Friday, October 20, 2017

Discover Canada: How Would You Do on a Canadian Citizenship Exam?

Getting your Canadian citizenship is a huge rite of passage for newcomers to the country. But before you can become a citizen, you have to pass an exam that tests your knowledge of Canada's history, political system and more. Those taking the exam have 30 minutes to finish, and need to get 15 out of 20 questions right to get a passing grade.

Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship study guide is used by newcomers to study for the citizenship test. It also contains information about the history of Canada, how our government works, symbols of Canada and its regions.

This is the only official study guide available from Citizenship and Immigration Canada at no cost. If you have applied for citizenship and are preparing for the citizenship test, your primary resource should be the official study guide. Download your full copy here and whether about to take your exam or born and raised in Canada try a few questions out below and see how you do!

          

Thursday, October 19, 2017

First Calgary Community Grant @ CFN

First Calgary's Tom Holloway recently stopped by CFN to deliver a generous donation to CFN as a part of First Calgary Financial's community grant programs. First Calgary offers grants to non-profit organizations, societies, charities, cooperatives, and social enterprises who share values that are consistent with their own. In 2016, they provided support to more than 100 community organizations across southern Alberta through these programs, including:

  • $850,240 in total community contributions in 2016 (includes funds leveraged from external stakeholders and in-kind support)
  • 1,547 volunteer hours donated by employees
  • 1st in Alberta to introduce an alternative to high-interest payday loans, with our fast and responsible Cash Crunch Loan
Through donations, partnerships and sponsorship funds, First Calgary is making an impact through four focus areas: building community pride and revitalization; supporting entrepreneurship & skills training; providing financial education and inclusion; and affordable housing. The Centre for Newcomers salutes First Calgary for being an integral part of building community in Calgary and for their generous support of CFN.  

First Calgary's Tom Calloway and CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen

End of an Era as Sears Holds Job Fair @ CFN

On Friday November 3rd, from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm, CFN will host a Sears Job Fair, as Sears South Centre is looking to hire up 50 temporary workers to assist with the closing process of its store. Positions available include shipping and receiving, merchandise flow, cashiers and customer service.

Sears was a profoundly Canadian store and a titan of the industry for decades. When this writer was just a kid, one of my fondest memories was when the new Sears catalogue would show up at the local post office every fall. Raised in a small farm town on the central plains of Alberta, there were no shopping centres or malls anywhere within hundreds of kilometres,  so the thick Sears catalogue that arrived each year was a mystical window into another world where all kinds of stuff beyond imagination was at my finger tips.

The arrival of the catalogue also signalled the slow but steady beginning of Christmas season, as hours would be spent going through the large toy section, marking off everything I wanted Santa to leave under the Christmas tree. It was a magical experience indeed and I always wondered just how many of the requests made would show up Christmas morning each year.

Sears Canada will now close its final 74 full-line stores and eight Sears Home stores as it undergoes a full liquidation process. It’s the end of an era as a Canadian giant of merchandising shuts its many doors for the final time and passes into the annals of Canadian history.

To register for the upcoming job fair email v.stikic@centreforneecomers.ca 

CFN @ the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival

The Marda Loop Justice Film Festival presents some of the world’s best documentaries on the issues that are important to us as individuals, Canadians, global citizens, and humans. Influential documentaries from international filmmakers have been brought to more than 30,000 people in the Calgary area and across Canada, and thanks to our sponsors, we’ve done it free of charge.

Since its start in 2006,  the festival has grown 100%, from a three-day festival with two venues to a six-day festival in four venues. In addition to the annual festival,  justREEL, a year-round film series, has also become a part of the local arts landscape here in Calgary.

In 2016, the documentaries presented were chosen from a submission pool of more than 1000 filmmakers from over 100 countries. Every screening, whether it’s a festival presentation or part of justREEL, includes a discussion with the filmmaker or experts on the film’s topic; these conversations are lively, inclusive and enlightening, occasionally charged or even contentious, but always thought-provoking. CFN's very own Bukurie Mino will sit on the panel following the screening of Vincent De La Torre's Trails of Hope and Terror, to discuss the film about Latin Americans crossing into the U.S. and it's examination of why immigrants continue risking their lives to do so.  We look forward to being there.  For more information check out their website and to watch a preview of De La Torre's film simply click below.

