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A year of refugee arrivals: an infograph
A message from Jean McRae, ICA CEO

It has been just over 1 year since government-assisted Syrian refugees were welcomed into the Greater Victoria community, and a huge thank you goes out to community members, volunteers, staff, donors, partners, and the many other supporters who did an amazing job assisting with resettlement efforts. 

This infograph  provides an overview of refugee arrivals from the past year, and will continue to be updated and shared as the months progress and more newcomers are welcomed into the region.

We Speak Translate: Google Translate & ICA partner to launch new project
Submitted by Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator
Google Translate and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) have partnered to launch the first of its kind initiative utilizing the Google Translate App for refugee resettlement and new immigrant inclusion in the Capital Region.

The We Speak Translate project will engage community stakeholders, businesses, community agencies, institutions, and the public sector in Google Translate training. Upon completion of the 40-minute training, community stakeholders and partners will receive a We Speak Translate decal, a visible symbol of inclusion and Victoria's commitment to promoting diversity and communication across language barriers. Google Translate training will also be provided to newcomer immigrants and refugees through ICA English language classes and other avenues. Familiarity with the Google Translate App will help to establish a common platform for communication while English language skills develop.

Google is humbled and excited to be supporting this project with the goal of helping New Canadians make the often challenging transition to life in Canada through language and engagement. - Google Spokesperson
ICA and the BC Manufacturing Sector team up to provide jobs to Syrian Refugees
Submitted by Deb Hamblin, Employment Services Manager

Workshop participants, facilitator, and interpreter

These are exciting times for our employment services team at ICA as we leap headlong into spring and see the launch of another new employment program in 2017. The Refugee Training and Employment Program is an 8 week program for Syrians (now Permanent Residents) who came to Canada as refugees. The program, in partnership with the British Columbia Alliance of Manufacturers (BCAM), and funded by the BC-Canada job fund, provides training and a guaranteed job offer in the manufacturing sector at the end of 8 weeks of full-time job preparation. Newcomers participate in lessons on health and safety, take English language training (ESL), and learn how to interact in the Canadian Workplace and how to avoid pitfalls. Classes are conducted in English, for extra English exposure and practice, and are translated into Arabic. Language support is provided throughout the program and into the workplace. Twelve very enthusiastic participants have been selected for the program and we look forward to following them on their journey to their first job in Canada.

Read more about employment training for refugees here.

Free dental screening and cleaning for resettled refugee children (5-18 years)
Submitted by Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator

The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA), Island Health, and Camosun College Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) program are collaborating to provide free dental screening and teeth cleaning services for resettled refugee children ages 5-18 years.

Do you know someone who meets the criteria and who might be interested in booking an appointment for an initial dental screening on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 between 9 am - 5 pm? Keep reading to find out more, or contact Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator at klongpre@icavictoria.org

Dental Screenings

Dental screenings will occur on  Wednesday, May 3 from  9 am - 5 pm . Screenings take approximately 30 minutes. ICA staff and Arabic interpreters will be on-site at Camosun College for the dental screenings. The screening appointment examines the oral health of each child to determine their dental needs; scaling and x-rays will be completed if required. If cavities are found and/or additional dental work is required outside of Camosun College's capacity, parents will be informed and can follow up with another dentist at their own cost. 

Youth Update: Saying farewell to some programs and welcoming others
Submitted by Lennard Fruehling, Youth and Family Support Services Coordinator

Spring has arrived in the Youth Department and with that we are wrapping up some  of f our new additions in programming that started in January 2017. The CoRe (Coping and Resilience) program is coming to an end and we have plenty of reasons to celebrate as the program was a huge success. The CoRe program was designed to give our newcomer youth the opportunity develop their self-care and coping skills.

There were smiling faces everywhere at the CoRe Youth Retreat in Cowichan Lake at the beginning of March. We were spending two days with the youth in this beautiful nature setting, a real sense of community was built during the program and the retreat. The creative elements of the program encouraged youth to try new things, to express themselves through stories, and to gain skills to apply in their day-to-day life to boost mood and well-being. Facilitators and youth alike had light in their eyes after a meditative drumming session, as all youth were drumming in-sync by the end of the session.
Read more from our blog  here.  
Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership (GVLIP) launches new logo and Community Challenge Paper
Submitted by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

In late March 2017, the Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership (GVLIP) recently unveiled its new logo and released a Community Challenge Paper (CCP) to kick-start the next phase of the GVLIP initiative.

