Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Journey, Destination, and Convergence - CFNs Swirl

A logo is a visual cornerstone of a company's brand. A company's identity is visually expressed through its logo, which, along the company's name', is one of the main things that makes an organization memorable. Logos are not simply the company's name spelled out in creative font, but an image that represents all for which an organisation stands.

This brings us to the CFN swirl. The image represents an accessible place of security and safety. a harbour, a sheltered centre, approached through a wide and protected passage, It incorporates ideas of journey, destination, and convergence - experiences of newcomers to Canada. The symbol also suggests a sprouting seed, an unfolding of new growth, as newcomers grow new roots and establish a home in Canada. The round and fluid rendering of the logo also captures the sense of human energy and movement that characterises the Centre. It is, without a doubt, a flourishing hub of activity.

The CFN swirl thus represents our mission to support newcomers and the receiving community in becoming a diverse, united community, through services and initiatives that create conditions of success for newcomers and that foster a welcoming environment in Calgary. Most of all it symbolizes what the Calgary we imagine - a community that values diversity, in which people of all backgrounds find and create opportunities to fulfil dreams and participate fully as citizens.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Youth Possibilities Program Kicks Off @ CFN

This week marks CFN's kick off of an exciting and important new program - Youth Possibilities. The 21-week full-time program funded by The Government of Canada's Skills Link Program is for immigrant youth, or first generation Canadians, who have not yet been successful in work or school in Canada.  Youth clients are supported to develop and begin to act on a career plan, to develop Life Skills and Employability Skills, and to practice their skills in a supported work placement with a local employer. With these supports, participants develop the skills to enter and succeed in the
labour market.  

Those in attendance will receive training in Group-based Employability Skills as well as a 12 week paid work experience program. Immigrant youth and refugees who face barriers to employment are supported to develop their employability, communication, interpersonal and teamwork skills to a level where they can enter the labour market or engage in career-focused education. For a few photos of the first week CLICK HERE.

Youth Possibilities Program @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Benevity Makes Donation @ CFN

Yesterday CFN welcomed representatives from Benevity Inc to our offices, so that they could donate a big bundle of gifts to an Eritrean Family who  have been in Canada just 3 months. The Holiday Season often inspires many to give, but with the world in throes of technological revolution people increasingly want to give where and when they want, often using their smartphones or tablets to do so. Calgary based Benevity has found success marketing its software, which helps employers and employees donate time and money more effectively, to some of of the biggest corporations in the world.

Benevity now helps about two million employees at companies like Apple, Google, Coca-Cola and Nike give to charities in real time using the companies' software. By extension, Benevity is the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and integrated grant management solutions. Some of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Benevity to power their Goodness Programs and corporate philanthropy, helping them attract, retain and engage today’s workers by connecting people personally to causes that matter to them.  Benevity will process donations for more than 100,000 global charities this year and as a certified B Corporation, Benevity is part of a unique breed of for-profit companies with a social mission.

CFN would like to thank Benivity for reaching out to us and adopting a family for the Holiday Season, but even more so we would like to congratulate them on their success and tremendous work they do each and every day to facilitate the spirit of giving the world over. For a few more photos of their visit CLICK HERE.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Osocio - A Place for Good Samaritans Around the Globe

Wanting to impact change via social causes, activism and non-profit work most often starts with a grass roots effort, spreading awareness, and engaging community.  This philosophy very much grounds the work we do here at CFN. A site often visited to inspire and inform such work is Osocio is dedicated to social advertising and non-profit campaigns. It’s the place where marketing and activism collide. Osocio is the central online hub for advertisers, ad agencies, grassroots, activists, social entrepreneurs, and good Samaritans from around the globe.

Unlike commercial advertising, which only attempts to influence purchase decisions, non-profit ads seeks to connect us with other human beings. Social advertising has an uncanny power to make us stop, think and then take action to help a person, or a group of people, who we don’t even know, who might be from a foreign culture, living thousands of miles away. And for that reason we celebrate these ads, study them and discuss them at length.

If you feel you can collaborate in any shape or form, please contact Osocio. They are always keen on new social campaigns, while looking to amplify non-profit marketing or the work of an agency, along with news, links or tips. Keep up the great work guys!

