I've Not Always Been Canadian

I've Not Always Been Canadian is an exhibition of photography and stories from immigrants to Canada on display at the Bruce Hutchison Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library from May 1 to 14. Until April 30, the exhibition is featured at the Central Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library.
Paulina's perspective:

How do you define a Canadian? What influences your sense of belonging? Do you feel Canadian?

These are the pointed questions we asked newcomers to Canada, immigrants and refugees who have recently arrived and who came in the distant past. Their answers are points in time on their journey to building a new life in Canada. The reality of coming from somewhere else, leaving everything we're familiar with and settling here, is not an easy one. It sometimes takes years before we are comfortable enough to call this place our home and to feel like we belong - let alone embrace a Canadian identity. 

We may experience a lot of joys and successes along the way but, many times, we're trying to reconcile being from two different worlds, cultures, traditions. We're constantly trying to tally all we have gained against all we have lost in the hope of reassuring ourselves we're making strides in this new country. And, in the midst of this struggle to keep our heads above water and to fit in, we're often considered outsiders because of the way we speak, look, dress, or pray. Not easy.

Quinton's perspective:

The dialogue around immigration, the growing cultural diversity of Canada, and the evolving Canadian identity is vital to us moving forward as a society, unified by strong values, mutual respect, and a positive future. Canada is, by definition, an immigrant nation, and settlers, migrants, and refugees have come to this land for centuries now, to a land first held by a rich and diverse Indigenous population whose history stretches back tens of thousands of years. It is to their land that we have come, to build new lives, new homes and to prosper. All those who are not of First Nations heritage have an immigrant story in their history, and this history must pave the way for us to have open hearts and minds in an increasingly globalized world.

To book this exhibit, please contact Paulina Grainger, ICA, Arts and Outreach Coordinator:  pgrainger@icavictoria.org.

Community Partnership Network: Leading with 
Cultural Intelligence
Submitted by  Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

Steven Baileys, ICA's Community Development Coordinator, with facilitators
Dr. Norah McRae and Dr. Karima Ramji from UVic

Have you ever had trouble communicating with someone from a different culture? Perhaps you struggled to understand someone's speech or interpret their behaviour.  Whether in a university or a workplace, it is common to face barriers and challenges to effective cross-cultural communication. 

To relate and work more effectively in a range of culturally diverse situations, we need to develop our capacity for Cultural Intelligence (CQ).  To help improve our CQ, the Community Partnership Network (CPN) and ICA partnered with UVic's Co-operative Education Program and Career Services to host a workshop: "Leading with Cultural Intelligence (CQ)." 

Participants at the Cultural Intelligence workshop.
Thank you to our wonderful volunteers!
Submitted by Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services

National Volunteer Week  took place from April 15 to 21. It's a time celebrate and thank Canada's 12.7 million volunteers who make incredible contributions in communities across the country. 

Here at ICA, we are very fortunate to have so many kind, committed, and dedicated volunteers who are instrumental in helping ICA in its mission to assist newcomer immigrants. 

Volunteers bring open hearts and incredible energy and enthusiasm to help newcomers adjust to life in Canada. 

Click here to review the enormous contributions volunteers make to ICA. 

To our volunteers, ICA extends a big heartfelt Thank You!

Learn more about ICA's volunteer programs.

We Speak Translate celebrates one-year anniversary 
Submitted by Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator

During its first year, We Speak Translate training has been 
delivered to more than 1,800 participants. 

ICA's We Speak Translate project celebrated its one-year anniversary in April 2018. 

The We Speak Translate project launch event was hosted on April 12, 2017 at the Delta Ocean Pointe Hotel with over 200 community stakeholders in attendance. Since the project launched, more than 100 training sessions have been delivered in person and via webinar across Canada to over 1,800 participants. 

Google Translate took a moment to celebrate the milestone with the following quote from Barak Turovsky, Google Translate's Head of Product:

"We are thrilled to see the continued success of this program, which helps newcomers overcome the challenge of settling into a new environment with a new language. Happy anniversary, We Speak Translate!"

To learn more about We Speak Translate, contact: Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator, at klongpre@icavictoria.org or 250-388-4728.

Kate Longpre, ICA's Community Integration Coordinator

Pathways to Prosperity and ICA: Workshop on the role of international students in Canada's immigration program
Submitted by Quinton Gordon, Manager, Strategic Engagement

Michael Haan, Department of Sociology, University of Western Ontario

On April 20, at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, Pathways to Prosperity and ICA hosted a full-day workshop to  discuss the role of international students in Canada's immigration program. The sessions included research on the characteristics of international students who come to Canada, where they are going, and why, and discussed how well international students are doing in Canada. 

The workshop provided opportunities to discuss innovative services and supports for international students, employer and municipal perspectives on hiring and retaining international students, barriers international students face in seeking permanent residency in Canada, and strategies for overcoming these barriers. 

Here are some photos from the workshop. 

Youcheng Ding, Student, UBC

Anne Cirillo, International Student Services, UVic

Left: Michael Haan, Department of Sociology, University of Western Ontario
Centre: Youcheng Ding, Student, UBC. 
Right: Valeri Pilgrim, Internationalization Office, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Welcome to ICA: Quinton Gordon
Quinton Gordon

Hello! My name is Quinton Gordon, and I am ICA's new Manager of Strategic Engagement. 

Born and raised in a small, rural Canadian town, I was fascinated by the diversity of the world from an early age, and as a shy teenager, found that a camera gave me a way to explore, connect with people, and learn their stories. 

