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42 riders and counting for ICA's Ride for Refuge
Submitted by Meghan Mergaert, Development Manager

With only three days left before Ride for Refuge you have helped us surpass our goal and put ICA into second place in Victoria. With your generous donations, we have raised over $6,700. 42 enthusiastic riders and walkers are joining the cause. ICA, along with 16 other community organizations, are riding and walking together in this family-friendly bike-a-thon to support people who are displaced, vulnerable and exploited - and we couldn't do it without you!

Sponsor a young newcomer to ride in the Ride for Refuge

Want to help but not sure how? The youth team, ICA Wheels of Thunder, still have a few youth that need to reach their fundraising goal of $75 each. Donate now to help a young newcomer participate in this fun, active community event this Saturday.

Also, there is still time to grease up your chain or dust off your walking shoes and join ICA clients, volunteers, CPN members, staff and board members on Saturday morning. Join one of our teams here.

We are looking forward to seeing all the riders and walkers on Saturday morning.
P.S. Late registrations are welcome. We will meet at 8:30 am in front of Royal Oak Middle School for a group photo. Read more here. 
ICA is now able to assist with refugee resettlement into Victoria as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder
In August 2015, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) received approval from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to become a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH). This is a framework agreement with the Canadian government to support refugees to resettle in Canada through Canada's Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. We are the second group in Greater Victoria that holds an agreement with CIC to privately sponsor refugees as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, along with the Anglican Diocese of BC.

Under the agreement, we will work with Constituent Groups in sponsoring refugees. As done in the past, we will continue to assist community sponsoring organizations or Groups of Five - five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents who get together to sponsor a refugee or refugees. Sponsoring groups assist with financial obligations, as well as the reception, housing, and care of the refugee newcomers when they arrive to the region. Refugee cases can either be identified by the Canadian government for a blended financial sponsorship model, or family members or friends residing in Victoria can identify refugees abroad for resettlement. 

ICA's Board President reflects on the past year
Submitted by Cathy Hunter, President of the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria hosted ICA's 35th Annual General Meeting on August 15, 2015. The business part of the meeting included reports from the President, Executive Director and Auditor, Barry Obara of Obara & Company. We are pleased to conclude a challenging year at ICA with strong, responsive programming and with a healthy financial position that enables us to move ahead in the year before us.

Confirming program detail and funding expectations while transitioning from the Province to the Federal government as our primary funding partner required extra effort from the management team this past year. I applaud not only the management team but also all our wonderful staff for their professionalism and seamless delivery of service to support our clients through times of uncertainty and adjustment.

ICA volunteers: You make up 4.5 full time staff! 
Submitted by Liz Bean, Coordinator of Volunteer Services

ICA Volunteers. Photo credit: Carol Sherwood

We are fortunate to have amazing, talented and supportive volunteers! Each year, over 180 community members give their time, energy, experience, expertise, and support helping immigrants to settle and thrive in Canada.
The feedback we've received indicates that ICA is a great place to volunteer. We asked volunteers to rate their experience at ICA by using anonymous surveys, and year after year, the results have been extremely positive. This year, over 98% of ICA volunteers indicate they feel appreciated in their role. Here's what some of them had to say:

""I am touched by ICA's appreciation of its volunteers. The appreciation events were amazing."

"A delightful opportunity to share, learn and build community in a respectful and caring way."


"My shift at the ICA is a highlight of my week!"

"It has been fantastic. I look forward to my volunteer shift every week and love the ICA environment!"

New and returning teachers assistants. Photo credit: Carol Sherwood

Jason Jones creates space for diversity
Submitted by Steven Baileys, Community Development Coordinator
Jason Jones with Jean McRae, Executive Director at ICA

We would like to congratulate Jason Jones, Youth Program Manager at Saanich Parks and Recreation, on being named as the recipient of the Rhiasat Ali Khan Service Recognition award. Each year the Rhiasat Ali Khan award, given by the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA), recognizes individuals and organizations for their innovative contributions to diversity and inclusion in BC.

As a dynamic and committed volunteer at ICA, Jason Jones helped grow the Community Partnership Network (CPN) as a member of the CPN Advisory Council. Jason also brought diversity and sensitivity training to Saanich Parks and Recreation staff to ensure services are offered in a culturally sensitive manner. Jason has promoted the development of innovative and diverse programs that include the annual Moon Lantern Festival, Speak Well English Conversation classes for newcomers, and producing a Multi-Lingual Program guide, among others. Read more about Jason and our CPN network here.
Elder Knowledge a "barrel of laughs" 
Submitted by Paulina Grainger, Arts & Outreach Coordinator

Who would have thought gardening could be so much fun? With this group of newcomer senior participants, it's been a barrel of laughs. Together they've shared various traditions of growing food around the world - cultural knowledge they're been trying to incorporate in their own small gardens here in Victoria, with varying success. Two organizations, Compost Education Centre and LifeCycles Project have partnered with ICA to help the seniors expand their local knowledge in growing wholesome food close to home. 

