year joining this event.

The Immigration Partnership and community partners, in collaboration with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), invite residents to join this week to celebrate diversity, inclusion and belonging in Waterloo Region.

Meet, mingle and learn about services available to you in Waterloo Region. As part of Welcoming Week 2022, the KW Multicultural Centre, Kitchener Public Library and Immigration Partnership are hosting an informative, free and fun event for newcomers, refugees and volunteers who support them!

There will be:

  • Community organizations will host booths with information about local services 
  • Free family portraits and professional headshots by local photographer
  • An activity for families
  • Grand River Transit bus tour 
  • Free prizes for the first 100 attendees 

Interpretation is available in FrenchArabic, Tigrinya, Spanish and Ukrainian Registration is not required. More information here.

Waterloo Region Employer Playbook 

The Immigration Partnership is excited to release a new resource:  Employer Playbook: Strategies for Immigrant Inclusion in Canadian Workplaces (Waterloo Region Edition). This website is a collection of accessible, easy-to-implement strategies to help employers recruit and hire newcomer talent that will help create diverse communities, drive economic growth, and transform the Region. 

Immigrants bring skills and experience to the workforce and play an essential role in addressing Canada’s labour market shortages. Businesses in the Waterloo Region that hire newcomers: 

  • Are more innovative, competitive, and resilient. 
  • Gain a competitive advantage by attracting talent, expanding to diverse consumers, and ensuring future workforce resilience.  
  • Create new demand for local products and services and generate millions’ worth of taxes per year for local, provincial, and federal governments. 

Check out the Playbook to see how immigrant inclusion can drive economic growth:

This is an initiative of the Immigration Partnership along with World Education Services (WES) and local stakeholders such as Agilec, the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Carizon, dB Noise Reduction, Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, Region of Waterloo, Waterloo Region Small Business Centre, Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin and YMCA.

Recording Available: "Waterloo Region's White Supremacy Awareness & Action"

Workshop with Selam Debs

Community partners who did not have the opportunity to attend the workshop "Waterloo Region's White Supremacy Awareness & Action" in April can still access the recording here until Oct 1. This workshop was facilitated by Selam Debs, Anti-Racism Coach, for members of the Immigration Partnership, Children and Youth Planning Table and Wellbeing Waterloo Region. Participants reflected on how whiteness is socially reproduced as the aspirational default, characteristics of white supremacy culture, how this impacts all of us, even very early on in young children, and much more.

For more details on these events and other immigration, anti-racism and community initiatives, follow us on our social media accounts!
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Community Partner Highlights 

Immigrant Services and Interpretation Open

Refugee Integration Updates

Community members can support Afghan and other refugees arriving in the region in many ways: Providing affordable housing or primary care, making monetary donations to the Immigration Partnership Fund or Reception House Waterloo Region, donating clothing and other items, sponsoring refugee families, supporting family reunification efforts,etc. Visit for more information on the Afghan Resettlement in Waterloo Region!

Visit to learn how residents of Waterloo Region can support the Ukrainians coming to Canada. In addition, visitors will find helpful information and tools shared by the federal government specifically for Ukrainian individuals and families such as service access instructions, welcome to Canada checklist, SIN for Newcomers, etc.
Information and Resources

Ensuring the Success of International Students: A Collaborative Model, Report

This brief by Toronto Metropolitan University CERC in Migration and Integration recommends a collaborative model between governments, post-secondary institutions and the settlement sector to improve the outcomes for international students which will better meet the government’s policy objectives and help students integrate into the academic institution and labour market.

The Newcomer Entrepreneur Hub

It is a FREE program funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that uses a holistic training approach combining in-class curriculum, off-site trips, speakers and workshops. It is a pre-incubator for newcomers who want to turn their ideas into start-up businesses.For more information, visit:

A Great Opportunity for Immigrant Job Seekers: Multi-Employer Job Fair

Immigrant job seekers are encouraged to attend the Region of Waterloo Employment Services' In-Person Multi-Employer Job Fair at Country Hills Community Centre on Sept 21 to meet potential employers. In addition to the Job Fair, the Region is offering a workshop on Sept 14 at 10am to help job seekers prepare ahead of the event and build their confidence in meeting with prospective employers. Register here.  

The Bridge Project for Newcomers in Tech

The Bridge Project is a collection of resources that provides newcomers with the tools and insights that they need to find ideal employment in the Canadian tech sector and to grow and succeed as part of a thriving tech ecosystem. It aims to bridge the gap, empower newcomers for success and expand the talent pool for local tech companies!