Since graduating with a BA from the Image Arts / Photographic Arts program at Ryerson University in 1990, I have worked as a freelance writer, photographer, filmmaker, and educator with a primary focus on social, environmental, and cultural documentary. My goal has always been to help people share their stories, and through these stories, to promote an open and constructive dialogue on social and environmental responsibility, cultural diversity, inclusiveness, and multiculturalism.

My work has taken me around the world and offered the opportunity to live in new countries and collaborate with many wonderful people in Central America, Canada, Greenland, New Zealand, and parts of Australasia.

Now, I make my home in Victoria, where I live with my partner, our daughter, and a growing assortment of animals, including two slightly odd but productive chickens. 
Featured Workshop: Cooking for Newcomers
Submitted by Aly Essa, Training Facilitator 

Join your friends, meet new people, and learn something new at an ICA workshop. ICA offers a variety of one-day and multi-day workshops for newcomers. 

Cooking for Newcomers is a fun way to learn more about Canadian ingredients and try out easy, healthy recipes you and your family will enjoy. The next session of Cooking for Newcomers is May 1, 2018 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Or sign up now for the class on June 14 from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. To register, email Aly Essa at aessa@icavictoria.org or call 250-38804728, ext 158. 

Other upcoming workshops include Citizenship Classes, Prenatal Classes, Women's Yoga, Lunchtime Speaking, Employment Workshops, and so much more. Learn more about upcoming workshops. 

bc211: Help is just a call away 
Submitted by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

Need help with language and employment training? Looking for childcare services? Wondering where you can find services in your local community? Help is just a call or click away.
Last year, United Way Greater Victoria launched bc211 to the residents of Vancouver Island. bc211 is a free, confidential telephone, texting, and online referral service that connects individuals to hundreds of community, social, and government services. 
Wh en you call 2-1-1, you speak with a highly trained specialist who will listen carefully and ask questions to determine which service will be the best possible match for your needs. Phone service is available in 160 different languages and there is someone there to answer your call 24/7, 365 days a year. Online, at bc211.ca, you can search a directory of over 13,000 records that lists detailed information about newcomer services, mental health support, childcare, legal aid, addictions treatment, shelters and housing, food banks, and so much more. 

No matter when you need support, bc211 is here to offer assistance. bc211 is for everyone.  Get connected to the help you need. Dial 2-1-1.

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.


In This Issue
I've Not Always Been Canadian
CPN: Leading with Cultural Intelligence
Thank you to our wonderful volunteers
We Speak Translate one-year anniversary
Pathways to Prosperity and ICA
Welcome to ICA: Quinton Gordon
Cooking for Newcomers
bc211: Help is just a call away
Employment resources
What's Happening?
Community Events
What's Happening?  
Citizenship Classes 
Help for applicants who are preparing for the citizenship test.  Two Fridays per month.
Learn More...    

Baby Talk
Come learn about feeding your baby, car seat safety, baby health, immunizations, dental care, and parenting.
10 am - 11;30 am
Friday  May 4, 2018

Cooking for Newcomers
Join your friends and learn to make some delicious and healthy food. 
May 1, 2018, 9:30 - 11:30 am
June 14, 2018, 12:30 - 2:30 pm

Settlement Orientations in English
Learn important information about Victoria
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm 
Wednesdays, May 2, 9, 16, 2018

Settlement Orientations in Chinese
Learn important information about Victoria.
9:30 am - 11:30 pm
Wednesdays, May 2, 9, 16, 2018
Learn more...

Job Search for Newcomers
Employment workshops for newcomers.
Tuesdays, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Thursdays, 9 am - 12 pm  
May 8 - 24, 2018
Learn more...

Lunchtime Speaking
Practise your English by having conversations and playing word games.
Tuesdays, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
May 8 - 29, 2018  

Homework Club 
A safe place for children and youth ages 6 to 18 to do homework.
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Wednesdays, September 2017 - June 2018

The Meet Up
A free weekly program for newcomer teens ages 13 to 19.
4 pm - 7 pm
Fridays, September 2017 - June 2018

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

Community Events

Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival
More than 9,000 Victoria-area students of music, dance, and dramatic arts perform on stages throughout the city at v arious venues.
April 4 to May 12, 2018 
Tickets range from $8 to $15

Asian Heritage Month: An Evening with Author Jen Sookfong Lee
Author Jen Sookfong Lee will be at Golden City Restaurant to talk about her upbringing in Vancouver and the inspiration for her books: The Conjoined, The Better Mother, The End of East, and others. Presented by the Jade Phoenix Club. 
May 5, 2018, 6 pm 
Tickets $45.00 (includes 8-course dinner).
For reservations and more information, email Charlayne Thornton-Joe at cpthorntonjoe@gmail.com

World Partnership Walk and Asian Heritage Celebrations
The World Partnership Walk started over 30 years ago, when a group of immigrant women in Vancouver wanted to give back to communities they had left behind in Africa and Asia. Since then, it has become Canada's largest event in support of international development and has raised more than $100 million since 1985 to address the root causes of poverty, and help unlock a brighter future.
University of Victoria: 5 km walk on trails.
Sunday May 27, 2018
Registration starts at 9.30 am

Mabuhay: Celebrating Philippine Cuisine
Bring your friends and family to celebrate Philippine culture with food, songs, dances, games for children, and much more. This is a fundraiser for Philippine Bayanihan Community Centre.  
Centennial Square
Saturday, June 16, 2018
10 am - 6 pm