Connection and empowerment through ICA summer camps
Submitted by Zhiqi Jiang and Mina Guan, Summer Camps Facilitators 
This summer, the ICA Youth and Family Services Team facilitated a series of camps for newcomer children and youth. In July, we ran Camp Connect, which included two week-long programs for children aged 6-13. In August, we partnered with the local outdoor organization Power to Be for a three-day overnight camp with our older youth.  
It is no easy feat moving to a new country with new people, new lifestyles, and new customs. Camp is a chance for young people to come together, leave their worries behind, and just have fun.   
As summer students, we had the privilege of working closely with the team to facilitate and organize the programs. Various activities during Camp Connect emphasized our main themes. We expressed art through paper bead making, personal expression through photography and music, exploration through outdoor field-trips, and building community through a culture quilt and family groups. These ideas were further elevated with our wonderful partnerships such as Power to Be's outdoor excursions, SPCA's presentation on animal consent, SKAM Theatre's plethora of inclusive games, and Science Venture's stock of fascinating modern technologies.
However, the most enlightening outcome of this experience was the growth in confidence and community we witnessed among the children....
Read more about these wonderful summer experiences.  
Building community connections: Oak Bay Rotary Club at ICA
Submitted by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

Oak Bay Rotary Club Members at an ICA Lunch and Learn Session
Learning about ICA and the challenges and successes faced by newcomers is always of interest to many in our community. The Oak Bay Rotary Club is no exception!
On July 31, ICA hosted a unique Lunch and Learn session with members of the Oak Bay Rotary Club. The club is the newest member of the Community Partnership Network (CPN). Curious about the work of ICA and eager to learn more about the programs and services ICA offers, club president Joan Peggs reached out to ICA to see if a session could be hosted for its members. ICA gladly agreed to organize the session.  
Working with the ICA Community Development and Employment Services team, ICA staff welcomed the more than 25 members of the club for a two-hour Lunch and Learn Session. Rotary Club members learned about ICA's history and the programs and services offered to newcomers. Members also heard about recent statistics of immigration in our region and the employment programs offered for newcomers.  
After the learning portion of session concluded, the group then took a guided tour of ICA's facilities and saw firsthand what we do...  
Members of Oak Bay Rotary Club enjoying lunch at ICA.
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 webinars:
Friday, September 28, 2018
9:30 am - 10:30 am (PST)
Click here to register for Friday, September 28.
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.  
ICA Ride For Refuge in support of refugee youth
Submitted by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator 
Oil your bike or dust off your walking shoes for the ICA Ride For Refuge in support of refugee youth!  Come on out and join with ICA's staff, clients, community partners, and volunteers on Saturday, September 29 in the Ride for Refuge!   
The Ride for Refuge event is a family-friendly cycling and walking fundraiser that supports organizations like ICA to raise funds in support of community programs.
This will be our fifth year of riding, walking, and smiling together to raise funds in support of ICA's refugee youth programs. Our goal this year is to raise $6,000, and you can help us achieve that goal!  
Clients, staff, volunteers, and community members are welcome to glide, ride, and wobble with us on September 29.  
Learn more about the Ride for Refuge event. Better yet, join our ICA Team. 
If you are unable to join us on that day, you can donate to ICA Ride for Refuge.

ICA 2017 Ride for Refuge Team getting ready to glide, ride, and wobble!
Private sponsorship of refugees: it is still time to act!
Mohammed Alsaleh and Sabine Lehr

