Partnerships in Community Can Make a Difference
Submitted by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

Partnerships and connections in our community can make a difference! Last month, ICA was invited to give a presentation about the work ICA does with newcomers to the faculty and staff of the UVic Gustavson School of Business (Gustavson School). The Gustavson School is one of the newest members of the Community Partnership Network (CPN) and is keen to expand connections in the community.
The Gustavson School and faculty offer a dynamic business education department with a vision around four value pillars: international, integrative, innovative, and sustainability/social responsibility. These values are incorporated throughout the school's course content and teaching style and in each student's academic development. Many international students from around the globe study at Gustavson, and its faculty are from a range of countries, including India, Argentina, China, United States, and others.

Creating our Future:
Visioning a Sustainable, Compassionate World
Submitted by Sabine Lehr, Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager

How can the sacred wisdom of the diverse peoples of the world assist us in building a sane, peaceful, compassionate world civilization? On February 4, in honour of UN World Interfaith Harmony Week and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a diverse panel drawn from the world's great spiritual traditions will discuss the tools and spiritual teachings needed to build that compassionate world.

Seventy years ago, the UN General Assembly, echoing the strongest values of our spiritual traditions, proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This groundbreaking document speaks of "the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."

For all our amazing material progress, since the time of the Declaration in 1948, we've slid towards insularity, polarizing ideologies, and ecological crisis. Our increasing interconnectedness has forced the issue of ethics. As noted in the most recent series of CBC Massey Lectures, "Our survival depends on acceptance of a transcendent ethos of human dignity for all."
Diversity and Inclusion Seminar:
More Than Just a Good Idea!
Submitted by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

Are diversity and inclusion more than just a good idea? That question and many others were explored by participants at a recent diversity seminar organized by the South Island Educational Committee (SIEC) and the Community Partnership Network (CPN). 

The daylong session was facilitated by Alden Habacon, a diversity specialist who has worked to promote diversity and inclusion for CBC Television and the University of British Columbia and is now a consultant. Through engaging visuals, humour, and interactive exercises, more than 90 seminar participants learned about the intercultural demands of our rapidly diversifying workplaces and communities.

Alden reminded the audience that merely exposing ourselves to diversity does not, on its own, produce diversity understanding or learning. But rather, as Alden shared: "Dynamic human interactions across cultural differences require intent and design." 
A newcomer, a Canadian, a Lasting Friendship
Submitted by Jean Jenkins, ICA Volunteer, and Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services

Sunyoung arrived in Victoria with her husband and young family in August 2016 from South Korea. She had been a management professional with high hopes of making friends and finding work in Canada, her new home. Unfortunately, it wasn't as easy as she hoped, and she turned to ICA for support.

In February 2017, through ICA's Community Connections Program, Sunyoung was matched with ICA volunteer Mary, a semi-retired veterinarian looking for opportunities to support newcomers to Canada. 

We Speak Translate: What do Participants Say? 
Submitted by Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator

Did you know that 89% of survey participants recommend We Speak Translate training to friends and colleagues? 

We Speak Translate has created an infographic that highlights participant's feedback on the project and training. 

Click here  to see the We Speak Translate evaluation infographic.

Where Police and Community Meet
Submitted by Paulina Grainger, Arts & Outreach Coordinator

"I feel fortunate and moved to participate in this event. As a mother of five brown young men, I live in fear of what could happen to them if they have an encounter with the police. The police have a lot of power, and we as parents can only hope that they exercise that power with responsibility." - Sandra Angus-Vincent, Immigrant from Haiti, ICA Diverse Communities Workshop & Presentation, May 2016

In 2013 and 2016, ICA in partnership with Saanich Police and the Victoria Police Department, embarked on a series of workshops using transformational theatre techniques to explore the relationship between ethno-cultural community members and the police as a way to build mutual trust and reduce the likelihood of discrimination.

In the article "Where Police and Community Meet," Theatre Practitioners and Facilitators Lina de Guevara and Victor Porter share their methodology and reflect on their experience working on these two groundbreaking projects. The article recently appeared in Alt Theatre, a magazine that publishes stories about cultural diversity and the stage. 

You'll find a link to the Alt Theatre article on our blog.  

Have Your Voice Heard:
City of Victoria Public Engagement Summit
Submitted by Kate Longpre, Community Integration Coordinator

Have your voice heard at the City of Victoria Public Engagement Summit on Monday, February 5, 2018 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. 

Newcomers to Victoria are invited to share their thoughts and join the dialogue about future projects in Victoria. A light dinner will be provided.

It's a children-friendly event: If you have children ages 4 to 12, you can register for an in-studio art class led by the Art Gallery.

Please RSVP at or call 250.361.0288.

February is Black History Month

A variety of fantastic performances and events are taking place in Victoria in honour of Black History Month. Highlights include An Evening of Spoken Word Poetry from Victoria's 2016 Youth Poet Laureate Ann-Bernice Thomas and Rock, Blues, Soul Music from Cathy Essombe and the Ardent Tribute Band on Monday, February 12 at the Belfry Theatre. 

On February 18, Black History Heritage Day, the Church of Truth is hosting an afternoon of events, including historic displays, music from Classical Carl, and a talk by Michael Regis, who will share his research on local police and ethno-cultures of African-Caribbean, Indigenous, Muslim, and Chinese.

