Celebrating another successful year for ICA's LINC program
Submitted by Todd Kitzler, Language Services Manager 
June is always a busy time for ICA's LINC program as the school year winds up.  
This year, teachers held learner conferences with all their students. These conferences are an opportunity for teachers to meet with each student individually and discuss strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles and provide action-oriented feedback. This helps learners adjust their learning going forward to ensure that they achieve their goals.  
As of this June, 74 LINC students have accumulated enough assessments to progress to the next level. I would like to congratulate these students and all our LINC students on a successful year of learning.  
Many of ICA's LINC students are working and raising families/caring for loved ones in addition to learning English. They are highly motivated, hardworking people.  
On June 15, we held our annual LINC end-of-school-year potluck at Central Park next to Crystal Pool. The food was amazing, and the weather was nice. Fun was had by all as you can see in the pictures.  
I hope everyone has a good summer, and we will see you back in class in September. 

ICA Diversity Scholarship
ICA is currently accepting applications for the 2018 Diversity Scholarship, which recognizes the potential of students to cultivate diversity in the Capital Region.
The Greater Victoria area is growing and now reflects a variety of ethnicities, customs, languages, beliefs, abilities, values, and talents. According to the 2006 census, 19 per cent of Victoria's residents are immigrants born outside of Canada. Nearly nine per cent of Victoria residents are members of a visible minority ethno-cultural group.
"ICA seeks to support the education of culturally sensitive community leaders," says Jean McRae, ICA Chief Executive Officer. "Our scholarship program is an investment in the cultural capital of Greater Victoria."
Each year, ICA awards one $1,000 undergraduate scholarship and one $1,000 graduate scholarship for students in, or accepted into, degree programs at colleges and universities in the Greater Victoria area.
The application deadline is 
Tuesday, July 31, 2018.
The We Speak Translate project gains international recognition
Submitted by Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator
The We Speak Translate project is gaining international recognition and was accepted to be presented at the 2018 World Community Development Conference and the 2018 International Metropolis Conference .
Since the project launched in April 2017, more than 2,100 participants representing organizations, institutions, and businesses of diverse sectors across Canada have been trained.
To organize a free We Speak Translate training session, in person or via webinar, please contact ICA's Community Integration Coordinator, Kate Longpre at klongpre@icavictoria.org or 250-388-4728, ext. 167. Alternatively, you can register for one of the following upcoming We Speak Translate webinar training sessions:
Friday, July 13, 2018
9:30 am - 10:30 am (PST)
To register, visit the following link:
Friday, July 27, 2018
9:30 am - 10:30 am (PST)
To register, visit the following link:
Thursday, August 23, 2018
9:30 am - 10:30 am (PST)
World Refugee Day: Forced to Flee
Submitted by Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator
In recognition of World Refugee Day on June 20, 2018, ICA hosted a series of "Forced to Flee" simulations created by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. The simulations were delivered to ICA staff and leadership students at Lambrick Park High School, as well as two events for the public.
During the simulations, participants worked together in "family units," making difficult decisions to maintain their supply of food, money, and health, while securing their future post-conflict. The objective of the simulation was to transform thinking and inspire action around conflict, forced migration, refugee rights, and support.
For more information on the simulations visit:
International Refugee Rights Conference
Credit CCR Adaha John: ICA's Sabine Lehr and Anna Purkey moderating the Complementary Pathways caucus.

