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ICA Participates in World Refugee Day 2015
Submitted by Lauren Kelly, Executive Assistant
ICA Staff Member Lien Tran with Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe

ICA WRD Activity

June 18, 2015 marked the beginning of a series of events in Greater Victoria and around the world in recognition of World Refugee Day (WRD). On the Thursday evening, Gregor Craigie of CBC's
On the Island moderated a panel discussion on the topic of Pathways to Citizenship for Refugees. Featured panelists included Gerald Pash, Citizenship Judge; Peter Golden, refugee and immigration lawyer; Atong Deng, former refugee and new citizen; and Alvaro Moreno, Director of Settlement Programs at the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society. The panelists explored the relationship between citizenship and refugees and focused, in particular, on the regulatory and systemic barriers to full participation in Canadian society faced by refugees and other newcomers.


The following day, politicians, advocates, and community members with and without refugee background gathered at City Hall for a flag-raising ceremony. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) flag was raised after the reading of a declaration by Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe, marking the 64th Anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and Canada's responsibility as a signatory to the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol. Mayor Lisa Helps, and Council members Jeremy Loveday and Chris Coleman, also attended the event in show of their support.

During the flag-raising ceremony, ICA staff member Lien Tran shared her personal story about arriving to Canada as a refugee. Lien has been a dedicated Settlement Worker at ICA for over 25 years, and continues to advocate on behalf of refugees:


"Because of my experience, I have a strong commitment to assisting refugee communities in easing their trauma and stress and in helping them establish their new and happy lives, and become contributing members of Canadian society."

Lien's speech served as a reminder of the ongoing efforts by refugees and advocates to uphold universal rights associated with protection, safety, and security for all peoples around the world.

Ride for Refuge is Back!

Submitted by Meghan Mergaert, Development Manager

2014 Ride for Refuge Participants


Last year ICA had over 56 riders join forces and participate in Ride for Refuge. This family fun community event was a huge success, and together we raised over $6,500 for ICA youth services.


Ride with us again, or for the first time, on October 3 in Ride for Refuge. ICA is seeking cyclists of all ages, abilities, and experience to join us in riding and raising funds for immigrants and refugee newcomer youth. Plus, this year Ride for Refuge has introduced a 5 km walk route. ICA, along with other community organizations, is riding and walking together for this family-friendly bike-a-thon to support people that are displaced, vulnerable and exploited, and we need your help!


We are looking for people to participate as: team captains, fundraisers, promoters, riders, walkers, recruiters and volunteers. If you have a passion for supporting people and love to be active, this is the event for you!

Contact Meghan Mergaert, Development Manager at mmergaert@icavictoria.org or 250-388-4728 ext. 143 to learn more. Read more here. 

"Why I Ride My Bike"
Submitted by Meghan Mergaert, Development Manager

ICA Staff Member Meghan Mergaert and Family
As ICA gears up for 2015 Ride for Refuge, I'm excited to announce we are partnering with the Greater Victoria Bike To Work Society to offer FREE Bicycle Skills Training Courses for 24 newcomer youths and adults. Training dates are September 11, 18 & 25 from 4 - 7 pm at ICA. Contact Meghan at mmergaert@icavictoria.org or phone 250-388-4728 ext. 143 to reserve your spot.


What are your thoughts on bicycling in Victoria? We are doing a bicycle scan to learn what newcomers think about bicycling and we want to hear from you! Fill out the anonymous survey here.


Why do I love riding?


I'm one of those people who ride their bicycle pretty much every day. When I moved to Victoria about 10 years ago I worked three jobs and did not own a car. I needed a way to get between my jobs quickly and that didn't cost very much money. I borrowed an old rusty bicycle from a friend and quickly realized, with a bit of extra grease, bicycling was my best option!


Now after 10 years I still ride every day. After getting into the habit I loved that I get to exercise every day even if my commute is under 15 minutes. Plus I feel great when I get to work - something about endorphins and the fresh air. Some other benefits of bicycling:

  • I'm quicker than cars downtown
  • I can always find parking - and usually close to my destination
  • I get exercise every day
  • I can eat extra treats knowing I'm read more here....
CPN Update: Seaspan Shipyards Participates in Diversity Training
Submitted by Steven Baileys, Community Outreach Coordinator


CPN Update: Diversity Training for Seaspan Shipyards


Congratulations to the staff at Seaspan Victoria Shipyards for recently completing a half-day workshop on diversity and cross cultural understanding. Seaspan administrators and staff from the trades departments learned about cross cultural communication tools, how to recognize and understand the dimensions of all cultures, and delved into the impact of personal biases. Seaspan employs more than 800 staff and recently became a member of the Community Partnership Network (CPN) - a network of more than 190 local businesses and organizations committed to promoting diversity in our community. 


Read more here.



Update: Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership


In 2014, the Inter-Cultural Assocation of Greater Victoria (ICA) received funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to lead the Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) initiative. The goal of the LIP initiative is to connect key organizations and businesses, immigrants and community stakeholders to create an immigration settlement strategy for the Greater Victoria region. 

