Yesterday afternoon CIES hosted the Immigrant Language & Vocational Assessment Referral Centre (ILVARC) Advisory Committee Meeting presented by ILVARC Director Shiraz Amiry. A regular who's who of Calgary's Immigrant Services and Settlement Agencies, the quarterly meeting allows the sector to exchange information and ideas, as well as to receive updates on federal and provincial funding, the Language Instruction for Newcomer providers throughout the city, as well as Immigrant Services Calgary and ILVARC itself. Those in attendance included representatives from Bow Valley College, Equilibrium, Columbia College, YWCA, Centre for Newcomers, Immigrant Services Calgary, Alberta Works, Alberta Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour, Calgary Immigrant Women's Association, Alberta Association of Immigrant Settlement Agencies, Chinook Learning Centre, Alberta International Medical Graduates Association, Momentum, and the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society amongst others.
Taking centre stage throughout was the sector's and the city's capacity to handle the influx of Syrian refugees. Addressing this concern, the Alberta Association of Immigrant Settlement Agencies (AAISA) Research and Policy Coordinator Caroline Hemstock offered all those in attendance a provincial look at the resettlement of Syrian refugees with a brief but detailed presentation of facts and figures.
The meeting later moved to group discussions, then updates and feedback on the challenges facing the sector and was wrapped up by scheduling the next meeting for May 5th. It was a privilege for CIES to host such an event and we look forward to collaborating with our sector's collective family in order to reach our unified goal of providing the services and programs needed to help newcomers to Canada become productive and successful members of society. For more pictures of the event CLICK HERE.