From June 7 to 9, members of the ICA staff participated in the International Refugee Rights Conference in Toronto. The conference was hosted by the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) and aimed to enhance effectiveness in promoting the human rights of refugees and vulnerable migrants.
Objectives of the Conference:
  • To promote ongoing cross-border networking, knowledge-exchange, strategizing, and collaboration among NGOs committed to the rights of refugees and vulnerable migrants, and between NGOs and academics.
  • To enhance NGO advocacy for better global protection for refugees and vulnerable migrants, including by giving input into the Global Compacts on refugees and migrants.
  • To enhance efforts to educate and engage the public, in order to energize support for policies respecting the rights of refugees and vulnerable migrants.
  • To increase knowledge of the inter-connections between policies and practices affecting refugees and migrants in different regions of the world.
  • To support the development of NGOs in the Global South committed to the rights of refugees and vulnerable migrants.
  • To support the inclusion of the voices of refugees and vulnerable migrants in discussions concerning them.
The three-day conference included more than 50 sessions, with 160-plus speakers and moderators and 125 volunteers. More than 650 people from 36 countries participated.   
Credit CCR Adaha John: ICA's Sabine Lehr co-moderating a workshop on Global Compact on Refugees.
Credit CCR Arden Maalik: with Sari Alesh
Credit CCR Adaha John: with Sharmarke Dubow
Growing roots in Victoria
Submitted by Amanda Gaunt, Training Coordinator 
The ICA Growing Roots Gardening Program is up and running again this year. We started Monday, May 28 and will continue through the summer into the fall.  
We meet every Monday from 2 to 4 pm at the Fernwood Community Garden located at 1216 North Park in the Fernwood Compost Education Centre. We work in our garden plot and also help with chores that involve the common areas of the Community Garden. It is a chance to grow to some delicious vegetables, meet other gardeners, and make new friendships.  
We are happy to welcome new immigrants interested in helping to tend the garden. No previous gardening experience is necessary - just a willingness to help, to hoe, and to have fun!
To register, email aessa@icavictoria.org or call 250-388-4728, ext 158.  
Learn more about Growing Roots and other ICA workshops and programs.   
I've Not Always Been Canadian

How do you define a Canadian? What influences your sense of belonging? Do you feel Canadian? These are the questions that launched I've Not Always Been Canadian, an exhibition of photography and stories from immigrants to Canada.  
From July 16 to 31, the exhibition is on display at The Atrium, at 800 Yates Street in downtown Victoria. 

The exhibition book is also now available for purchase online from Blurb Books with all proceeds going to support ICA programs: Book: $24.79; PDF: $8.85.
ICA Private Sponsorship of Refugees in numbers
Submitted by  Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator

ICA's Private Sponsorship of Refugees program is responsible for resettling Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSRs) and Blended Visa Office-Referred Refugees through community constituent groups. Take a moment to review our newest infographic highlighting private sponsorship in the CRD. 
See below for your invitation to the BVOR Sponsorship Event on July 21, 2018.
Your invitation: Responding to the Refugee Crisis 
Submitted by Sabine Lehr, Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager 