The long wait ends for some refugees, but more are waiting - it is still time to act! On July 21, 2018, ICA hosted a sponsorship information event on the global refugee situation, focusing specifically on Blended Visa Office-Referred or BVOR refugees. These refugees have been selected by the UN Refugee agency for having the greatest need for resettlement to a third country such as Canada. The situation is urgent and dire, with resettlement spaces lost globally in 2018 compared to 2017, and Canada is at risk of missing its target for admitting 1,500 refugees in the BVOR category.
Moderated by Sabine Lehr, Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager at ICA, the event featured contributions from Aviva Basman, Senior Legal Officer and Head of Protection at UNHCR Canada, and Mohammed Alsaleh, TED Talk speaker and trainer for the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program. A panel of current BVOR sponsors rounded out the information for a group of about 60 participants who then engaged in small group discussions to find out more details about what sponsorship entails. 
And the citizens of Victoria stepped up and showed that, where there's a will there's a way! In the wake of the event, two new sponsorship groups formed, each of which is sponsoring a family of five to arrive in Victoria some time in the fall.  
Shortly after the event, there was more good news. In early August, the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub and the Shapiro Foundation, together with Jewish Family Services Ottawa, announced the creation of a new fund aimed at facilitating the sponsorship of up to 1,000 refugees identified by the UNHCR. For a limited time, qualifying Canadian groups will have the cost of sponsoring a refugee through the BVOR program fully covered by the fund.  
Funding for both start-up costs and settlement costs associated with BVOR sponsorship will be available to groups that submit applications to the fund before September 17, 2018, or until the fund is exhausted prior to the deadline. Refugees sponsored with the support of this fund will arrive in Canada before December 31, 2018.  
If you know a few other people with whom you wish to form a group to sponsor a BVOR case before September 17, 2018, please contact Sabine at
How does your garden grow?
Submitted by Amanda Gaunt, Training Coordinator 
We started our Growing Roots program back in May. Nine of us regularly work in the garden. We have also met some of the other people in the community garden as we work together to tend to the common areas as well as our own garden plot. Some of the common areas are glorious flowerbeds, but there is also a wonderful herb garden, so we are able to harvest fresh herbs to use at home. Some fruit trees, including fig, apple and cherry, have fruit that is also shared. It has been a great way to build community, and we are learning a lot from some of the more experienced gardeners among us.
In May, we planted our garden plot with a variety of seeds and starter plants including, tomatoes, lettuce - we are on our second crop - kale, chard, cabbage, zucchini, and beans. Now, we are reaping the harvest! We have been eating fresh vegetables for a few weeks and will continue harvesting into the fall.
We have already started talking about what to plant for our winter garden, and after speaking with some of the more experienced gardeners, we are looking at vegetables like garlic, leeks, and Brussels sprouts that will do well over the winter. We are learning that in Victoria, gardening is a year-round activity.  
Back to school: ICA's LINC program starts a new school year
Submitted by Todd Kitzler, Language Services Manager
ICA's LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) program is starting the 2018-2019 school year this month, with classes starting on September 10. ICA offers 33 classes in the morning, afternoon, and evening from literacy to advanced levels. There are currently 500 students enrolled. We would like to take this time to welcome all students back to school.  
The LINC program is funded by IRCC and is offered across Canada. LINC focusses on helping students learn practical English that will help them to settle in their communities. The curriculum is based on monthly themes such as Education, Health and Safety, Commercial Services, Employment, Canada, Travel and Transportation, Government and Community Services, and Family and Relationships. These themes are then broken down into more specific topics based on the needs of the students in each class.  
Teachers conduct needs assessments on a regular basis to determine the topics to be addressed in their classes. The content of lessons is task-based and focusses on real language needed to complete daily communicative tasks. Examples of some tasks are: talking to your doctor about a medical problem, reading your child's report card from school, writing an email to complain about service in a retail store, listening to directions on how to get to city hall. Teachers assess their students' ability to perform similar tasks regularly and use these assessments to determine progression to the next level.  
LINC's settlement-based approach to language training makes it quite unique and a good starting point for newcomers to Canada. Some students may go on to other language training programs in pursuit of their employment and educational goals.
The LINC program at ICA looks forward to working with all our students to help them succeed in reaching their goals.
SWIS program activities over summer 2018 
Submitted by Lisa Wang, SWIS Coordinator 

