Welcome new and returning volunteers!
Submitted by Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services  
   
ICA is fortunate to have the most wonderful, amazingly talented, supportive, and dedicated volunteers! Each year, over 200 volunteers give their time, energy, knowledge, and experience helping immigrants settle and thrive in Canada.
 
In September, ICA English language classes welcomed 60+ new and returning Teacher's Assistants who provide tremendous support to teachers and students throughout the year. Our incredible Youth Services volunteers are assisting as tutors in our after-school Homework Club and as mentors in our Social Meet-Up program. Through ICA's partnership with the Greater Victoria Public Library, volunteers will lead conversation circles at the Nellie McClung library branch. These are just some of the programs volunteers are participating in, and we're off to a great start!
 
Thank you ICA Volunteers. We greatly appreciate all that you do!
Highlights from ICA's Annual General Meeting 
Submitted by Quinton Gordon, Manager, Strategic Engagement

Staff service recognition (left to right): Elaine van Niekerk, John Farquharson, Ai Sakamoto, Cindy Vaartnou, Todd Kitzler, Bhavani Chlopan, and Roya Badi'l 
 
On September 19, ICA's Annual General Meeting was held in the Hotel Grand Pacific's South Pender Island Ballroom. Highlights of the well-attended gathering included: introducing new board members (Toby Louie, Lucy Mungai, and Thea Vakil); recognizing seven ICA staff members for their years of service (Elaine van Niekerk, John Farquharson, Ai Sakamoto, Cindy Vaartnou, Todd Kitzler, Bhavani Chlopan, and Roya Badi'l), and recognizing 25 years service for Jean McRae, ICA's Chief Executive Officer. 
   
 
Jean McRae, ICA's Chief Executive Officer, speaking at the AGM.   
Upcoming We Speak Translate training webinars
Submitted by Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator
 
The We Speak Translate project is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Google Translate and ICA that uses the Google Translate app for refugee resettlement and newcomer inclusion in communities. 
 
The project involves training community stakeholders, organizations, and institutions in using the Google Translate app.   
 
Upon completion of the free, 40-50 minute webinar training, participants receive a We Speak Translate decal, a visible symbol of inclusion and commitment to promoting diversity and communication across language barriers. Familiarity with the Google Translate app establishes a common platform for communication while newcomers develop their English language skills. 
 
Register today for one of the following upcoming We Speak Translate online webinars:
 
Friday, October 19, 2018
9:30 am - 10:30 am (PST)
Click here to register for Friday, October 19
 
Thursday, November 16, 2018
9:30 am - 10:30 am (PST)
Click here to register Thursday, November 16.  
   
Canada's UNHCR Representative inspires private sponsors
Sabine Lehr, Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager 
 
Jean-Nicolas Beuze, Canada's UNHCR Representative 
 
Jean-Nicolas Beuze, the Canadian Representative of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), had more than one compelling story to share with an engaged audience at the packed Langham Court Theatre on September 12.  
 
The event was well attended by persons with lived refugee experience, existing sponsors, and community members interested in becoming sponsors. During two hours of interactive engagement, the audience heard horrific examples of the desperate situations many refugees find themselves in when they seek shelter in a country of first asylum.  
 
Supported by audience members who have already sponsored refugees under the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program, Mr. Beuze explained how this program provides a lifeline and a pathway to safety for those refugees who cannot remain in their country of first asylum because of severe risk to their physical and psychological well-being. Numerous factors impact their ability to survive in the harsh environment of many asylum countries, among which include: chronic illness untreatable where these refugees are; threat of deportation back to their home countries where they could face imprisonment, torture, and even death; and violence perpetrated on refugees due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.  
 
Following the formal part of the evening, many participants accepted the invitation to spend some time in Langham Court Theatre's cozy lounge where there was more opportunity to speak with Mr. Beuze and have practical questions on sponsorship answered by Sabine Lehr, ICA's Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager; Rebecca Siebert, Sabine's counterpart at the Anglican Diocese of BC; and Mohammed Alsaleh, trainer with the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program in Vancouver.  
 
At least two new sponsorship groups are now in early stages of formation and looking for more members to join them! If you are interested, please contact Sabine at slehr@icavictoria.org.
 
 
From left to right: Jean-Nicolas Beuze, Sabine Lehr, Mohammed Alsaleh 
Welcome to ICA: Katerina and John
 
Katerina Weller has been teaching English since 2004. She has a degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Victoria.  
 
After teaching in Spain for five years, she returned to Canada to teach in Vancouver. She has a lot of experience teaching students of all ages and levels and has successfully prepared many students for the Cambridge and IELTS exams.   
 
Katerina is passionate about language and communication and she enjoys connecting with people while learning about other cultures and sharing her own. She has joined the ICA team as a Casual LINC Instructor.  
   
John Lydon was born in Ireland and came to Canada as a baby. He has lived all over Canada, including Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and BC. He has worked in many areas: in hotels, on the oil rigs in Alberta, hand logging on the BC coast, and for many years, tree planted all over BC.  
 
In the mid 80s, John lived in Montreal and studied French. After university, he studied Spanish in Mexico and Guatemal a. In the 90s, he worked for a number of years with a Canadian NGO, Project Accompaniment, working with Guatemalan re fugees
living in Mexico.  
 
He has taught ESL in Victoria since 1999 and, through the years, has volunteered at ICA. His numerous hobbies include playing guitar, cycling, gardening, and kayaking. He lives with his wife Michelle, their three teenagers, and two cats. John is one of ICA's Casual LINC Instructors.  
 