Friday, December 16, 2016

The CFN Winter Event

The CFN Winter Event is held every December to show newcomers how to celebrate their first winter in Canada and a chance for them to be more familiar with their new home.  We are expecting around 120 clients (adults and children) and it is hoped this will create an opportunity for them to interact and build social networks among fellow newcomers from different parts of the world.  CFN has also invited different community/city resources like the Calgary Public Library, Calgary Police Service and Alberta Health Services. And most importantly, there will also be lots of fun activities for both children. and adults alike! 

WinterFest @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

CFN Podcast Centre - An Immortal Moment in Time

The Holiday Season is a nostalgic time of year when the smell of buttery cookies, the twinkling of lights, and the good cheer and warmth of spirit in the atmosphere help us rekindle our own memories. Feelings of joy and promise and hope and family, that some might even call magic, stream through so many of us this time of year. And it's special time of year when holiday decorations, laughter and the first notes of "Charlie Brown Christmas" hold the promise that maybe Santa does actually exist.With this being the last podcast of 2016 and the holidays fast approaching, this week's podcast is of memories past, those immortal moments in time that stay with us forever. Tune in to check it out. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Rate Your Soft Skills

Soft skills are term we often hear, but just what are they? Perhaps the best definition is soft skills are the daily life skills we use to interact with other people, whether in a one on one or group setting.  People who work to develop their skills see more success in both their professional and personal lives than those who do not. Employers often seek to hire staff with good soft skills and when 10 resumes with the same amount of experience and education are sitting in front of them, they will take the one who shows those soft skills in an interview.  In the end, employers want people who will work well in a team and be able to communicate effectively with colleagues, customers and clients.

Skills such as communication, language and presentation skills, being able to resolve conflict, accept criticism, assume leadership, be flexible, make small talk and understand workplace etiquette are almost entirely based on culture. That is why learning culture and language go hand in hand for not only newcomers to Canada, but for anyone working in a multicultural environment.

Below are ten statements that represent soft skills. Go through them one at a time and answer them as honestly as you can.  Upon completion, add up your score and download the ratings key at the link below the statements to see how you measure up!

Download your rating HERE.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

CFN Productions - The Future of Video is Now

The Centre for Newcomers recent October launch of CFN Productions is a reflection of the times. In 2014 video content comprised the majority of consumer Internet traffic for the first time, making up 53%. Video made up an impressive 65% of all the world's internet traffic in 2015, and we are due for some mind blowing consumption over the next couple of years. According to a new report from Cisco, by 2019, online video will be responsible for four-fifths of all global Internet traffic.

Cisco states that the dramatic increase will not only be driven by the increased popularity of video streaming services and the use of handheld devices. but also by the sheer number of us that will be connected by 2019. Over half the planet (around 3.9 billion people) will have access to the Internet by that time, but the number of devices able to access the web will be three times as high as the global population. Just to put this into perspective, every second nearly a million minutes of video content will cross I.P. networks by 2019.

Courtesy Cisco Systems
A side effect of so much video content is that there are huge swaths of cat videos and people rambling on about everything and nothing from their basement webcams. That being said, an amazing benefit is the incredible, thought provoking, and artistic content that can be found found from all over the world at your fingertips.

Perhaps, above all else, video offers us a powerful tool to raise awareness of important issues not covered by mainstream media content brokers. Websites like Films For Action have catalogued over 3000 of the best films and videos that can be watched free online, sorted into 40 subjects related to changing the world. In essence, a website like Films For Action provides citizens with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society, while reducing the dependence on corporate media and providing more meaningful and reliable ways to stay informed on issues that matter.

The list goes on from there with an endless amount of content for everyone's preferred tastes, as free video lectures, short films, entertainment, news & politics and more are all online and being consumed at rates never before seen. Simply put, children grow up today with video being there most used tool for both education and entertainment.

In the end, video is no longer the future. Video is now.  CFN productions will continue to produce and distribute unique content, while converging with the newly forming narrative of diversity in today’s modern world and we look forward to further connecting with you in 2017. And remember, everyone has a story.... what's yours?

Every Life is a Story - Tell Us Yours from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, December 12, 2016

50 Gain Employment at CFNs Latest Job Fair

On Friday of last week CFN hosted a Popeye`s Louisiana Kitchen Hiring Fair right here at the Centre and the response was incredible, with nearly 200 attendees coming through our doors. Even more incredible is that no less than 50 people left CFN with a job Friday afternoon. This represents a truly amazing return, and even more so when considering the tough economic times here in Alberta these days.