Trails of Hope and Terror [Trailer] from Vincent De La Torre on Vimeo.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Time To Vote Calgary

Today is Calgary's municipal election day. No matter what your point of view, no matter which candidate you support, voting is an integral and important part of being Canadian. When it comes to those new to Calgary, the right to vote in Canada is pivotal for newcomers to become full participants in their adopted homeland. Being able to vote is an opportunity to express one's opinions and steer the political direction of the country - something foreign to many newcomers.

According to a national survey, the right to vote is definitely something new citizens cherish as a milestone in their immigration journey. The study done by Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) examined political participation of new citizens who received their citizenship between May 2012 and November 2014. In 2014, Canada swore in more than 260,000 new citizens. As these people enter the body politic, by definition, they are also changing it. Some findings of the study can be seen below and bottom line - get out and vote today Calgary!
• 48 per cent of new citizens felt permanent residents should be allowed to vote in municipal elections;
• 23 per cent reported having emailed or called an elected official about an issue;
• 26 per cent had personally spoken with a candidate during their first election;
• 10 per cent had put a candidate sign on the front lawn;
• 5 per cent had donated money to a political party or candidate;
• 12 per cent had attended an all-candidates debate/meeting;
• 7 per cent had volunteered on a political campaign;
• 6 per cent had become a member of a political party;
• 46 per cent cited lack of knowledge of the issues and knowledge of the process as reasons not to vote;
• 6 per cent said they didn’t vote because of the lack of interest and dissatisfaction with the government or political system.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Flu Shot Time @ CFN

This year CFN is partnering with Pacific Place PHARMASAVE for the annual influenza immunization campaign. Starting October 23, 2017, staff and clients are invited to receive the vaccine at the pharmacy located in the Pacific Plaza Mall just few steps away from the Centre.
Immunization is a benefit provided at no charge for those with a valid Alberta Health Care card and there is no pre-registration.

Bottom line, getting immunized is one of the best ways to prevent influenza. If you have influenza, you can be sick for 5 to 10 days, but it can take weeks to fully recover. By protecting yourself, you help protect people around you who are at risk of complications from influenza. If more people are protected, less people will get sick from influenza. To download Alberta Health Services information sheet on immunization simply click here. 


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

CFN Productions Talks to CBEA Grads

In collaboration with SAIT Polytechnic and funded through Alberta Human Services, CFNs Canadian Business Essentials for Accounting accepts experienced and internationally-educated professional accountants and provides them with Canadian workplace knowledge, skills, and abilities to assist them in their job search in Canada. The graduates also go on to a 2 and half month long work experience practicum with local businesses here in Calgary.  CFN Productions recently sat down with with recent grads Abraham Tumebo and Maria Kotlyarov who this week, along with all CBEA students, will begin their work placement.  To hear what they have to say about the program watch below.

CBEA Grads @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hiring Fair @ CFN

On Friday CFN held yet another hiring fair, this time collaborating with Loblaws looking to take on board warehouse workers and order assemblers here in the Calgary Location. More than 100 people attended the 3 hour event, organized by CFNs Career Development wing.

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, and multiple employers 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 many 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! For more photos of the day CLICK HERE.

Classical & Indigenous Music Comes Alive @ CFN

CFN is proud to welcome The National Arts Centre (NAC) for two evenings in October. On October 24th (from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm) Samantha Whelen Kotas will be leading a workshop on community engagement for diverse artists, exploring methods and strategies for both teaching and sharing music and culture within the Calgary community. On October 25th (7:00 pm to 8:00 pm) Samantha will be joined by Walter MacDonald White Bear for an interactive musical performance right here at CFN.  Attendance is free of charge and both musicians and music lovers of all ages and cultural backgrounds are welcome to attend.

Walter MacDonald White Bear
Walter MacDonald White Bear is a Cree singer-songwriter, educator, and motivational speaker originally from the First Nation of Moose Factory, Ontario. Walter has been performing acoustic and flute music for many years. His music is a reflection of his personal journey as a First Nations person in Canada. Performance highlights include The Edmonton Folk Music Festival, The Chiefs Summit with Tom Jackson, The Dream Speakers Festival, The Mountain Song Native Theatre, and the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education. Walter has shared his cultural knowledge with various audiences from correctional services to principals, teachers and students. He has been invited to give keynote speeches on a range of topics, including social services, justice, education, wellness and the environment.

Attendance is free of charge and both musicians and music lovers of all ages and cultural backgrounds are welcome to attend. To RSVP to this event CLICK HERE and we look forward to seeing you there!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October is Women's History Month

October is Women’s History Month in Canada. It’s a time for Canadians to celebrate the achievements of women and girls throughout our history and recognize the trailblazing women who have shaped our country and way of life.