The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria warmly invites you to attend our upcoming information event entitled, Responding to the Refugee Crisis, on July 21. If you would like to assist with the refugee crisis in some way but don't know where to start, this is an excellent way to become informed.  
We will give an overview of the refugee situation in Victoria and specifically address the needs of the BVOR (Blended Visa Office-Referred) refugee group - the group with arguably the greatest need for resettlement.    
Where there's a will there's a way... The first step is providing the information that will allow people to assist in a way that matches their time, talents, and capacities.   
This event is your opportunity to: 
  • Be informed about the current refugee situation by UNHCR spokesperson Aviva Basman.
  • Be inspired by former Syrian refugee turned sponsorship trainer Mohammed Alsaleh and a panel of sponsors.
  • Find out about and consider participation in the BVOR program.
Date:  Saturday, 21 July 2018
Time:  1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Venue:  Cadboro Bay United Church, 2625 Arbutus Rd.
Cost:  FREE. Refreshments will be provided.
To allow us to estimate the number of participants, please register at this  Eventbrite link .
Meeting format:
1:30 pm: Registration and information handout
1:40 pm: Welcome by Sabine Lehr on behalf of ICA
1:45 pm: Aviva Basman , Senior Legal Officer and Head of Protection,
UNHCR Canada, overview of the refugee crisis and BVOR program
2:15 pm: Mohammed Alsaleh , TED Talk speaker and trainer
for the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program
2:45 pm: Refreshment Break
3:00 pm: Panel of local sponsors to speak about various aspects of sponsorship
3:30 pm: Facilitated Small Table Discussions to answer questions  
4:30 pm: Meeting wrap-up and closing remarks
We look forward to receiving your registration and seeing you there!
ICA at the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement
Submitted by Sabine Lehr, Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager 
Sabine Lehr at We Speak Translate Display at ATCR 2018
During this year's Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement (ATCR), there was a lot of discussion on whether the glass is half full or half empty when it comes to refugee resettlement.
While the decreasing availability of resettlement spaces globally contrasts sharply with the rising need for resettlement (estimated to be 1.4 million persons compared to last year's 1.2 million), the pending finalization of the Global Compact on Refugees, to be signed by most UN member states later this year, leaves room for hope.  
The latest draft of the Compact notes that "UNHCR - in cooperation with States and relevant stakeholders - will devise a three-year strategy to increase the pool of resettlement places, including countries not already participating in global resettlement efforts; as well as to consolidate emerging resettlement programmes."
The 25th ATCR in 2019 will be the first test for signatories to the Compact to elaborate on how they plan to turn commitments into actions.
Read more about forced displacement worldwide 
Watch a video related to the 2017 Global Trends.
Read a press release about the Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2019 report, which was released during the ATCR.  
The Newcomer Project: Family Portraits
Submitted by Andrea Walker Collins, Cedar Coast Photography
Andrea's mother, holding a treasured family portrait taken in Canada, about a year after she and her parents arrived as political refugees from former Yugoslavia.
About a year and a half ago, I had the wonderful experience of participating in a diversity workshop facilitated by Steven Baileys, Community Development Coordinator at the  Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria. Leading up to this day, in my photography practice, I had wanted to find a community project I could work on which would uplift a valuable demographic in our city, and I was suddenly inspired.
On the day of the workshop, I came in with no expectations, and within a few minutes, my heart was immediately weighing me down. We began our workshop by introducing ourselves and then explaining where and how our families had come to be in Victoria. Right away, I realized I had come from a unique experience in comparison to most of my colleagues, as I shared aloud that my mother had come to Canada as a 7-year-old political refugee. My grandparents escaped from former Yugoslavia, literally in the bushes in the darkness of night, to eventually call Canada their home. I knew this story very well, because I have participated in retelling it for most of my life. But on this particular day of the diversity workshop, as it was shared in commonality with my friends and colleagues, the words somehow became more weighted. I felt vulnerable. Different.  
Read the rest of Andrea's story here, and learn all about The Newcomer Project - Andrea's project taking portrait photographs of newcomer families. Some of these portraits will be featured in future issues of Tapestry.   
Stay up to date: Follow ICA on social media! 
With so much happening at ICA every day, and so many ICA team members involved in community events and activities, it is hard to keep up! 
An important part of feeling like you belong in a community is knowing what is going on and being able to participate in activities that are interesting to you. 
ICA can help you stay on top of what is happening in our community - just follow our social media channels! 
From Community Partnership Network seminars, ICA events and workshops, We Speak Translate training, and ICA job postings to the latest to news, events, and festivals with a multicultural theme - you'll find it by follow us on:   
Facebook Twitter , and Instagram .  

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
ICA's LINC Program
2018 ICA Diversity Scholarship
We Speak Translate
World Refugee Day: Forced to Flee
International Refugee Rights Conference
Growing Roots gardening program
I've Not Always Been Canadian
ICA Private Sponsorship of Refugees
Responding to the Refugee Crisis
Family portraits
Follow ICA on social media
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 
Job Search for Newcomers 
Employment workshops for newcomers.
Tuesdays, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Thursdays, 9 am - 12 pm  
July 10 - 26, 2018
Learn more  
Growing Roots
Learn how to grow food! Plant, maintain, harvest locally grown produce. 
2 pm - 4 pm
Mondays until September 17, 2018
Learn more   
Camp Connect: Explorers
Five-day camp for youth
ages 10-13. Science experiments, theatre games, local food, and lots more.  
Monday-Friday, 9 am - 4 pm
July 16-20, 2018   
Learn more 

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

Community Events
Canada Day in Victoria
An exciting lineup of fun activities and musical entertainment at the inner Harbour at downtown Victoria. Celebrations start at noon and finish with an evening fireworks display .
Sunday, July 1    
I've Not Always Been Canadian 
The Atrium, 800 Yates St
July 16-31 , 2018 
Responding to the Refugee Crisis 
Learn more about the refugee crisis and how you can assist.
Cadboro Bay United Church
2625 Arbutus Rd
Saturday, July 21, 2018
1:30-4:30 pm