Here at CFN the world we imagine for Calgary is a community that values diversity, in which people of all backgrounds find and create opportunities to fulfil dreams and participate fully as citizens. It is our hope that participating in a collective gathering with other job seekers in the same room allowed those in attendance to discover several things one can use to improve their chances of landing a job. A big tip of the hat to all those here at CFN and the volunteers who worked so hard to make this event happen. Best of luck in your search and keep your eyes open for more upcoming events here at the Centre For Newcomers! 

CFN Productions - The Volunteer Files

A great way to learn about different cultures, help others, network, and expand your resume, all at the same time, is to volunteer with an organization like CFN.  The benefits of volunteering in fact work both ways and often it's the volunteer who gets more out of donating his or her time and effort. Volunteering means establishing great connections, building your career, and supplying a sense of purpose. Above all else, a volunteer is on the front lines of community building and making Calgary the best city it can be.

Last week CFN productions had the chance to talk to Veronica Radder, from the Volunteer-led Refugee Integration Project. In order to meet the demand of a larger influx of refugees accessing services at our Centre and respond to the offers of volunteer support from the community at large, the Centre for Newcomers created a volunteer-led response and Veronica has been with us since its inception back in April 2106. The Project offers the ability for refugees on wait-lists to still be in touch with the Centre, gain networking skills and learn about the community. Volunteers are involved in the integration process through networking and building community with newcomers. Centre staff act as liaisons to assist the volunteers, coordinate efforts and invite refugee clients to activities and events. Find out more about the different volunteer opportunities at CFN by giving us a call at 403-539-5854 or visiting our website. To hear Veronica's thoughts on volunteerism and her time working with the Volunteer-led Refugee Integration Project click below.

The Volunteer Files @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Friday, December 9, 2016

CFN Podcast Centre - It`s Cold. That is All.

The CFN Podcast Centre has been frozen over this week in Calgary`s coldest stretch of frosty weather in two decades. It's been a week straight of temperatures between - 20 and - 30 degrees Celsius. Yes. Celsius. Apologies to the three other countries in the world that might stumble across this post via a google search who do not use the metric system. That being Liberia, Myanmar... and what was the other one again?  You can take the temperature above and use this site to convert them if you wish. Sorry. The cold brings our my inner Rick Mercer and the Podcast Centre, after all, is all about the cold temperatures this week. Tune in to listen to a rant on Canadian weather.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

CFN Productions - The Littlest Newcomers & Season's Greetings

Recently CFN Productions was privileged to visit the Centre For Newcomers child care services. It was a special day of song, food and gifts to celebrate the Holiday Season. While there, it was easy to be reminded that the love of children inspires an interest in the welfare of all humanity; they inspire us to start our lives over, to listen, to learn, and to care. In many ways, they are like the living messages we send towards a future we ourselves will never see - Calgary`s future and the future of Canada.

To help our clients stay focused on their studies, CFN offers free of charge child care services for those with children while they attend class. By creating a positive and welcoming environment, our child care team helps children between 19 months and 6 years of age to develop social skills, while establishing new relationships with others and the world around them. The child care team plans regular activities helping these littlest newcomers to Canada adjust to a new life and a whole new world. Creativity is also encouraged within a multicultural context, while taking into account varied stages of development and striving to instil and develop both respect and understanding.  Above all else, CFN is dedicated to helping children to make a positive transition into Canadian society - and to making Calgary their home. A heartfelt and special thank you to each and every member of CFNs amazing child care team. Your work couldn't be more important.  For more photos of our visit click here and to take a peek at these littlest newcomers enjoying the holiday season simply watch below.

The Littlest Newcomers & Seasons Greetings From CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

DiverseCity OnBoard

Canadian cities are among the most diverse regions of the world, with immigrants and visible minorities comprising an increasing share of their population. There are more than 170,000 nonprofit and charitable organizations in Canada, many of which are headquartered in our urban centres. All are governed by boards of directors, drawn from members of the public. In addition, municipal, provincial and federal governments appoint thousands of citizens to serve the public good on their many agencies, boards and commissions. However, there is a disconnect between who sits on these boards and the increasing diversity of the population.

Bow Valley College's DiverseCity onBoard Training program directly addresses this challenge with a board matching service that identifies, trains and facilitates the placement of qualified candidates in governance roles on not-for-profit organizations and public agencies, boards and commissions. We provide online governance training that is available to everyone, anywhere, including individuals who are not part of our matching program.