Looking back over the past 150 years since Confederation, countless women have harnessed their power, found their voice, and claimed their place in our country’s proud history.

Because of their efforts and those of the many women who have followed in their footsteps, we’ve made amazing strides toward gender equality and women’s empowerment over the past 150 years. But there is still more work to do: barriers still exist, and sexism and discrimination continue to impact and shape the lives of too many Canadians.

As we look to the future, we must lift each other up so that everyone has the chance to claim their place and reach their full potential. Together, we can create a Canada where every woman and girl has the chance to let her unique power shine through and make her mark.

Today, women, girls, men, and boys continue the quest for equality and inclusion in all areas of Canadian life. Honour their actions and celebrate the courageous women and girls who inspire you to #ClaimYourPlace. Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #ClaimYourPlace and share photos, videos and words of inspiration.

source: government of Canada

Calgary Foundation Releases 2017 Vital Signs Report

Calgary’s Vital Signs Report is an annual check-up that measures the vitality of our community and identifies significant trends. The Vital Signs report combines research with the results of a survey, where citizens assign grades and provide comments in issue areas that are critical to quality of life in Calgary. Calgary Foundation, which provided more than $40 million in funding to 900 charitable organizations last year, conducts the survey annually to gauge Calgarian’s perceptions and where the city needs the most support.

Some of the overall trends of the this year's report show that Calgarians worry most about unemployment, a lack of affordable housing, and poverty as people continue to engage the challenging struggle to survive in a city they still very much love to call home.

According to the survey, 78 per cent of Calgarians are concerned about poverty in the city; Stress about personal finance is affecting two out of every three Calgarians; One in four rate their ability to find suitable employment as poor or below average; 61 per cent rate housing affordability as below average or poor; And more than 127,000 Calgarians were living below the poverty line, a significant jump from the previous year’s 114,000.

That being said, 72 per cent of Calgarians are happy with their social networks, 62 per cent are satisfied with work and home life balance and 74 per cent rate green space and parks as excellent or good. As well, 68 per cent rate access to education as excellent or good.

Calgary's Vital Signs® was launched in 2007 to increase the effectiveness of the Foundation's grant-making, to better inform donors about issues and opportunities, to spark discussion, encourage connections and inspire action.  CFN salutes Calgary Foundation for this annual effort which greatly contributes to the understanding, the traversing and the improvement of the Calgary socioeconomic landscape. As these are just a few of the stats included in this years' Vital Signs, you can CLICK HERE download the full report.

Monday, October 2, 2017

National Arts Centre: Sharing Music and Culture @ CFN




















Music and the musicians who bring it to life are the carriers of cultural influence. The sound and messages released through music can directly and indirectly impact listeners in powerful ways. By extension, music is profoundly cultural and representative of the narrative, or resistance of the given narrative, of an individual society. Music both engages and produces culture, past and present, and can deepen one's understanding of the human experience, across historical periods and within different social and cultural contexts.

It is for these reasons CFN is proud to welcome The National Arts Centre (NAC) for two evenings in October. On October 24th (from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm) Samantha Whelen Kotas will be leading a workshop on community engagement for diverse artists, exploring methods and strategies for both teaching and sharing music and culture within the Calgary community. On October 25th (7:00 pm to 8:00 pm) Samantha will be a part of the team that presents an interactive musical performance right here at CFN.  Attendance is free of charge and both musicians and music lovers of all ages and cultural backgrounds are welcome to attend.

Samantha Whelen Kotas
Born in Canada, raised in Africa and educated in Calgary and Houston, Samantha has been praised for creating truly unique and totally engaging experiences for young audiences. She (M. Music, B. Music) is a teaching artist, trumpet player, storyteller, and producer, working as a teaching artist for the National Arts Centre of Canada since 2005.  She is also the Education Advisor for Calgary Pro Musica where she works with the Young Artist Development Program nurturing and promoting young Calgary musicians. Samantha’s trumpet playing has taken her all over the world, as she has performed across Canada as far north as Nunavut,  as well as Japan, Europe, the United States and Mexico. She is also a full time member of the Red Deer Symphony and Altius Brass.

In addition to October 24th and 25th, The NAC Orchestra will also be continuing its cross-Canada tour and will perform Life Reflected in Calgary on October 26th.  For more information or to register to attend these events here at CFN contact Ayo at 403-648-2219 or a.kayode@centrefornewcomes.ca. Stay tuned for more details on what is sure to a memorable pair of nights here at CFN. 

