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A Critical Eye for Film Making
Submitted by Paulina Grainger, Arts & Outeach Coordinator
Photos courtesy of Quinton Gordon


"I was scared and unsure about being a part of this project in the beginning, and about speaking about my faith and identity. I felt people were likely to judge me for it. But six months into the project, I now value this opportunity to express myself. It's definitely caused me to think more about where I come from and to evaluate where I am now... if there is balance in my life, if I'm grounded. So I feel vulnerable and empowered at the same time speaking about what I believe in."


As David Mutuku's quote indicates, this project is fulfilling everything we hoped for by giving young participants a space to share and reflect on how their cultural background and spiritual life define who they are; to reflect on how their experiences have changed after moving to a new country; and a space to share how they see themselves fitting into their communities. Some of these insights have come from working together as a team and "film crew" on the film shoots that have been taking place in their communities these past few months. Some other insights come from the people they have chosen to interview on camera, people who they admire and who inspire them. Notably, and perhaps most significantly, are the insights gained from taking the time to go on this journey of self-discovery. The five young participants represent a variety of backgrounds, traditions and beliefs, from Chinese, East Indian, African, Colombian, and First Nations, to Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Sikh, Rastafarian, and Taoist. 

"I Was Born a Refugee Without Nationality..." Rawiya Anibtawi Shares her Story
Submitted by Rawiya Anibtawi, English Language Student at ICA

Rawiya Anibtawi at ICA

"I was born a refugee without nationality in Iraq. I'm originally from Palestine. I and my husband fled from Iraq to Syria where we lived at refugee camp after USA invasion of Iraq. In 2010, I immigrated to Canada as landed immigrant. 


My English was zero and I started right away to study English at ICA. It was not easy as mom, wife and mother of two children in addition to my very low vision to study English, but I'm so determine to speak, read, write and comprehend English Language as one of official languages in Canada. More importantly, I must study English and obtain certificate to apply for citizenship. It so important for me and my family to become Canadians because we never have nationality and Canada is one of respectful countries in the world and we as so aspiring to become Canadians. Read more here....

CPN Update: Getting to Know Our Muslim Neighbours

Submitted by Steven Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

On June 9, 2015 members of the Community Partnership Network (CPN) were hosted at the Masjid Al-Iman Mosque on Quadra Street for a community engagement event. More than 80 members of the CPN and the local Muslim community joined together to share and learn about Islam and explore how to build relationships across our communities.

Greater Victoria is now home to more than two thousand Muslim neighbours who represent a range of countries and cultures in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Europe and elsewhere.


Members of the Masjid Al-Imam Mosque at the CPN Community Engagement Event


The event started in the prayer hall of the Mosque where Imam (scholar) Mohammed Ghilbran welcomed everyone by singing a passage from the Quran that spoke to the importance of service and giving to others. Imam Ghilbran went on to explain the foundations of Islam and the role and ritual of prayer in the life of the congregation. Participants learned about the significance of the Ramadan observance (June 18-July 17) that calls upon Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset for 30 days as a way to broaden their compassion for the hungry and less fortunate. Ramadan is also a time for many Muslims to donate to charity by participating in food drives for the poor and other voluntary activities.


CPN members and Muslims later engaged in a series of round table discussions where they shared ideas about how our communities can increase opportunities to better understand one another and develop stronger relationships. 

ICA June Youth Update

Submitted by Claire Kelly, Settlement Youth Worker

The youth team attending The Vibe picnic


As the school year comes to an end, so do many youth programs at ICA; Homework Club, The Vibe, and The Meet Up all came to an end in June and were all very successful. These programs served approximately 60 happy youth, with the help of 20 youth volunteers!


So, the Youth Services team would first like to thank all of the incredible participants and volunteers that made all of these programs possible. Thank you for a great semester of fun and learning, and we hope to see you all again in the fall.


As sad as it is to finish these three programs, with the end of the school year comes the beginning of summer break and our summer programs for the youth of ICA! For the younger youth (8-12 years old), Kay will be leading ACE! Summer Camp during the weeks of July 6-10 and July 20-24. However, the camp is in such high demand that it is already full.


Police Dialogue with Newcomer Immigrants
Submitted by Maggie El-Shuli, Language Instructor

LINC students visiting the Victoria Police Station


On April 16 levels 5 and 6 English language students took part in the event Police Dialogue with Newcomer Immigrants hosted at ICA. This event was a very interesting and enjoyable activity for the students, and they walked away with a much better understanding of the police in their community. The students appreciated that the police wanted to learn from them and gain a better understanding of how the newcomer community perceives the police.  It was a great bridging activity between both parties.  