They have facilitated a number of interesting and information-packed workshops, including; composting basics, soil stewardship, rain harvesting, how to attract pollinators, ecological gardening techniques, and how to produce food in your own backyard. The seniors have also gone fruit tree harvesting in the Greater Victoria area and have taken a native plant field trip to Pepaken Hautw in Brentwood Bay. The next workshop the group is looking forward to is on how to preserve and can  food on October 27. It's not too late to join us!

Survey says... results from ICA's language program
Submitted by Todd Kitzler, Head LINC Instructor 

In June of this year the Languages Services Department at ICA conducted its most recent round of learner outcome surveys to collect feedback from our students on how we are doing in terms of service delivery in the LINC program. 98% of students surveyed said their class helped them improve their English, become more familiar with Canadian culture, customs and family life, and helped them meet people and make new friends. 

One student said,
"The content this course is very good. I like this English classes because they help me improve my English every day.

An intermediate level student reported, 
"Thanks to ICA I am able to communicate with other people, and have a job that I can communicate." 

Another added, 
"My English Class at ICA was a great experience of learning language, culture, and Canadian values."

Let's celebrate! Vanessa Rose and Gagan Leekha are this year's recipients of our Diversity Scholarship Award! 
We want to thank all of the 2015 Diversity Scholarship applicants. All applicants already engage in such meaningful work within our community, and ICA is honored to have gotten the opportunity to learn from and about this year's participants. 

Cathy Hunter, Board President, with Vanessa Lee, Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient

Vanessa Rose, Undergraduate Recipient
Vanessa was born in Chile with ancestry to the Aymara Aboriginal people in South America. Her family came to Canada as a refugee when she was a young child. Vanessa is currently in her third year of the Bachelor of Social Work Program at the University of Victoria. She is also a Health Support Worker at The Victoria Native Friendship Centre that serves the Urban Aboriginal population in Victoria, where she is focusing on narrowing the health disparities currently facing Aboriginal peoples.

Growing up with parents who spoke no English, Vanessa experienced and witnessed the many challenges of being displaced from homeland and the vulnerability faced by individuals when navigating the medical system. Read more here.  

Cathy Hunter, Board President, with Gagan Leekha, Graduate Scholarship Recipient

Gagan Leekha, Graduate Recipient

"Thank you to ICA board for this wonderful scholarship. I really enjoyed the process of applying because it caused me to reflect on why I do the work I do. I was reminded of all the amazing people that I have worked alongside on issues related to equity, inclusion, social justice, and creating a more welcoming community. I am grateful for the learning and growth that I've been a part of in community and on the traditional territory of the Coast and Straight Salish people, and I look forward to the good work ahead. Thank you!"

Gagan is an MA candidate in the School of Leadership Studies and Royal Roads University. She has over 15 years of community development experience work with organizations such as Sierra Club BC, Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre, Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, and Victoria Coalition for Survivors of Torture. Gagan values inclusion, community-building, and working across differences to create lasting, systemic change. Read more here. 
"We all want happiness and we try to make it..."
Submitted by Claire Kelly, Settlement Youth Worker

We sat down with some of the youth and leaders who attended our summer programs to get a bit of feedback. Here's what they had to say...
* We all want happiness and we try to make it
* My highlight for the year
* The group were a very good team work, friendly and understand each other
* This group is super awesome and energetic
* A gathering of different youth from many backgrounds
* I had a lot of fun all thanks to Summer Remix members and participants
* As I hope, I really make new friends and our leaders were also very nice and friendly

What did you learn?
* The skill to be a leader of the youth
* Canada is filled with different cultures
* To play tennis
* English
* Skating
* To make good friends
* Make new friends and be cooperative 

From the leaders...
* It was really kind of the facilitators for understanding us and helping us for everything they can. Thank you!!
* The facilitators were great. They're so kind and funny
* The facilitators were truly nice. They were friendly and helpful, etc... 
* All the leaders were very fun and well prepared!

We would like to once again thank our donors, it's thanks to YOU that we are able to offer the services we do! 

Read more student feedback here.

In This Issue
42 riders and counting for ICA's Ride for Refuge
ICA assists with refugee sponsorship
ICA Board President reflects on the past year
ICA volunteers: You make up 4.5 full time staff
Jason Jones creates space for diversity
Elder Knowledge "a barrel of laughs"
Survey says....results from ICA's language program
Let's celebrate! Diversity Scholarship Recipeints
We all want happiness and we try to make it..."
What's Happening?
Community Events






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Check out our past year:

What's Happening? 
ICA Workshops & Programming

Bike to Work Multicultural Celebration Station at ICA
Come celebrate cycling with food and activities. Plus a chance to win $500 towards a new bike. 
Tuesday, October 6
3:00  pm- 5 :00 pm 
ICA parking lot, 930 Balmoral Rd. 