Women's Self Defense Classes Begin @ CFN



On Friday afternoon CFN held its first women's self defense class. Running through December, classes will be taught by instructors from Western Canada Martial Arts Academy. The classes are for immigrant women or their daughters (18+) and the same class will be taught on 8 separate days. That being said attendees can re-register as many times as they want, if they would like to take the class more than one time.

Self defense classes often lead those who participate to walk out as determined, strong, empowered individuals ready to take control of their own lives. A self defense class can show us the options available to take control, build our inner strength and allow us to feel safer. Further still, knowing that we have the ability to defend ourselves in any given situation we're put into often helps us more fully explore the world, take on new projects, meet new people and find new ways to engage with those around us.

Upcoming class dates include October 13th, 20th and 27th, as well as additional dates in both November and December. For more details or to register give us a call at 403-569-3325 or email Rabah at r.swaidek@centrefornewcomers.ca for more details! And for photos of our first class CLICK HERE.

Empower Business Skill Training @ CFN

CFN is happy to announce our collaborative effort with Enactus Calgary to bring our clients Empower Business Skills Training. Enactus Calgary identifies demographics within our city that require support, and work with individuals to help them build the skill sets and knowledge they need to actively change their lives. Their programs focus on entrepreneurial development, economic and environmental sustainability, and financial literacy education.

And this brings us to Empower - a 9 week workshop created for immigrant women who are looking to gain the necessary business skills to start their own businesses in Canada. Many women come to Calgary with a vision of running their own small business out of their home, but are overwhelmed with the amount of bureaucracy that they have to deal with to start their own company. The problem is not that these women lack the skill or drive to be successful, but rather, that they don't know where to begin. This is where Empower comes in.

Empower aims to teach women the basics of starting a business - everything from accounting and marketing, to making a business plan and acquiring funding. Over the course of several sessions, women will be educated on the numerous steps required to start their own business. With the help of a mentor, these women will prepare a business plan and present it to our team for the opportunity to secure some seed capital for their own business endeavours. To register for the upcoming information session at CFN contact Ayo at a.kayode@centrefornewcomers.ca  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

PNT LGBTQ+ Newcomers Settlement Conference Comes to a Close

The Prairie & Northwest Territories (PNT) LGBTQ+ Newcomers Settlement Conference  took place Monday September 25th and Tuesday September 26th in Calgary. The conference was sponsored by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and hosted by the Centre for Newcomers.

The conference looked to exchange ideas from across the region, to explore service provision gaps and strengths; and to share proven, best and promising practices with the end goal of strengthening LGBTQ New Canadians, while helping them avoid the intersectional challenges associated with being LGBTQ and new to Canada.

CFN would like to thank IRCC, each and every one of the speakers and presenters, along with the volunteers, who when combined, made the conference a great success. Stay tuned for material presented at the conference to be shared soon. For photos of the two-day event CLICK HERE and to watch some highlights of the conference simply click below.

The Prairie & Northwest Territories (PNT) LGBTQ+ Newcomers Settlement Conference 2017 from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Volunteer @ CFN

CFN could not accomplish all that it does without volunteers. 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 identifying a sense of purpose. Additionally, those who regularly volunteer live longer and healthier lives.

Join us for one of our regularly scheduled volunteer orientation sessions below and get a brief history of the Centre for Newcomers, learn about volunteerism in Canada and of course volunteer roles at the here at CFN.  Dates that run through the end of 2017 are as follows and for m ore information, please contact Elaine Mew at 403.539.5854 or e.mew@centrefornewcomers.ca

Wed, Oct 4 – 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Tues, Oct 10, 17, 31 – 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm 
Wed, Nov 8 – 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Tues, Nov 14, 21 and 28 – 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Wed, Dec 6 – 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Tues, Dec 12 – 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Volunteer @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

CFN Recognizes Orange Shirt Day

Saturday September 30th is Orange Short Day, a day to honour and remember the experiences and loss of the thousands of children who were stolen from their families and placed in Indian Residential Schools (IRS).

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, in the spring of 2013.  It grew out of Phyllis' story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It also gives teachers time to plan events that will include children, as we want to ensure that we are passing the story and learning on to the next generations.

Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come. 
     
           

Monday, September 25, 2017

CFN CEO Receives University of Calgary Alumni Award

The University of Calgary Alumni Association held the 2017 Arch Awards this passed Friday evening. Amongst this year's recipients are cultural ambassadors, community connector and visionary leaders. Let's hear is for the change-makers, risk-takers and trail-blazers that have sparked change close to home and around the globe. This year CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen was amongst the recipients.