DiverseCity onBoard bridges the diversity gap in governance and raises the standard for modern governance. It is the “go-to” program that provides governance training for everyone and connects qualified candidates from underrepresented groups to not-for-profit organizations and public agencies, boards and commissions. Training is provided through an online learning campus supplemented with in-person discussions and events. Connections are made through a searchable database that matches qualified diverse individuals with board opportunities. DiverseCity onBoard promotes full inclusion, working with individuals and organizations to diversify boards and reap the benefits diversity provides.  For more information on this timely and valuable program visit their website.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

CFN Productions - Youth Possibilities

CFN is excited to announce a new initiative  - The Youth Possibilities Program. The Program supports immigrant youth who have not yet been successful in Canada to succeed in the labour market.   Participants overcome barriers to employment through career planning that helps them to identify a career direction, through the development of self-knowledge, communication and teamwork skills, through developing an understanding of workplace expectations and the labour market, and through supported work experience with a local employer.  For more information give us a call at 403-569-3325.

Youth Possibilities at CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Cinderalla & CFN

Alberta Theatre Projects is inviting refugees from Syria to see their Family Holiday Show, Slipper: A Distinctly Calgarian Cinderella Story, free of charge on December 1 or December 8, 2016. The goal is to make all those in attendance feel welcome and to take part in a Canadian holiday tradition along with their sponsors, friends and neighbours.This program is made possible thanks to a generous grant by the Canada Council for the Arts

As far as this this incarnation  - Cinderella is a normal teenaged girl from Calgary who just wants to do her work, get along with her family and play her guitar. Then one day she meets a handsome time-traveller named Eddie Prince who invites her to compete in the Stampede talent show. One problem: her crazy stepmom won’t let her. Can Cindy win the competition’s top prize and maybe Eddie’s heart too? With a little help from her Fairy Godmother, she might just have a chance!

A special thanks to Alberta Theatre Projects fro all of us here at CFN for their generosity and providing the opportunity for the greater community to be exposed to Calgary Arts and Culture. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

CFN Recognizes International Volunteer Day

Today, December 5th, is International Volunteer Day (IVD). Founded by the United Nations in 1985, IVD is a global celebration of volunteers. It takes place every year on December 5 to shine a light on the impact of volunteer efforts everywhere. Volunteers are leading social change around the world. This special day promotes the work of volunteers at all levels, including local, national and international.

The benefits of volunteering work both ways and often it is the volunteer who gets more out of donating his or her time and effort. Volunteering means establishing great connections, building your career, and supplies a sense of purpose. Additionally  Psychology Today even claims that those who regularly volunteer live longer and healthier lives.

CFN currently has more than 100 volunteers and today would like to send out a heartfelt and very specal thank you. You are the backbone of our orgnization and we are able to strive towards our mission, each and every day, because of your efforts. The lives yuo have touched and the differences you have made cannot be measured and will stay with people forever. Today is your Day! For information on how you can volunteer with CFN visit our website give us a call any time at 403-539-5854.
"Founded on the values of solidarity and mutual trust, volunteerism transcends all cultural, linguistic and geographic boundaries. By giving their time and skills without expectation of material reward, volunteers themselves are uplifted by a singular sense of purpose."
                               UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

CPR Training @ CFN

First aid helps ensure that the right methods of administering medical assistance are provided. Administering first aid to victims in the event of accidents, mishaps and occurrences during office and school hours or in the case of some accident can mean the difference between life and death. One must know the basics of administering first aid and this knowledge is gained by getting trained and why CPR training is so important

Several CFN clients received hands on CPR training recently and the kits used were courtesy of a non profit organization DIL Walk.  An acronym for Do It for Life (DIL) and Wellness, Access, Linkages and Knowledge (Walk). DIL Walk can be seen as a catalyst to generate awareness about heart disease. It helps to create linkages by having community organizations set up booths, and share knowledge. It focuses on access by abolishing language barriers and bringing local physicians and health professionals to the participants. Participants have an opportunity to attend a wide variety of classes in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and English ranging in topics such as High Blood Pressure, Physical Activity, High Cholesterol, Obesity, Sleep Apnea, Diabetes, and Stress Management. In addition, participants have their blood pressure checked, blood sugar checked, waist circumference measured, as well complete an activity and sleep apnea screen. This information is entered into a personal passport for the participant to take home. It is encouraged that participants show the passport to their physicians to further help them self-manage their health, and promote wellness.