As a follow up to this event, ICA English teachers took the students to the Victoria Police station on a tour, which was enjoyed by both students and staff.  Everyone at the station was very accommodating and made the students feel welcome.


Community-Based Response Network on Sexualized and Gender-Based Violence
Submitted by Sabine Lehr, Immigrant Services Manager


Since July 2014, ICA has been a member of the Community-Based Response Network on Sexualized and Gender-Based Violence (CBRN). Under the leadership of the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, seven community organizations are looking for ways to create a sustainable community network and to develop a co-ordinated response to sexualized and gender-based violence across the diverse communities served by these organizations. The organizations involved serve a range of persons: racialized, immigrant, refugee, and Indigenous girls, women, and trans*people as well as women and trans*people involved in sex work.


During the first year, the Network focused its work on consulting with staff members inside our organizations, as well as with members of our client communities. The goal was to collectively identify issues and needs of persons impacted by sexualized

 and gender-based violence. As we are moving into the second year of our work, we will develop a collaboration strategy to enable continuity of the Network beyond the initial

 two years. We will develop a community-level promising practice to strengthen our community response to sexualized and gender-based violence across our diverse communities.


The Network has produced a first video where representatives of the seven organizations talk about their experiences during the first year. You can access this video and read more about the Network by following this link.


Why is there an asterisk in trans*?

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."

ICA Volunteers Meet Their Match
Submitted by Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services 


The ICA Pen Pal program matched 17 individual newcomer students enrolled in an ICA intermediate level English language class with ICA volunteers from the community. The Pen Pals exchanged letters over a 3-month period, between February and May 2015. The program afforded the Pen Pals the chance to participate in cultural exchange, and in particular, provided newcomer English language learners the opportunity to practice their writing skills. The letters are handwritten which makes the experience much more personal.


ICA volunteers and newcomer students
Photo Credit: Carol Sherwood

The Pen Pals met one another for the first time on April 28, 2015 at a fun and festive event. Though the program has come to a close, many of the Pals found that they share similar interests and plan to keep in touch.


If you would like more information about becoming a volunteer for an ICA program, please contact Coordinator of Volunteer Services Liz Bean at lbean@icavictoria.org.

Culture Fair at Central Middle School
Submitted by Lisa Wang, Settlement Worker in Schools


ICA staff members Gita John-Iyam, Lisa Wang, and Kay Otani


On June 8, 2015 ICA's Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) team participated in a Culture Fair at Central Middle School. It was an exciting and successful cultural event for both the school and our SWIS program.


The SWIS team worked closely with school teachers in planning and organizing the event. ICA staff were able to connect with many students and teachers sharing stories, art and origami making activities.


Various cultural dance groups performed traditional art and dances; some students joined the Japanese dance group at the end.  SWIS workers invited students to pin their country of origin on a world map. The students also put on wonderful cultural displays. It was a fantastic way for students to learn from different cultures and appreciate the diversity present in their school.

ICA Welcomes Branda Guan as Youth Summer Camps Facilitator


ICA is pleased to welcome Branda Guan as our summer student, Service Canada: Canada Summer Jobs. 


"Hi, everyone! I am currently a Master of Public Health student, specializing in Social Policy, at the University of Victoria. I was born in Toronto, but I grew up in Victoria. Both of my parents are from Guangzhou, China, so I have had the pleasure of growing up in a cross-cultural setting. 


I am very excited to be working as a youth summer camp facilitator at ICA, and will be involved with the Remix and ACE! summer programs. I look forward to working with all the amazing staff and youth at ICA." 


Wishing ICA Staff Member Enjoyment in her Retirement

Submitted by Todd Kitzler, Head Language Instructor


Marilyn Crump started teaching at ICA in 2010 as part of the evening ELSA (English

Language Services for Adults) team, as it was known then. Since that time, she has taught level 1 in ELSA and level 2 in our evening LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) program and also worked as a substitute instructor and progress test assessor. Marilyn has been a valuable member of our staff. She brought a lot of experience and expertise to our program and was well liked by her students not only because of her teaching skills, but also because of the empathy, sensitivity and support she gave to each student. Marilyn will be missed, and we wish her all the best in her retirement.


"It's been my great pleasure to have been part of the ICA community for the last 5 years. I'm amazed when I look around and realize all the effort, support and help that happen in this organization on so many levels every day. I would especially like to thank my LINC Instructor colleagues for their generosity and friendship during my time here." - Marilyn Crump 


In This Issue
A Critical Eye for Film Making
"I Was Born a Refugee Without Nationality"
CPN Update: Getting to Know Our Muslim Neighbours
Youth Update
Police Dialogue with Newcomer Immigrants
Community Response Based Network on Sexualized and Gender-Based Violence
ICA's 2015 Diversity Scholarship Program
ICA Volunteers Meet their Match
Culture Fair at Central Middle School
Introducing Branda Guan
Wishing ICA Staff Member Enjoyment in her Retirement



Save the Date!