ICA July Youth Update: Camp Time!

Submitted by Claire Kelly, Youth Settlement Worker

July has been an incredible month filled with summer camps for the newcomer youth of ICA! 


ICA Youth Group Participants


For the younger youth (8-12 years old), there was the very successful ACE! Summer Camp during the weeks of July 6-10 and 20-24. The youth spent time making art, cooking food, playing tennis, exploring nature at Swan Lake and Witty's Lagoon, and having a great time with leaders Kay, Sandra and Branda. One of the participants described the ACE! camp as "the best camp in the world, awesome and sweet".


Throughout the month of July, the older youth (13-18 years old) are enjoying Summer Remix, a day-camp focusing on sports, arts, and exploring the community. Field trips include hiking Mount Pkols (Doug), ice skating and more.....


Thanks to our community partner, Power to Be, 6 youth had their first experience camping on the West Coast during a 3-day overnight camping trip to the Juan de Fuca trail. Below is a thank you video to Power to Be, showing some highlights from the trip.


Save the Date! ICA's 2015 AGM is on September 16, 2015

In This Issue
ICA Participates in World Refugee Day
2015 Ride for Refuge
ICA Staff Perspective on Cycling
CPN Update
Youth Update
ICA AGM Invite



Save the Date!


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


Uvic International Youth Internship Program

Funding available for ten internships with migrant rights organizations in the Asia-Pacific. Click here for more details.

What's Happening? 


ICA Workshops & Programming


Pre-Natal Class
For expectant mothers and fathers, topics include fetal development, nutrition, diet, and lifestyle.
Fridays, Nov 6 - Dec 4, 2015
10 am - 11:30 am

Learn more

Baby Talk Class

For parents and their babies one year old and under. These classes are focused on development, health, and safety.

Fridays, Sept 25 - Oct 23, 2015

10 am - 11:30 am

Learn more  


Welcome Playgroup

A free drop-in playground with children ages 0-5.

Fridays, 9 am - 11 am

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. 

Learn more   


Women Helping Women

Ongoing peer support group for women. 

Every 1st & 3rd Friday

1:30 pm - 3 pm
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


Chinatown Walks Walking Tour 

Explore Canada's oldest Chinatown with an experienced guide on a 90-minute walk and find out about the architecture, symbolism, culture, food, and religion. 
July 2 - September 5, 2015
10:30 am
Discovery Walks 



Oaklands Sunset Market 

A free, weekly outdoor market that runs every Wednesday offering fresh food, live music, and community events.  
July 29 - August 5, 2015 
4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Oaklands Community Market

Hamlet & The Tempest   

Victoria's Shakespeare by the Sea and Discovery Dance presents Hamlet and the Tempest.   
July 2 - August 2, 2015 
Clover Point Park



Saturday Night Fireworks at Butchart Gardens  

The fireworks show began in 1977 and continue to be one of the Gardens most popular draws.   
Saturdays, July 5 - Sept 5, 2015 



Victoria Symphony Splash 

A spectacular annual event that transforms Victoria's inner harbour into an outdoor concert stage.
August 2, 2015 
1 pm - 10 pm
Inner Harbour 

Victoria Flamenco Festival  

Find the passion and rhythm of flamenco music and dance in Victoria's Centennial Square. 
August 10 - August 16, 2015 
12 pm - 1 pm (Mon-Fri); full afternoons on weekends.
Centennial Square




Snowbirds Show

The 431 Air Demonstration Squadron demonstrates the skills and teamwork of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian forces.

August 12, 2015
5:45 pm
Clover Point



21st Annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

Features exciting dragon boat races, entertainment on two stages, and lots of food.

August 14 - August 16, 2015 

Friday, 11 am - 10 pm

Sat 7 Sun, 8 am - late

Downtown Inner Harbour

Learn more...

2nd Annual Korea Festival 

Partake in Victoria's second annual Korea Festival.

August 22, 2015

10 am - 10 pm

Downtown Victoria Business Association

Learn more...



Fringe Festival

11 days of comedy, drama, dance, magic, music, spoken word, and physical theatre. 

August 27 - September 6, 2015

Various times

Intrepid Threatre

Learn more...


Integrate Arts Festival

Developed in 2007, the event includes an art crawl in celebration of small, artist-run galleries.

August 28 - August 30, 2015

Friday, 7 pm - 10 pm

Saturday, 6 pm - 9 pm

Sunday, 12 pm - 4 pm

The Bay Centre 

Learn more....





Global Connections: Critical Holocaust Education in a Time of Transition

Join this free international, interdisciplinary conference.

September 1 - September 3, 2015
Various times.

MacLaurin Building, A144, Uvic 

Learn more....


Bollywood Masala Orchestra & Dancers of India - "The Spirit of India"

Join this colourful, lively musical journey from Rajasthan to Mumbai with the legendary Indian musician Rahis Bharti.

September 25, 2015

7:30 pm

Learn more....



University 101 at UVic 

Free University Course at UVic, no previous academic experience of school diploma necessary. 

Various dates in August, 2015

Learn more....




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