Anila's work at CFN is formulated through its 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.” To this extent, beyond traditional settlement services, Anila has spearheaded programming to include volunteer-led refugee supports; Indigenous integration for newcomers; LGBTQ, domestic violence, homeless and mental health support services; and broadened vulnerable youth programming and social venture opportunities.

To watch her acceptance speech simply click below and congratulations from all of us here at CFN!

CFN CEO Accepts University of Calgary Arch Award from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Doors Open YYC @ CFN

Over the weekend, CFN hosted a variety of guests here at the Centre for Doors Open YYC. Many of Calgary’s most intriguing and beloved sites participated in Doors Open YYC , as buildings in all quadrants of the city opened their doors – free of charge – to the public and provide special revealing tours and behind-the-scenes experiences. Whether you’re into history, architecture, diversity, multiculturalism, the environment, art, sports, science or engineering, this is your chance to get an insider’s view of Calgary’s vibrant and dynamic cityscape.

Here at CFN visitors got a complete tour of our 43,000 square foot facility,  the chance to take a look inside one of our many classrooms,  along with a peek at our multicultural crafts and stories in our colourful childcare centre. On top of that there were some scrumptious treats from our amazing Ethnicity Catering Kitchen, and an even the opportunity get some Henna done.

Thanks to all those who came down to visit us and Saturday, to all those who volunteered to made the day possible, and to most of all to Doors Open YYC for being a leader in community building  here in Calgary!


CFN Holds Ceremony to Recognize Signing of Treaty 7

Treaty 7 was an agreement between Queen Victoria and several, mainly Blackfoot, First Nation band governments in what is today the southern portion of Alberta. It was concluded on September 22, 1877. The agreement was signed at the Blackfoot Crossing of the Bow River, at the present-day Siksika Nation reserve, approximately 100 km (62 mi) east of Calgary. Chief Crowfoot was one of the signatories to Treaty 7.

Divergent understandings of the treaty’s purpose, combined with significant cultural and linguistic barriers and what many have argued were deliberate attempts to mislead the First Nations on the part of the government negotiators, led to ongoing conflicts since its inception that continue today.

Last Friday CFN held a gathering at the Centre to recognize the signing of Treaty 7 and both its historical and cultural impact and is a part of CFNs ongoing efforts with its Indigenous Education for Newcomers Initiative. Working in partnership, our ultimate goal is to support efforts aimed at ending cycles of systemic discrimination and abuse faced by Indigenous people through culturally appropriate educational workshops on Indigenous issues, meaningful partnerships that seek to create alliances for public education and awareness among both partners and within the broader community. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

PNT LGBTQ+ Newcomers Settlement Conference Speakers

The Prairie & Northwest Territories (PNT) LGBTQ+ Newcomers Settlement Conference will take place Monday September 25th and Tuesday September 26th in Calgary. Sponsored by  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and hosted by the Centre for Newcomers, the conference will have a host of speakers an contributors.

Mike Morrison will serve as MC and is the writer behind Mike's Bloggity Blog, a popular Canadian website based here in Calgary that attracts more than one million unique readers a year. Mike has also written Calgary By Bike, which is a guide to all the things to see and do along Calgary's cycle tracks. It topped the Calgary Herald Best Seller list both in 2015 and 2016. Mike's Twitter was named the second most influential account in Calgary...after @nenshi. And just a few months ago, he was named Best Blogger and Best Twitter at the Best of Calgary Awards. And he was named to Avenue Magazine's Top 40 Under 40 in 2016.

Kimahli Powell, Executive Director of Rainbow Railroad, will be a keynote speaker. Kimahli has a wide range of experience in the non-profit sector and has spent more than fifteen years advocating for social justice, youth, arts and culture. He was the Director of Development and Outreach at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the Senior Development Officer at Dignitias International, Director of Development at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival in addition to holding other director-level positions with non- profit organizations in Toronto and the National Capital Region.

Among Kimahli's achievements in advocacy and social rights, he most recently helped launch the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network's legal challenge to Jamaica's anti-sodomy law, led public outreach initiatives including the Human Rights Networking Zone at multiple international AIDS conferences and guided the Legal Network through a monitoring and evaluation framework on legal advocacy.