CFN sends out thanks to DIL Walk for providing the opportunity to train CFN clients in such an invaluable skill set. For more information on how to get involved with the organization please visit their website.  For more photos of the training session CLICK HERE. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

CFN Collaborates With Empower & Enactus Calgary

Empower, from Enactus Calgary,  is a business Skills Training Program that exists to teach entrepreneurial skills and business fundamentals to educated immigrant women. Their project complements the current skill set of immigrant women and empowers them to start their own business. Through collaboration with various immigrant organizations, women with an entrepreneurial desire will be identified as candidates. Over the course of the coming year, women will participate in workshops run by students / faculty from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, and industry speakers to teach them the fundamentals of business. Workshops will cover key topics, such as marketing, budgeting, financing, staffing and building a strategic business plan.

The Centre for Newcomers is collaborating with Empower on this project and will be holding an information session on Thursday, December 8, from 2.30pm -3.30pm at the Centre for Newcomers. For more details give us a call at 403-648-2219. 

CFN Podcast Centre - One Year Later and Canada's Current Economy

For those first wave of Syrians to arrive in Canada, December marks the end of the government-sponsored refugee package and its monthly living allowance. They now will either have to support themselves or fall back on provincial social assistance. When you add the refugees taken in from other countries around the world over the last year to the 25,000 Syrians who entered Canada, we as a country took in nearly 45,000 refugees in 2016. This is going on at a time in Canada, and especially here in Calgary, when economic times are as tough as they have been in a generation. Was it the the right thing to do? For thoughts on this and more tune into this week's podcast. 

CFN Productions - Speaker Series Event

Wednesday night CFN held its 3rd Speaker Series Event, addressing the often overlooked topic of disability & displacement. The panel and lead presenter Dr. Yahya El-Lahib of the University of Calgary discussed how marginalized social groups such as people with disabilities are the first to fall through the cracks and how such circumstances leads one to ask what can we do differently in supporting the settlement and integration experiences for immigrants and refugees with disabilities?

Thank you to Dr, El-Lahib and the panel, Dr Anne Hughson, Helene DeKlerk and Denise Duchak. Most of all a big thank you to all those members of the community who joined us and offered their thoughts and views on this important topic. In the end, this night was for you. For a look inside the evenings events click below and watch out for our next Speaker Series event coming soon!

CFN Speaker Series from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

CFNs Ethnicity Catering Holiday Menu

December is now underway and holiday season is entering into full swing. As a result, EthniCity Catering is offering an amazing Holiday Menu. Our Chef and Program Manager Mark Sefton has created a delicious festive dinner menu that will cater to the diverse tastes of your guests.

A Social Enterprise of CFN, EthniCity Catering offers service Monday through Saturday with a diverse menu of foods, including Mediterranean, East Asian, European, South Asian, Latin American and Canadian favourites.  All of the dishes are freshly prepared in response to your order. No preservatives or artificial flavourings are used.

EthniCity Catering would like to let everyone know that their updated menu has been refreshed to reflect the current economic climate facing Albertans, while remaining dedicated to providing you with unique, exciting, quality food at an affordable price for any occasion. You can check out the Holiday Menu below and for more information give us a call at 403-569-3325.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cultural Competency Quiz

Workplace culture in Canada has its own set of unique cultural based guidelines and protocols. From our progressively diverse Canadian workforce to the unstoppable forces of globalization, Cultural Competency just may be the 21st century’s most vital skill to ensure effective workplace performance. In this context, culture refers to the values, norms, and traditions that influence the way an individual thinks, interacts and behaves. Even subconscious perception and judgement are driven by one’s culture of origin, all of which can greatly impact day-to-day workplace performance in Canada.

Developing  cultural competency results in the ability to comprehend and effectively communicate with people across cultures, and work efficiently within a myriad of cultural beliefs. This capability is dependent upon on one's own cultural world-view, knowledge of alternative world-views, and the tolerance of cultural differences.  The more dissimilar the cultures are the more vital cultural competency training becomes.  Cultural complications that can arise range from simple miscommunication to all out conflict. Regardless of the difficulties, such problems endanger effective both productivity and performance in the workplace.

Below is a quiz that measure's ones ability to communicate effectively in the Canadian workplace. Based on an Access Employment quiz, choose what you think is the best answer. Afterwards Download the answer key and see your rating.

Upon Completion, Download your workplace communication rating by CLICKING HERE.