Language Interpreter Training Program

Conestoga College offers a language interpreter training program which is designed for bilingual individuals who wish to work as spoken language interpreters in the legal, health care, social service and domestic violence prevention sectors in Ontario. The program has 6 courses. Each course is 5 weeks and is presented online Tuesday and Thursday every week from 6:30 to 9:30pm.

Events and Webinars

Immigrant Talent in Guelph Wellington: A Snapshot, Sept 15, 9:30am


Employers are invited to join the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin on September 15 for this virtual session on what the current labour market is doing, how it has shifted in the past 2 years, and the opportunities for their companies to engage more immigrants in the workplaces to meet their staffing demands.

Settlement Services Across Ontario, Sept 20, 1:30-3pm


Join Allies for Refugee Integration (ARI) webinar to hear about settlement services across Ontario and interact with key speakers. In this webinar, participants will hear from key speakers representing settlement agencies across Ontario, learn about available settlement services, the difficulties and challenges in accessing these services and how we can improve that access and more.

Startup Business Basics for Entrepreneurs, Sept 20, 10-11am, EDT


Learn the necessary steps to start your business with the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre. The topics include the various forms of business ownership, government regulations, the importance of a business plan, forecasting cash flow, identifying your target market and client profile, when and why to register for HST.

Walk this Way: March of 1,000 Umbrellas, Sept 15, 11am

Join the United Way Waterloo Region and hundreds of local businesses, organizations and community members to show support for our local agencies and all the people that provide the critical work on the ground in Waterloo Region. Special performance by Cambridge native Stacey Kay, Canada’s Got Talent Finalist.

Removing Barriers to Employment for Internationally Educated Healthcare Professionals (IEHPs), Sept 22, 1pm EST 


This webinar, presented by Dr. Zubin Austin of the University of Toronto, will provide a historical context from an Ontario perspective of the work that has occurred to assist in Internationally Trained Medical Graduates (IMG) and Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) integration as well as the barriers experienced by IEHPs.éseau-É A platform for settlement practitioners, Sept 29, 1pm EST


Settlement workers are invited to join the Community of Practice to learn, connect, share and collaborate | Réseau-É This is a bilingual online platform created and developed by settlement practitioners for settlement practitioners. On | Réseau-É, workers from the Immigrants and Refugees Serving sector can learn, connect and collaborate.

Let’s Talk Program for Newcomer Youth, Oct 5-Nov 23, 5-7pm


Let’s Talk is a free program by KW Multicultural Centre for newcomer youth ages 14-21  that focuses on academic and career guidance. The upcoming Fall sessions will run weekly on Wednesdays between Oct 5 - Nov 23 at the KPL Central Library, 85 Queen Street North, Kitchener. During this 8-week free program, youth will be connected with various community and career mentors for support and guidance based on their needs and interests. Let's Talk participants will also gain volunteer hours, make new friends, practice their English, and more as they become empowered to reach their future career and education goals. Please contact for more information.

Other Resources and News

Ontarians Aged 18+ Eligible for Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Dose  Ontario Newsroom, Sept 12, 2022

Your Voice Against Racism: Olabukonla Mise Waterloo Chronicle, Sept 10, 2022

Kitchener Centre MP Morrice creates petition to tackle housing problem CityNews Everywhere, Sept 09, 2022

‘We are walking side by side, equally,’ says Waterloo Region’s first Truth and Reconciliation director The Record, Sept 08, 2022

Ontario gives OK for nursing college to expedite international nurse registration CityNews Everywhere, Sept 07, 2022

Anishnabeg Outreach Centre of Healing hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics in September Waterloo Chronicle, Sept 06, 2022

Your Voice Against Racism: Melissa Star Ireland Waterloo Chronicle, Sept 02, 2022

Dining: On coal, Waterloo’s first Yemeni restaurant, specializes in “cultural platters” The Record, Sept 01, 2022

Conestoga College to welcome second refugee student CityNews Everywhere, Sept 01, 2022

Ontario announces new rules for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, and here's what residents need to know Cambridge Times, Aug 31, 2022

Coalition of Muslim Women leader on 'the very first step' of recovery CityNews Everywhere, Aug 31, 2022

Local Muslim organization celebrates 15 years in the community Waterloo Chronicle, Aug 31, 2022

Visit the Immigration Waterloo Region Website  **Click the top-centre translate feature to switch languages**

The Immigration Waterloo Region calendar has information about local programs and events for newcomers. Subscribe for a digest of events coming up in the next week or add your own events to share.
Feel free to send suggestions or relevant events/resources to include to the Immigration Waterlooo Region weekly by emailing Dan Vandebelt ( and Alejandra Amezquita Gutierrez (
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