Weekly Settlement Orientation Sessions
Important information to help newcomers settle in Victoria. 
Available in English on Wednesdays
12:30  - 2:30 pm  
Available in Mandarin on Wednesdays
9:30 am - 11:30 am
普通话讲座: 周三上午9:30 - 11:30 

Focus on Fitness: Chip Trail Walk
Wednesday, October 7
12:30 pm  - 2:30 pm  
Free 6-week program to learn about rental housing in Victoria. 
Fridays Oct 16 - Nov 20
9:30 - 11:30 am

Men Living Well in Community  
Build friendships, learn about community and have fun. 
Wednesdays, Oct 21 - Dec 2
4:00 pm- 6:00 pm
Cooking for Newcomers 
Healthy, nutrious cooking in Canada.  
Wednesdays, Oct 14 - Nov 4
11:30 am - 1:30 pm  

Pre-Natal Course  
For expectant mothers (fathers & partners are welcome). Ask questions, get support, make friends. 
Fridays, Nov 6 - Dec 4
10 am - 11:30 am   
Citizenship Classes 
Help applicants prepare for citizenship tests.  
Two Fridays per month.   

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

Community Events

Garden City Grooves Festival
A celebration of fund and soul groove. 
Thursday, October 1 - Saturday, October 3, 2015 
Lighthouse Brewery, Lucky Bar, and Copper Owl

Fundraising Dinner for Syrian Refugees 
Join in for a multi-course, gourmet, vegetarian Indian meal in benefit of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). 
Saturday, October 3, 2015
7:30 pm 
Victoria Ukrainian Centre  
Sound of Switzerland  
The Sound of Switzerland is a celebration of Swiss Music and culture. The Victoria Swiss Society is happy to welcome the many award winning Edmonton Swiss Men's Choir, (celebrating its 35th year). 
Saturday, October 3, 2015
3 pm
Alex Golden Hall

Salt Spring Island Apple Festival
This event attracts about 1500 apple lovers, celebrating the apples (and food) of Salt Spring Island and connecting you with the farms and farmers that produce this very special diversity of tasty, healthy food.   
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Salt Spring Island

The Global Refugee Crisis: What caused it and what can we do to make a sustainable difference?
Join us for a short film and speaker's panel as we attempt to understand the current international refugee situation from a Canadian perspective.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
6:30 pm - 8 pm
Camosun College, Landsdown Campus, Fisher Building RM100 

An Evening with Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra speaks about his latest findings in both mainstream and alternative medicine. 
Saturday, October 10, 2015
7:30 - 10:30 pm  
University Centre Farquhar Auditorium.  
Exchange Works
Join in at AGGV Chief Curator Michelle Jacques discusses the circulation of artwork through various modes of exchange. 
Thursday, October 15, 2015
7 pm - 9 pm  
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria 
Victoria Zombie Walk
Join this spooky movement and dress as your scariest zombie while haunting the street of downtown Victoria. 
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Centennial Square

IdeaFest 2015  
Join UVic thinkers, innovators and artists from across campus as they explore dozens of world changing ideas at the university's 4th annual IdeaFest.  
March 2 -7, 2015.

Vegetarian Cooking Demo & Lifestyle Seminar
A whole food, plant-based vegetarian cooking class that is fun, informative, and delicious.  
Monday, October 19, 2015
6:30 pm - 8 pm
White Eagle Polish Hall 
Artists, Architects, and Artisans: Canadian Art 1890-1918
The ground-breaking exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada last year looked at the interaction among artists, architects, and artisans, as well as critics and collectors from 1890-1918.  
Thursday, October 22, 2015
7 pm    
Legacy Art Gallery. 

Rocky Horror Show: Live 
Rebel Knock Out Productions, a new artist collective in Victoria, BC, will be producing Richard O'Brien's the Rocky Horror Show live.
October 22 - October 31, 2015
Metro Studio Theatre

Pumpkin Art on Oak Bay Avenue 
Hundreds of carved pumpkins featuring the likes of local personalities, cartoon characters, and more..   
October 24 - October 31, 2015
Oak Bay Municipal Hall 

Wicked Victoria 
Celebrate the Harvest Season with this free family event..
October 25, 2015
12 pm - 5 pm
On Government Street between Courtney and Yates St.

Nightmare at the Museum 
This Halloween join in for an interactive evening inspired by all things that go bump in the night.
October 31, 2015
Royal BC Museum

Halloween Spooktacular Fireworks 
A fun evening of fireworks and treats.
October 31, 2015
6 pm
Bear Mountain Golf Club

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