What is the Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership (GVLIP)?
The GVLIP is a cross-sector initiative funded by the Government of Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Coordinated by ICA, the GVLIP brings together key community stakeholder agencies and businesses, many of whom are members of the Community Partnership Network, to look at creating a regional immigration settlement and integration strategy for our growing and changing community.
GVLIP Challenge Paper and Community Dialogue
The GVLIP recently drafted and circulated the Community Challenge Paper to key stakeholders. This paper is designed to spark a dialogue about how we can make the Greater Victoria region more welcoming for newcomers. An accompanying online survey then invites stakeholders to provide feedback and check assumptions around a range of topics related to immigration, refugee resettlement, inclusiveness, and how we can best ensure the effective integration of newcomers.

Belonging Storytelling Forums: I've Not Always Been Canadian
Are you a newcomer to Canada? A recently arrived refugee or immigrant, or one who arrived in the distant past?
As part of Canada's 150 year celebrations, we'd like to invite you to share your story of arrival and settlement in Canada at one of the four Storytelling Forums above. The reality of fully embracing a Canadian identity can be daunting and ICA wants to create a healthy space for newcomers and established immigrants to articulate what it means to "belong" and to be "Canadian" - what it feels like to be seen/not seen as "other" because of how one looks, talks or prays. 
Read the full description here or visit the  
In This Issue
A year of refugee arrivals: an infograph
We Speak Translate: Google Translate & ICA partner to launch new project
ICA and the BC Manufacturing Sector team up to provide jobs to Syrian Refugees
Free dental screening and cleaning for resettled refugee children
Youth Update: Saying farewell to some programs and welcoming others
Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership launches new logo & Community Challenge Paper
Belonging Storytelling Forums: I've not always been Canadian
What's Happening?
Community Events

Have you seen Margriet Ruurs latest book? Written to the artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr. 
Purchase yours at 
ICA reception for $20. 



2017 Inter-Faith Calendar 
Price reduced to $15. 
Purchase available at ICA reception. 


What's Happening?  
Weekly Settlement Orientation 
Important information to help newcomers settle in Victoria. 
February 8-March 15, 2017
Wednesdays 12:30 - 2:30 pm 

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

Bike Skills Workshop
A workshop designed to teach bike road safety for youth ages 13 and up.
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday, April 8, 2017

Incorporate Your Business
What does Incorporate mean? Learn the benefits of incorporating a business.
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Monday, April 10, 2017

Growing Roots Garden Project
Learn how to grow food, plant, maintain and harvest locally grown produce
12 pm - 1:30 pm 
Thursdays, April 27 - September 28, 2017   

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

C ommunity Events

BC SPCA Wild ARC's 13th Annual Open House 
Bring your family and friends to see what it takes to care for over 3000 injured and orphaned wild animals.
12 pm - 4 pm
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Roller Derby 2017 Season Opener
Join for a 50/50 raffle, half-time entertainment and much more!
Saturday, April 1, 2017
5 pm - 9 pm
1151 Esquimalt Road
$10-$15 Admission

Artist Talk with Carl Bessai
Carl Bessai gives an intimate artist talk about his improvisational style.
1 pm - 3 pm
Sunday, April 2, 2017 
102-764 Yates Street
By Donation

African Percussion Concert
High energy music performed by the 35-member African Percussion Ensemble. 
12 pm
Monday, April 3, 2017
UVic School of Music (Phillip T. Recital Hall)
Admission by donation

2 Pianos 4 Hands: A Comedy
A comedy about Music Ted and Richard becoming classical pianists.
Various times
Thursday - Saturday, April 6 - 8

Short Circuit & Cinespark Launch
Join for the launch of Short Circuit: Pacific Rim Film Festival.
6:30 pm
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Free admission

Where Did Time Go: Annual VCCF Fundraising Gala
Show your support for the Victoria Chinatown Care Centre by attending this wonderful event. Includes live performances, a silent auction, surprise prizes, and a delicious dinner.
6 pm
Friday, April 7, 2017
Leonardo Da Vinci Centre
195 Bay Street 
email: vccf.tickets@gmail.com

Terry Fox Exhibition
Explore the story of a young man who inspired a nation. 
10 am
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Royal BC Museum
Admission $16 - $22

Easter at the Market
A free Easter event featuring live music, a photo booth, and craft table.
12:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Victoria Public Market
Free Admission

Ensemble Laude: The Open Window
Victoria's premier women's choir presents exciting pieces such as Gamelan by Murray Schafer and From Behind the Caravan by Abbie Betinis.
7:30 pm
Saturday, April 29, 2017
1205 Pandora St, First Church of Christ
$15 - $18

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