For more information on all Black History Month events, go to

Settlement Programs: Something for Everyone!
Submitted by Amanda Gaunt, Training Coordinator

We are looking forward to an exciting winter and spring with the many interesting and useful programs we are offering. Our continuing Settlement Orientations in English, Mandarin and Arabic take place on Wednesdays. These offer information ranging from adjusting to life in Canada and the basics of living in Victoria to the legal system, the healthcare system, and employment standards.
Canadian Citizen Preparation Classes are available for clients who are just starting the process towards citizenship and would like initial information about the rules and regulations around it. We are continuing our Citizenship Test Preparation Classes for clients who will soon be taking the Canadian citizenship test.
For expecting mothers, we have a Prenatal Class that helps women to understand the changes through pregnancy and includes a hospital tour. For new parents, our Baby Talk Class looks at the first year of a child's life and focuses on development, health, and safety.

Newcomer seniors can learn some English, learn about their community, and make new friends in our Living Well in Community for Seniors.
Our Women's Health and Yoga Group welcomes beginners as well as women with some experience practicing yoga.
This winter, we are happy to be able to offer Food Skills for Families, a six-week cooking class in collaboration with Diabetes Canada. Healthy cooking for you and your family! Single Cooking Classes will be offered at different times and cover a variety of topics, including a cooking session for parents with children in school about making healthy lunches and snacks. We will also be hosting a Food Safe course this winter for clients looking for work in the food and hospitality industry.

Writing for Tapestry: My Story gives clients with a higher level of English a chance to improve their writing skills and the opportunity to submit a piece to Tapestry.
All of these programs and more will be available this winter and spring. Please check our website for information about starting dates and times!

Submitted by Roya Badii, Settlement Coordinator

For a number of years, ICA and the Victoria Women in Need (WIN) Community Cooperative have had a positive partnership helping to support immigrant and refugee women. WIN has been providing ICA with gift certificates under their Gift Certificate Program and has also been accepting the generous donations of clothing and other items from Victorians in support of resettled refugees. Thank you WIN!

In This Issue
Partnerships in Community Can Make a Difference
Creating our Future: Visioning a Sustainable, Compassionate World
Diversity and Inclusion Seminar: More Than Just a Good Idea!
A Newcomer, a Canadian, a Lasting Friendship
We Speak Translate: What do Participants Say?
Where Police and Community Meet
Have Your Voice Heard
February is Black History Month
Settlement Programs
What's Happening?
Community Events
Multifaith Calendars for Sale:
ICA now has 2018 Multlifaith Calendars for sale at our main reception. $20 a calendar. Developed by the

What's Happening?  
Citizenship Classes 
Help applicants prepare for citizenship tests. 
Two Fridays per month.   

Pre-Natal Classes
Information about changes to a woman's body during pregnancy; fetal development; and nutrition, diet, and lifestyle.
10 am - 11 am
Fridays, February 23 &
March 2, 9, 16, 23, 2018

Baby Talk 
Learn about feeding your baby, car seat safety, and more. 
10 am - 11:30 am 
Fridays, February 2 -16, 2018

Women's Health & Yoga Group
Learn about staying healthy and practice some beginner-friendly yoga.
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Tuesdays, February 6 - March 6, 2018
Learn more...

Job Search for Newcomers
Employment workshops for newcomers.
Tuesdays, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Thursdays, 9 am - 12 pm  
February 6 - 22, 2018
Learn more...

Homework Club 
Safe place to work on your homework for children and youth ages 6-18.
3:30 - 5:30 pm
Wednesdays, September 2017 - June 2018

The Meet Up
A free weekly program for newcomer teens ages 13 - 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
Victoria's Black History Month Library Kickoff  
Saturday, February 3, 2018
Noon - 2 pm
Central Library 
735 Broughton St


Creating our Future: Visioning a Sustainable, Compassionate World   
Sunday, February 4, 2018
1 pm - 4 pm 
David Lam Auditorium 
Maclaurin Building, A144
University of Victoria

Black History Month Church
Sunday, February 11, 2018
11 am
Shady Creek United Church
7180 East Saanich

An Evening of Spoken Word, Poetry, & Rock, Blues, Soul
Anne-Bernice Thomas, Victoria's Youth Poet Laureate, uses her voice to rally social change with themes of immigration, identity, feminism, sexual education, mental health, and racism. Cathy Essombe, born in France with childhood summers in her native homeland of Cameroon, Africa, is a founding member and lead vocalist of the band Ardent Tribe, which plays spellbinding World Music originals.
Monday, February 12, 2018
7 pm (doors open at 6 pm)
Belfry Theatre
1291 Gladstone Ave

BC Black History & Heritage
An afternoon displays, refreshments, music by Classical Carl, and special guest speaker, Michael Regis, who will share his research on local police and ethno-cultures of African-Caribbean, Indigenous, Muslim, and Chinese.
Sunday, February 18, 2018
2 - 5 pm 
Church of Truth
111 Superior St

BC Black History Month: Cemetery Tour
A guided tour of the graves of Victoria's Black pioneers.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
2 - 3:30 pm
Ross Bay Cemetery
111 Superior St