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ICA's 2015 Volunteer Appreciation Celebration 
Submitted by Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services

More than 80 ICA volunteers and staff attended ICA's annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration on May 14, 2015. The event recognized the dedication and outstanding contributions made by volunteers. Special recognition went to those volunteers having dedicated 5 or more years to ICA. Festivities included fabulous door prizes donated by several local businesses, delicious Thai food, an awesome dance performance by ICA youth volunteers and the thankful speeches from English language students who made us all smile! Click here to see more photographs. 


Many thanks each and every one of the ICA volunteers from all of the ICA departments and programs that benefit from your hard work, contribution to the newcomer community and commitment to diversity! Read more here...

New Gardening Project Seeks Participants

Submitted by Paulina Grainger, Arts and Outreach Coordinator

Are you a newcomer senior who wants to learn or share your knowledge on gardening and growing your own food? Are you a community member who would 

love to learn from seniors from other cultures? The ICA Arts & Outreach office is recruiting enthusiastic seniors and participants for our exciting new project, Elder Knowledge: Growing Food Close to Home.


The project starts in June, 2015 and runs until the end of autumn, and will be coordinated in partnership with two fabulous local organizations, LifeCyles Project Society and the Compost Education Centre.


Participants will take part in workshops on composting basics, plan year-round veggie gardens, grow food in containers, and learn how to preserve and can food. If you are interested in this project you will:

* Go on field trips to farms in the city and see examples of inner city food production

* Go fruit tree picking
* Enjoy a feast and celebration to share the "fruits" of your labor

Jim Diers, Community Builder Inspires ICA Community

Submitted by Steven Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

From left to right: Leslie Brown, Lee Anne Davies, Jim Diers, and Jean McRae


On May 6, 2015, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA), the Community Partnership Network (CPN) and University of Victoria's Institute for Studies in Innovation in Community University Engagement (ISICUE) hosted a dynamic half-day seminar on community engagement with Jim Diers, a community building champion and expert from Seattle, Washington.

More than 90 members of the CPN, University of Victoria, and Greater Victoria communities attended the breakfast seminar hosted at the First Peoples' House.

Jim Diers inspired participants with his passion for community building that utilizes grass roots participatory democracy methods. Jim encouraged organizations and agencies to not focus on weaknesses or "needs," but rather to recognize the strengths and gifts of all community members. By doing this, we can ensure the involvement and engagement of all community members in our organizations. Diers shared, "There is no substitute for community when it comes to advancing social justice. No major social change has ever come top-down. Whether it was the women's rights movement, the civil rights movement, the disability rights movement, the gay/lesbian rights movement or the living wage movement, every major social change has come from the bottom-up. Without strong communities, we can't make change."

Stop HIV/AIDS Project
Submitted by Sabine Lehr, Immigrant Services Manager 


Between September 2014 and April 2015, ICA delivered the "Stop HIV/AIDS Project" which was funded by Island Health and supported by AIDS Vancouver Island and Island Sexual Health Society. The project encompassed three main components: training for settlement workers on HIV/AIDS; workshops for clients on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS; and development of an information sheet on STIs and HIV/AIDS in five different languages. Following the training workshop in October 2014, settlement workers reported an increased level of knowledge and comfort with respect to interacting with clients about STIs and HIV/AIDS.

Education experts from AIDS Vancouver Island and Island Sexual Health also provided eight workshops to ICA's clients. A total of 98 clients from different demographic groups participated in the workshops. 

ICA's 2015 Diversity Scholarships
ICA is currently accepting applicants for the Diversity Scholarship which recognizes the potential of students to let diversity make a difference 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% 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 Executive Director. "Our scholarship program is an investment in the cultural capital of Greater Victoria."

Summer Youth Camp (8-12 years) Accepting Applications
Submitted by Kay Otani, Settlement Worker in Schools/Youth Worker 


A week of summer camp is such a valuable experience for everyone - especially for newcomer children and youth! At ICA ACE! (Active Community Explorers) Summer Camp is a week long program for children and youth aged 8 -12 years old. We view this one camp as a big deposit into the account of personal development, community exploration, and summer refreshment. 


At the ACE! Camp, your child will experience a week full of discovery and adventure - breathing in fresh forest and ocean air; exploring our beautiful community; making new friends in a multicultural environment; having opportunities to participate in sports, arts and cooking classes. 


See full details here on how to apply.

ICA Volunteers Help Over 230 Newcomer Clients
Submitted by Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services 


This tax season, ICA was fortunate to have 7 enthusiastic volunteers who devoted their time and expertise during ICA's tax program. Between March and May of 2015, ICA volunteers helped over 230 newcomer clients file their tax and benefit returns!


ICA is one of several organizations that partners annually with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program through Canada Revenue Agency. Volunteers help newcomer clients fill out income tax forms, provide information, and answer inquiries about the Canadian income tax process.


Huge thanks to volunteers Amanda, Glen, Jenny, Liane, Marleen, Peter and Sim - we couldn't have done it without YOU!


For more information, contact Coordinator of Volunteer Services Liz Bean at lbean@icavictoria.org

Children Explore the World of Dance With Mary Standell
Submitted by Lori DeWet, Childcare Coordinator

At ICA we are privileged to have many talented individuals sharing their time and expertise. The childcare centre was on the receiving end of this beginning in 2012 when Liz Bean (ICA Coordinator of Volunteer Services) introduced us to Mary Standell.