Youth and Family Services: Putting families first  
Submitted by Robin McGeoughSettlement Youth Worker  


In an effort to expand our reach within the community, 2017 saw the re-branding of Youth Services to become Youth and Family Services. Including families in our work marks new opportunities for newcomer youth and their guardians to access various community supports and resources to strengthen their transition to Canada.
 
Our focus this summer has been to develop strong connections within the ICA community through our Family Days. Taking time to build strong connections between families and ICA means reducing barriers for youth and their guardians to learn, share, and play in the world around them.
 
In July and August, our team organized a number of fun-filled activities with the families we work with to celebrate their ongoing achievements. Getting a chance to have fun through food, play, and nature proved to be the perfect recipe to enjoy the bountiful BC summer.
 
 
 
Co I OPERA I tive: Dialogue on freedom
Sabine Lehr, ICA's Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager
 
Opera can be a tool for social relevance, justice, and advocacy. Pacific Opera is launching new community programming called "The Co | OPERA | tive." This programming includes forums, exhibits, performances, and youth workshops to address community need through music, art, dialogue, and action. At the Baumann Centre, three Dialogues will be presented, each exploring themes from opera as they relate to the world we live in.  
 
The Pacific Opera season opens with Beethoven's Fidelio, an opera in which freedom is a main theme. To accompany Fidelio, the first Dialogue kicks off with a powerful panel of experts who will discuss the current state of affairs for political prisoners, refugees, and their quest for freedom and a new life. Sharmarke Dubow, Matt Eisenbrandt, and ICA's Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager Sabine Lehr are the panelists, moderated by Steve Wadhams, retired producer of the CBC show Ideas. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q & A with the audience.   
 
When : Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 7 pm
 
Where: The Baumann Centre, 925 Balmoral Road
 
 
 
Infographic: Immigration in Greater Victoria
Submitted by Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator

 
Did you know 18.3% of residents in the Capital Regional District, which includes the City of Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt, and all the other municipalities in Greater Victoria, are immigrants? Or that the top three non-official languages spoken at home in the CRD are Cantonese, Mandarin, and Tagalog? Take a moment to view ICA's newest infographic and learn other interesting facts about immigration in Greater Victoria.  
Exhibit: I've Not Always Been Canadian

 
The exhibit I've Not Always Been Canadian has had some successful showings this year, including for three weeks over the summer at the Atrium downtown. The exhibition continues to be available for bookings throughout the Capital Region.
 
Contact Paulina Grainger, Arts and Outreach Coordinator, to book the show.
 
 
Phone: 250-388-4728, Ext. 138
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 following 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
Welcome to our volunteers
ICA's AGM
We Speak Translate
Private sponsorship of refugees
Welcome to ICA: Katerina and John
Youth and Family Services
Co I OPERA I tives: Dialogue
Immigration in Greater Victoria
I've Not Always Been Canadian
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. 
 
Women's Health and Yoga Group
Come and practice yoga and learn more about how to stay healthy. Registration required. 
Tuesdays, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
October 2, 16, 23, and 30, 2018 (no class October 9) 
November 6, 2018
 
 
Seniors Group
Connect with other seniors and practice your English skills. Registration required.  
Thursdays, 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
October, 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2018
November 1 and 8, 2018
 
 
ESL Conversation Club
Practice your English conversation skills in a fun, casual setting. Offered in partnership with the Greater Victoria Public Library. Registration required. 
Thursdays, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
October 4, 11, and 18, 2018
November 1, 8, and 15, 2018 
 
 
Job Search for Newcomers
Employment workshops from resumes and cover letters to interviews and workplace culture.
Tuesdays, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Thursdays, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm   
October 9 to 25, 2018
   

Homework Club
Language and homework support for immigrant and refugee children and youth ages 8-17 and 18-25. Registration required.
Wednesdays, 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
 
 
 
The Meetup Youth Drop-in 
Bi-weekly social program for newcomer youth ages 16-21. 
Tuesdays, 3:30 pm - 7:00 pm  
October 9 and 23, 2018 
November 6 and 20, 2018
December 4 and 18, 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
 
Reconciliation - The Journey of Our Generation
This workshop explores the history of Canada pre- and post-contact through the stories of Indigenous and non-Indigenous experiences.  
Friday, October 5, 2018
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Pacific Opera's Wingate Studio
925 Balmoral Road
Tickets $50
 
Co I OPERA I tive: Dialogue on Freedom
Pacific Opera Victoria is hosting a variety of events to show how opera is tool f or social relevance, justice, and advocacy. The first dialogue features Sharmarke Dubow, Matt Eisenbrandt, and Sabine Lehr, moderated by  Steve Wadhams.   
Baumann Centre, 925 Balmoral Road 
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 7 pm
        
Indigenous Ways of Being Through Photography
Join Professor Carmen Rodriguez de France for a hands-on discovery session of
Indigenous ways of being through the lens of a camera. Please bring your own camera.  
Saturday, October 13, 2018
10:30 am - noon
sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch - Meeting Room, 385 Menzies Street 
Residential Schools: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 
Join Professor Carmen Rodriguez de France for a session on historical, political, and socio-cultural facts related to residential schools and their implications on current social issues.  
Monday, October 22, 2018
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Juan de Fuca Branch Library  
1759 Island Highway