Mark your calendars, ICA is hosting its 2015 Annual General Meeting on September 16, 2015. Stay tuned for further details!



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. 



Only a few days left to donate to the Blossoms Campaign!

We are so close to reaching our goal! Help immigrant and newcomer youth attend summer camp by making a donation. Find out more here.






ICA Volunteer Evaluation Survey is still open. 

We love hearing your feedback on how to make our volunteer program and your experience as a volunteer at ICA richer and more rewarding. 

What's Happening? 


ICA Workshops & Programming


Soft Skills in the Workplace
Skills for workplace success.
Mondays & Wednesdays
June 15 - June 24, 2015

Learn more

ACE! Summer Camp for Youth

For youth between the ages of 8-12 and 13-18. 

July 6-10, 2015 and 20-24, 2015

Learn more  

*Program registration is full. 


Summer Remix

Day camp with an overnight camping trip to the Juan de Fuca trail in partnership with Power to Be Adventure Therapy.

Tuesdays and Thursdays all through July (camping trip July 8-10, 2015).

Learn more  

Elder Knowledge: Growing Food Close to Home

Newcomer seniors getting together to share their knowledge on gardening and growing food close to home. Beginning in June, 2015.

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


TD Victoria International JazzFest 

Ten-day music festival featuring jazz, blues and world music. 
June 19 - 28, 2015 


Victoria Pride Week  

Events, parade and festival.  
June 28 - July 5, 2015 


Victoria Celebrates Canada Day   

Enjoy family-friendly events downtown including live music and performances.   
July 1, 2015 


Want to volunteer with Victoria's Canada Day Celebrations?   

There are still volunteer opportunities! Make friends and get connected. .   
July 1, 2015 



Canada Day Celebrations 

Canada's biggest birthday with live music and lots of activities.
July 1, 2015 
10 am - 5:30 pm
Fort Rodd Hill 

Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival  

Five day music festival in the inner harbour, includes free shows. 
July 1 - 5, 2015 
10 am - 5:30 pm
Inner Harbour 



Shakespeare by the Sea

This year featuring Hamlet and the Tempest, performed outside by the sea.

July 2 - August 2, 2015
Clover Point



Victoria Street Food Festival

Victoria's best food carts and street vendors gather in the heart of the city to celebrate.

July 3, 10 & 17, 2015 

11 am - 9 pm

Centennial Square

Learn more...



Free Drumming Workshop

One of the most popular music events in Victoria! Drums are provided but you are also welcome to bring your own.

July 7, 2015

7 pm

Fairfield United Church Hall

Learn more...




Esquimalt's Free Outdoor Summer Movie Series

Enjoy an outdoor movie experience on a large outdoor movie screen. Movies will be held every second Wednesday. 

July 8 - September 2, 2015

9:45 approximately (at dusk)

527 Fraser St. Bullen Park

Learn more...




Cook Street Community BBQ

An opportunity tour the Cook Street Village Activity Centre, view their programs, meet the instructors, and enjoy a BBQ lunch. 

July 11, 2015

11 am - 2 pm

Cook Street Village Activity Centre 

Learn more....



Colour Vibe 5K

The "Colour Vibe" is coming to Esquimalt. Experience the most #VIBErant 5K of all time by joining the fun and getting blasted with tons of colour.  

July 12, 2015

9 am start  

1151 Esquimalt Road  

More info here.



Victoria International Buskers Festival

Professional street performers from our region and across Canada converge for our fifth annual festival.  

July 17, 2015 - July 26, 2015 

Throughout Downtown Victoria

Learn more....  



Damali Lavender Festival

A fun filled day at the farm in support of the Cowichan Valley Hospice including lavender harvesting and essential oil distillation.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

10 am - 5 pm   

3500 Telegraph Cove, Cobble Hill

Learn more....



Indigenous Youth Arts Programs

IYAP is a free, hands-on program encouraging Indigenous youth to tell their stories while exploring the many facets of media arts: video, sound, digital, etc.

May 31, 2015 - November 29, 2015

Open Space Contemporary Arts Society

More information here.



Tahltan Song Cycle  

Open Space welcomes back Tahltan Nation performance artist Peter Morin to help exemplify the power of traditional songs and connection to the land.

Friday, June 19, 2015

7 pm 


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