Have you been following ICA's involvement as a SAH?

Image courtesy of UNHCR

In August, ICA was approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to support refugees to resettle in Canada as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) through Canada's Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. ICA is the only non-denominational and non-ethnic-based SAH in British Columbia. Since our announcement, ICA has had an outpouring of requests and interests from individuals and groups both locally and throughout the province.

In this short and busy period, ICA has confirmed and matched 5 family cases from Syria with 5 Constituent Groups that have been formed. These family cases include cases referred by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and privately-referred cases.
Currently we have 9 more privately identified cases that are available to be matched to sponsoring groups, and include families and individuals from Syria, Iraq, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Read more here.

Who we are  - What we believe in: A youth documentary
Submitted by Paulina Grainger, Arts & Outreach Coordinator

"A powerful way to communicate an issue that is relevant to all cultures" - Audience member

Five young adults weighed in on this question and shared their experiences and insights of making this 20 minute documentary. Together, they represented various cultural and faith backgrounds; Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Sikh, Rastafari, Taoism, Chinese, East Indian, African, Colombian and First Nations. At the end of the 8-month project, they shared that although they found the process of making the film challenging at times, it gave them the space and time to explore questions about their own identity and how well they 'fit in' their community today.

It is through their words that we understand its impact:

"Often as a youth, you struggle to understand where to belong, especially when you come from a different country...but this process helped me understand read more here..... 
229% over our goal because of you!
Submitted by Meghan Mergaert, Development Manager

I am very humbled and sincerely impressed by everyone who participated in this year's Ride for Refuge! By your efforts to ride 10 km, a very hilly 25 km, or a long and scenic 50 km; to motivate your friends and family to donate; and together, to raise $11,450 to support young refugees and newcomers into our community. WOW! You helped us exceed our goal by

Because of your gift to Ride for Refuge, we can continue our weekly "Meet Up" program to support immigrant and refugee youth adjust and integrate into our community. For many young people immigrating to our community, finding friends and having a sense of belonging is one of the most important indicators of their success.

Together, the Greater Victoria community raised over $100,000 to support vulnerable, displaced and marginalized peoples. It is through your donations and participation that we continue to create an environment where newcomers thrive. 
Why do you vote? 

Chieko Iza, ICA staff member

We recently ran a social media campaign and draw in preparation for Canada's federal election on October 19, 2015. We asked participants on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and SurveyMonkey:  

Why do YOU vote?

We wanted to share some of the amazing feedback we received, and thought we would reiterate your answers in a wordle.
Thank you to all of our participants for sharing your voice! And congratulations to our draw winners Nina, Nichola, and John!

Dracula, goblins and ghosts - oh my!

ICA trick or treaters in 2014

Halloween is an exciting time of year for children of all ages. On October 31, Halloween night, children and families dress up in costume and go door-to-door "trick or treating." Traditionally, and still in some cultures, Halloween - or All Hallows Eve - was a time of year to remember the dead. We now celebrate with treats and costumes.

Here are some helpful tips to ensure your family has a safe and enjoyable Halloween.
  1. Make it a family event by trick or treating with your children; if possible, avoid letting children trick or treat alone.
  2. Bundle up! Many children don't want to wear a coat as it covers their costume - if they are trick or treating outside be sure they dress warmly.
  3. Give your child a bag to put their treats in - many of us remember using our pillow cases as trick or treat bags! Make sure the bag is easy to hold onto as your child will need to be able to open and close it when receiving treats.
  4. More Halloween tips here...
30 newcomers inform Here! Magazine
Submitted by Steven Baileys, Community Development Coordinator

With open minds and a generosity of ideas filling the community room at the Central branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library, more than 30 immigrants shared their perspectives on how to make our region a more welcoming place. The event was part of a focus group organized by Here! Magazine- a longtime member of the Community Partnership Network (CPN) - in collaboration with ICA and researchers from UVic Office for Community University Engagement (CUE). 

In a series of lively round table discussions, immigrants from China, South Korea, Croatia, Venezuela, Mexico, Kenya, Ukraine and other countries, shared ideas on what vital information and programs are needed to better assist newcomers with their settlement in Greater Victoria. Read more here.
Masculinity & Misogyny: Call for Story Ideas
Submitted by Paulina Grainger, Arts & Outreach Coordinator

Masculinity & Misogyny: It Affects Us All

Call for Story Ideas
Send us a 30 second story idea and win $200!
Project Description: The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is looking to produce 8 creative viral video 'shorts' on sexism, sexualized violence towards women, consent, and the role young men must play in affecting social change!
We have all observed inappropriate sexual encounters that make us feel uncomfortable - during sports events, at parties, on social media, in hallways, and even in class! PEER POWER intends to spark conversation about how the messages young men receive about "being a man" have a powerful impact on sexual violence.
Who: This competition is open to all high school students in the Capital Regional District and any young adults between the ages of 14 - 18. Read more here.....
Because you're a girl

On October 11, 2015 ICA staff members and the youth team celebrated International Day of the Girl, an annual day recognizing girls and women's rights. This is the second year the ICA youth team has come together to discuss issues related to gender and equality in acknowledgement of International Day of the Girl, and we hope to continue this tradition moving forward. Festivities included a henna exchange and clothing swap, energized by the music of some of our favourite female artists.

A special thanks to the women and girls who participated: you showed us how strength in community and cultivating compassion can be a powerful tool in building equality and advocating for change. You supported our initiatives by sharing your skills in arts and leadership, welcoming girls from various backgrounds to experience new cultural practices.

