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Now accepting ISSofBC Bursary applications

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ISSofBC is encouraging education for refugee youth and newcomers to Canada with five bursaries. The deadline for submissions is Friday, June 30, 2017.

2017 MARIAN DEWITT BURSARY

This bursary is to honour Marian Dewitt, a long serving ISSofBC Board Member since 1982 for her outstanding contribution to the immigrant community and to the development of Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia.

The Marian Dewitt Bursary is only available to ISSofBC present or former clients, students or volunteers (must be within the last three years) who may require financial assistance to pursue their chosen course of studies.

The deadline is Friday, June 30, 2017,

The application form is attached and is also available at ISSofBC locations.

Apply now


2017 JIM SIEMENS BURSARY

This bursary is in honour of Jim Siemens for his 13 years of service in the ISSofBC Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP). During his time with ISSofBC, he worked with compassion and determination to give resettled refugee youth and newcomers the best possible start in Canada.

The ISSofBC Jim Siemens Bursary is only available to present or former Refugee Youth who are legally entitled to attend school in Canada and may require financial assistance to pursue their chosen course of studies.

The deadline is Friday, June 30, 2017.

The application form is attached and is also available at ISSofBC locations.

Apply now


2017 MICHAEL DANCHUCK BURSARY (2 available)

Michael Danchuk, a financial consultant with Investors Group, has been a strong supporter of varied community initiatives and has actively contributed his time, energy and resources in furthering the goals of these initiatives. He established this bursary as part of his commitment to helping newcomers settle in Canada.

The Michael Danchuck Bursary is only available to ISSofBC present or former clients, students or volunteers (must be within the last three years) who may require financial assistance to pursue their chosen course of studies.

The deadline is Friday, June 30, 2017.

The application form is attached and is also available at ISSofBC locations.

Apply now


2017 PIETRO WIDMER & RENEE VAN HALM BURSARY

Pietro Widmer grew up and completed his studies in Electrical Engineering in Switzerland and immigrated to Canada in the mid-seventies. He has twenty years experience in project and operation management and is now dedicating significant time to volunteering including a leading role with pm-volunteers.org.
Renee Van Halm grew up in Vancouver after emigrating from Holland with her parents in the early 50s. She is a practicing visual artist with work in major public, private and corporate collections across the country including the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Her most recent solo exhibition called Nudge was held at the Equinox Gallery in Vancouver.

The Pietro Widmer & Renee Van Halm Bursary is only available to ISSofBC present or former clients, students or volunteers (must be within the last three years) who may require financial assistance to pursue their chosen course of studies.

The deadline is Friday, June 30, 2017.

The application form is attached and is also available at ISSofBC locations.

Apply now


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ISSofBC launches Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants

Yesterday marked the launch of ISSofBC’s newest employment program to bridge immigrant professionals to careers in BC.

The roll out of Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants included an opening event at ISSofBC Welcome Centre introducing the program and team to potential clients, partner employers and regulatory authorities.

“We look forward to collaborations and activities with you to benefit our skilled immigrants, as well as work with our employers to provide better trained and ready applicants. We are only just beginning, so you will be hearing more from us,” said Employment Counsellor Gwen Pawlikowski during the event.

Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants offers specialized training for newcomers who have a background in technology, construction or engineering. ISSofBC operates the program in Vancouver and the Thompson, Okanagan, Kootenays, Cariboo and North regions in BC.

Thank you to all who joined us yesterday!

View photos from the event


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ISSofBC hosts citizenship ceremony for new Canadians

IMG_0966It’s an occasion 30 new Canadians will likely never forget when they took their oath of citizenship with two federal cabinet ministers in attendance.  ISSofBC Welcome Centre hosted the ceremony this morning for the citizenship candidates – most of them former refugees – from 16 countries who later received greetings from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Minister Ahmed Hussen and Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan.

“Today’s ceremony is special as you will mark a personal milestone,” said Min. Hussen who administered the Oath of citizenship, “but today is also about celebrating a milestone for all of us.” Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. “One thing that binds us together is we’re all Canadians,” said Min. Sajjan. Both ministers came to Canada as youngsters, Hussen from Somalia, Sajjan from India.

Also present were Deputy Immigration Minister Marta Morgan, Elder Gail Sparrow of the Musqueam Band, Order of Canada Dr. Ross Paul, RCMP Constable James Bennett, and Clerk of the Ceremony Margaux Kaczor.

Children from ISSofBC’s LINC Preschool led the audience in a rousing rendition of “O Canada,” easily stealing the show.

View photos from the event


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ISSofBC calendar of events-Spring

Career fairs, English conversation circles, life skills and much, much more. This is the ISSofBC calendar of events for all your employment, language and settlement needs.

Updated events Spring, 2017

For more details:

Give us a call, send an email or visit us in person.

2610 Victoria Drive
Vancouver, BC  V5N 4L2
Phone: 604-684-2561
Fax: 604-684-2266
Email: communications@issbc.org

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One last visit to ISSofBC Welcome House

ISSofBC staff, clients, friends and family shared their favourite memories of living and working over three decades at Welcome House on Drake Street Wednesday before saying one final goodbye.
The facility permanently closed in March, its services having relocated to the ISSofBC Welcome Centre at 2610 Victoria Drive.

The One Last Visit event included photos and timeline displays, tours and speeches from former residents including Michel Uwimana, a refugee of the Democratic Republic of Congo who left Welcome House in February of this year with his wife and one-year-old son.

“This place was very beautiful to me, I wanted not even to move out of this place, because I could visit a staff member of ISSofBC where I could get all of my information,” said Uwimana.

ISSofBC Director of Settlement Services Chris Friesen , who worked in Welcome House for over two decades said the facility represents a fresh start for over 25,000 government-assisted refugees.

“When you look out over the past thirty years, and you look at the various world crises in the various parts of the world … it’s reflected in those that enter this building from the airport, those that had their opportunity to rebuild their lives in this country as future Canadians got their start within these four walls.”

Attendees of the visit also shared favourite memories of the Welcome House written on a wall near the entrance of the facility. The messages included “meeting wonderful people”, “I met the love of my life at Drake,” and “what a place – I call home Welcome House.”

A special thank you to all those who put together this wonderful event.

View photos from the event

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