After a seven-week period, the SWIS Workers are back in the office, connecting with clients and schools, and getting busy with loads of tasks in preparation for fall. The SWIS team was missed very much by the clients and the ICA summer working crew.
For the SWIS program, this summer was a totally new experience. It was great to have one SWIS member in the office to carry on with the remaining activities and to meet the needs of the many newly arrived clients, as well as existing clients.
The summer started with a successful Seaparc Special Free Swimming session on July 9, organized by the ICA SWIS program in collaboration with the SD62 ELL program and Seaparc Aquatic Program for our Westshore and Sooke newcomer families. Five families and 11 children attended. The families were very happy to learn about the recreation program during the Aquatic Programmer's introduction. During the session, a lifeguard provided swimming-level assessments for the newcomer children. Families were assisted with LIFE program applications, and they were very excited to learn they could register their children in swimming lessons with a discount.
It was also wonderful to see newcomer families connecting socially, which was one of our goals for this event....
Your invitation: ICA's 2018 Annual General Meeting

The Board of Directors of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria
cordially invites you to attend our Annual General Meeting to be held on September 19, 2018, in the South Pender Island Ballroom, Hotel Grand Pacific, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.  
Registration will be open at 5:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served.
Please RSVP to Anna Huang no later than September 4, 2018, via email to or by phone at 250-4728 ext. 136.
Canada and the Global Refugee Crisis: An evening with UNHCR

Join our featured speaker, Jean-Nicolas Beuze, UNHCR's Representative in Canada, for an informative and inspiring evening on the global refugee crisis and how Canadians can help.  
Jean-Nicolas Beuze has worked with the United Nations in the areas of human rights, peacekeeping, and child protection in countries as diverse as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Libya, Uganda, Iraq, Sudan, and Syria. He has also researched issues related to peace agreements, transitional justice, and human rights systems. Jean-Nicolas holds a LL.M in international human rights law and a Master in international relations.
Free admission. Open discussion to follow! Presented by the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program. 
Pre-register here or register by email Mohammed Alsaleh: 
Langham Court Theatre
805 Langham Ct.
Wednesday, September 12
5 pm - 7 pm
Exhibit: I've Not Always Been Canadian

We had another very successful showing of the exhibit I've Not Always Been Canadian for three weeks this 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
ICA staff summer barbecue
The ICA team gathered in August for our much-anticipated annual summer staff barbecue. ICA is a very busy place year-round, so it is rare when we can all slow down long enough to get together for a little relaxation as a group. Our staff summer barbecue gives us an opportunity to do exactly that - and share a delicious meal. Here are some photos from this summer's event. 
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 summer camps
Community Partnership Network
We Speak Translate
ICA Ride for Refuge
Private sponsorship of refugees
Growing Roots gardening program
Back to school: ICA's LINC program
ICA SWIS program
Responding to the Refugee Crisis
An evening with UNHCR
I've Not Always Been Canadian
ICA staff summer barbecue
ICA staff summer barbecue
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.
Transferable Skills for Your Career Path
Join this workshop through the Career Paths program to identify and gain insights into your transferable skills.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
5:30 pm to 8 pm 

Job Search for Newcomers 
Employment workshops for newcomers.
Tuesdays, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Thursdays, 9 am - 12 pm  
September 11 - 27, 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   

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

Community Events
Canada and the Global Refugee Crisis: An evening with UNHCR
Join our featured speaker, Jean-Nicolas Beuze, UNHCR's Representative in Canada, for an informative and inspiring evening on the global refugee crisis and how Canadians can help.
Open discussion to follow. Free admission. 
Presented by the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program. 
Langham Court Theatre
805 Langham Ct.
Wednesday, September 12 
5 pm - 7 pm
Pre-register here
or register by email to Mohammed Alsaleh:
Global Refugee Crisis: What can we do? 
Victoria City Hall
1 Centennial Square, Antechamber 
Thursday, September 13
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Learn more on Facebook
ICA's Annual General Meeting 
Wednesday, September 19
Hotel Grand Pacific, South Pender Ballroom
463 Belleville Street
6 pm - 7 pm (registration 5:30 pm) 
Please RSVP to Anna Huang, Executive Assistant at
ICA Ride for Refuge 
The Ride for Refuge Event is a family-friendly cycling and walking fundraiser that supports organizations like ICA to raise funds in support of community programs.
Saturday, September 29