International Day of the Girl, and every day throughout the year, we hope to show you just how important your contributions are to our immediate and global community. Thank you for your continued support and participation!  

"I will continue my passion of supporting newcomers..."
Submitted by Claire Kelly, Youth Settlement Worker

In early October, the Vancouver Foundation and Canadian Council for Refugees hosted a Youth Action Gathering in Vancouver, BC. During the weekend event, approximately 150 newcomer youth gathered to share experiences and discuss issues they face as newcomer youth. They also had an evening gala to recognize and celebrate achievements of these young people. There were four prizes of $1000 given to four youth that have bridged gaps in their community. Among the four awarded, was Zhiqi Jiang, a newcomer youth participant and volunteer at ICA.

Zhiqi Jiang moved to Canada from China in 2013, and began attending ICA programs in the fall of 2014. In November 2014, she had the opportunity to attend the Fresh Voices youth conference and was so inspired, that she took the initiative to create a new group to support newcomers at her school.

"In Canada, I realized my situation as a new immigrant and was lucky to be helped by the Inter-Cultural Association. Even luckier, I was able to become a volunteer at ICA and gain many opportunities. That is how I got the chance to attend Fresh Voices and learned so much more about the newcomers in this country..."

Calling all immigrants in Victoria - help make our community better
Submitted by Steven Baileys, Community Development Coordinator
Newcomer immigrants invited to take online survey.

The Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership (GVLIP) initiative is working to improve the experiences of immigrants who are living, working and participating in the Greater Victoria region.
To help us better understand more about the experiences of being a newcomer, we are inviting all immigrants living in the Greater Victoria region to take the GVLIP Immigrant Survey. The information provided will help the GVLIP learn more about how to improve immigrant's experiences and access to the region's services and programs.
  • The information will be part of a report to be released by the GVLIP in early 2016.
  • The survey is now open until December 7, 2015.
  • The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete.
To take the survey, please  click here. In addition, during the month of November a series of focus groups will be organized to gather more in-depth feedback from newcomers. If you are interested in being part of the focus group in, please email: greatervictorialipresearch@gmail.com
Welcoming Bradley to ICA
Bradley Blois, ICA Practicum Student
Hi! My name is Bradley Blois; I am a second year student from Camosun College. The program I am taking is called Community, Family and Child Studies. I am doing my practicum with the Settlement department at ICA helping facilitate two sessions, Soft Skills for Social Interactions and Men's Group. I was born in a small town in Alberta and raised in the Comox Valley. I have lived in Victoria for 7 years and previously pursued a career in business. After accomplishing the goals I set for myself early on, I decided it was time to make a change and find a more fulfilling career. I was uncertain about the field in which I wished to work; I only knew that I wanted to help people. I was ecstatic to get a practicum placement at ICA and I am excited to have an opportunity to make a difference in my community.

During my free time I enjoy hiking the local trails, playing pool and practicing my guitar. I am a big fan of horror movies and enjoy cooking for friends and family.      

In This Issue
Have you been following ICA's SAH activities?
Who We Are - What We Believe In: A Youth Documentary
Halloween tips
30 newcomers inform Here! Magazine
Call for story ideas
Because you're a girl
"I will continue my passion of supporting newcomers"
Calling all immigrants in Victoria
Welcome Bradley Blois
What's Happening?
Community Events






ICA is on Instragram

Follow @icavictoria 


What's Happening? 
ICA Workshops & Programming

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 

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

Employment Workshops
Job search for newcomers workshop
Tuesday & Thursday
Nov 5-26 

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

Community Events

4th Annual Day of the Dead Fiesta
Live music featuring Hank Pine, Compassion Gorilla & Bucan Bucan. Tickets $15. 
Friday, October 30 @ 8 pm
White Eagle Hall, 90 Dock St. 
Vancouver Island Corn Maze
Celebrate fall and Halloween through a vast maze in Saanich.  
Until Saturday, October 31 
9537 West Saanich Rd. 

Pumpkin Fest at Galey Farms  
Join the festive fun with a corn maze, market & railway. 
October 10-31, 2015
4150 Blenkinsop Rd.   

Pumpkin Art on Oak Bay 
Check out hundreds of carved pumpkins on Oak Bay avenue. Plus businesses  host trick or treating on Halloween from 2-5 pm. Bonfire starts at 6 pm. 

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

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

The City of Victoria wants your help to make Victoria's bicycling network safe and accessible for people of all ages and abilities. 
Sunday, November 1, 2015
2:30 - 5:30 pm 
Victoria Conference Centre, 720 Douglas St.  

Diwali Cultural Show 2015
"A dazzling evening of music, classical Žional folk dances" plus Bollywood performances.    
Saturday, November 7, 2015
University Centre Farquhar Auditorium

Victoria International Jewish Film Festival 
First International Jewish Film Festival in downtown Victoria at the Cineplex Odeon Theatre.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
6:30 pm - 8 pm
Camosun College, Landsdowne 
Campus, Fisher Building RM100 

TedXVictoria 5: Impact 
The theme is Impact! Thinking about how spreading ideas impacts our world & community. 
Saturday, November 21
9:30 am - 6:00 pm

Polar Bear Swim for Refugees
Join brave swimmers for a dip in the Pacific Ocean to raise funds for refugee sponsorship. 
Saturday, December 6
10 am

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