Mary has worked professionally in Victoria as a performing and visual arts instructor for over 10 years. She has taught preschool ballet, creative movement and jazz, and is a gifted musician who writes, performs and records her own music.

We gratefully accepted Mary's offer to teach our children a weekly dance/creative movement class where she brings a rich knowledge base and natural technique along with a love of children, music and movement. 

Our older children (and a few of our keen younger ones) enjoy this weekly dance class with Mary which is delivered in a disciplined, yet positive environment that encourages the development and full self-expression of each budding dancer. Over time, the children build their skills and deepen their understanding of rhythm and song and its connection to the art of dance.

In This Issue
ICA's 2015 Volunteer Appreciation Celebration
New Gardening Project Seeks Participants
Jim Diers, Community Builder Inspires ICA Community
Stop HIV/AIDS Project
ICA's 2015 Diversity Scholarship Program
Summer Youth Camp (8-12 years) Accepting Applications
ICA Volunteers Help Over 230 Newcomer Clients
Children Explore the World of Dance With Mary Standell
Blossoms Campaign Coming Soon



ICA Diversity Scholarships Accepting Applicants


ICA is currently accepting applicants for the Diversity Scholarships which recognizes the potential of students to let diversity make a difference in the Capital Region.


Applications due June 30, 2015. 

Full details here. 



Blossoms Campaign is coming soon! 


Watch your inboxes for your chance to help newcomer youth bloom.  


What's Happening? 


ICA Workshops & Programming


Focus on Fitness
Free 3 week program to build your fitness level and feel strong.
Mondays, May 25, June 1 & June 8, 2015

Learn more

The Vibe: Living Vibrant Healthy Lives

Free program for youth ages 13 - 18 to learn how to cook, exercise, and stay active. Cooking: Mondays May 4, 11, 25 and June 1, 2015. Healthy Weekend: Saturday & Sunday, June 6 & 7, 2015. Mondays 4pm - 7pm; Saturday & Sunday 11am - 4pm.

Learn more  


Everyone Welcome: Living Well in Community

6 free sessions where you can make friends and learn about resources in your community.

Tuesdays, May 5 - June 9, 2015 9:30am - 11:30am. 

Learn more  


Parenting Program

For parents of "tweens" ages 7 - 12 looking to build lasting connections with their children. Thursdays, May 7 - June 11, 2015, 9:30am - 11:30am 

Learn more  


The Meet Up

ICA's new youth social night for teens ages 13 - 19. Includes games and activities that focus on arts, sports, and health. Fridays, April 10 - June 26, 2015, 4pm - 6pm  

Learn more  


Women Living Well in Community: Examing Self-Concept as Barriers Through Art

Tuesdays, April 28 - June 16, 2015, 3:15pm - 5:45pm. 

Learn more  


Pre-Natal Classes for Immigrant Women

5 free classes to learn about pregnancy, fetal development, nutrition, hospitals, and much more. Fridays, May 29 - June 29, 2015, 10am - 11:30am.

Learn more  


Weekly Settlement Orientation Sessions

Important information to help you settle in Victoria, remaining sessions Wednesdays, May 27 - June 17, 2015, 12:30pm - 2:30pm.

Learn more

ICA Employment Services

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

Learn more  

Community Events



Feast. Food, & Film

The insider's guide to food: global, local, and informative.
May 28, 2015 - May 31, 2015 
Throughout Greater Victoria 



Victoria International Kite Festival 

Presents professional kite enthusiasts from Canada and the United States 

May 29, 2015 - May 31, 2015
Clover Point




World Partnership Walk 2015

Over 31 years the Walk has raised over $90 million for international development programs and initiatives. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

10:30 - 3 pm 

In front of the McPherson Library 

Learn more...


Capital One Race for Kids

A fun and exciting urban adventure race in support of the Boys and Girls Club Services of Greater Victoria. 

June 6, 2015

1:30 pm

Archie Browning Sports Centre & Bullen Field 

Learn more....




Aboriginal Cultural Festival

A three day celebration of Aboriginal peoples, arts, and culture.  

June 19, 2015 - June 21, 2015

11 - 6:30 pm  

Royal BC Museum  

More info here.




Community Country Dance

A fundraiser for the Afghan Refugee Sponsorship group.   

June 20, 2015 

7 -10 pm  

First Metropolitan United Church  



Car Free YYJ

On June 21, the DVBA is closing Victoria's busiest street to host a festival with music, entertainment, and talent.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

12 pm - 6 pm   

Downtown Victoria 

Learn more....




A neighbourhood celebration of local music and arts organized by the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group.

June 19, 2015 - June 20, 2015

Fernwood Square

More information here.



Victoria's World Refugee Day  

We can make our communities stronger and more welcoming by working together with refugees and others seeking protection. Help us celebrate with live music, arts-based activities, food, and more. 

June 18, 2015 - June 20, 2015

12 pm - 3 pm 

See Poster Here 


Our Living Languages Opening

Discover the incredibly diversity of First Nations languages in BC and the groundbreaking work underway to keep them alive in this new exhibition. 

June 21, 2014 - June 30, 2017   

Royal BC Museum


Fernwood Bites

Many of Victoria's favourite food establishments will be joining together to tempt your taste-buds with a small morsel of their culinary creativity.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

5:30 pm - 8 pm 

Fernwood Square 



Victoria Pride Week

Help celebrate Victoria's Pride Week by participating in activities around town and joining the Pride Parade from downtown Victoria to MacDonald Park.

June 28, 2015 - July 5, 2015

Various locations

Learn more....


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