Keynote speaker Kelly Ernst is founder of the MAIA LGBTQ+ New Canadians Resiliency Project. He also created the Situational Inquiry which helps LGBTQ+ refugees to examine their situation and collect evidence for their asylum applications. He regularly acts as a witness in Immigration and Review Board hearings for LGBTQ+ people. He has started numerous projects and organizations and is the current President of the Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association. Kelly has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Calgary.

The LGBTQ+ New Canadians Resiliency Project has helped dozens of LGBTQ+ people settle in Calgary and receive support in their settlement process. This presentation will discuss some of the unique issues that LGBTQ+ new Canadians face. It will include data on the types of persecution LGBTQ+ refugees avoid when achieving asylum in Calgary and the barriers faced once they arrive.

Keynote speaker, Jen Marchbank researches and teaches about 'mail order' brides; refugee settlement in small communities, sexuality, LGBTQ activism and trans and gender non conforming children and youth. In her presentation "Mapping Service Needs of LGBTQ Migrants," Jen will outline the research process, findings and recommendations of a research project to explore the needs of migrants and service providers in Surrey, BC in relation to LGBTQ migrants and refugees. Surrey receives over 50% of BC's refugees and yet had no services specific to LGBTQ migrants.

In the end, goals of the conference include to convene stakeholders and practitioners from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories working or wanting to work towards LGBTQ+ newcomers settlement outcomes; to share examples of work across the region, focusing on successes, challenges, and innovations occurring in organizations and program delivery; to explore service provision gaps and strengths; and to share proven, best and promising practices. We are looking forward to Monday and will have much more about the conference coming soon.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pembina Pipeline @ CFN

A group of nearly twenty Pembina employees recently visited CFN, receiving a tour of our 43,000 square foot facility and getting the chance to see frontline community building here in YYC.

The United Way Calgary has a number of corporate partnerships and one such donor is Pembina Pipeline. As a part of the corporate community partnership program, United Way arranges for organizations like Pembina to visit places in order to see where their money is going and how it is transforming the community.

The United Way Calgary and the sponsorship of organizations like Pembina give individuals and families the opportunity to reach their potential and improve their quality of life. A big thank you to United Way and Pembina, two organizations that believe in community building and working towards making Calgary a great city for all. For a few more photos of the days visit click here.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Alberta Minister of Culture & Tourism to be Keynote Speaker @ PNT LGBTQ+ Newcomers Settlement Conference

The Prairie & Northwest Territories (PNT) LGBTQ+ Newcomers Settlement Conference will take place Monday September 25th and Tuesday September 26th in Calgary. Sponsored by  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and hosted by the Centre for Newcomers, Alberta's Minster of Culture & Tourism Ricardo Miranda will be one of the conference's Keynote speakers.

Miranda was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Calgary-Cross, on May 5, 2015 and on February 2, 2016, was appointed Minister of Culture and Tourism. He is also a member of the Economic Policy Committee, along with the Legislative Review Committee and is multilingual, fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French and English.

A living embodiment of Canada's organic shift towards diversity and inclusion, of where we are as a province and how far we’ve come, Miranda was born in Nicaragua before he and his family came to Canada in 1988 as refugees. After leaving the Central American country behind for Guatemala, his family settled in Calgary when he was just 9 years old. He is also the first openly gay cabinet minister in Alberta's 112 year history.

Goals of the conference include to convene stakeholders and practitioners from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories working or wanting to work towards LGBTQ+ newcomers settlement outcomes; to share examples of work across the region, focusing on successes, challenges, and innovations occurring in organizations and program delivery; to explore service provision gaps and strengths; and to share proven, best and promising practices. For more on Miranda's story in his own words click below and stay tuned for more on other speakers taking part coming soon.

Calgary Legal Guidance @ CFN

How does the government enforce Canadian immigration laws? Immigration laws are mainly enforced by 2 federal government departments: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) - IRCC is responsible for Canadian immigration and citizenship. Get information on IRCC policy, programs and services, application kits, and more. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) - Responsible for border services (port-of-entry services), customs and enforcement of some immigration laws in Canada.

Immigration law can be complex, but here at CFN we are trying to make the process of understand and accessing information a little bit easier with regularly scheduled legal clinics here at the Centre. Our next clinic will take place on October 11th. Free and confidential advice on legal matters related to immigration will be available from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

This legal clinic is made possible due to collaboration with Calgary Legal Guidance. A true community builder, for nearly 50 years Calgary Legal Guidance has been providing legal assistance and information to economically and socially disadvantaged persons who would not otherwise have access to legal advice and representation. For more information contact Maria at 403-569-3328 or
m.mora@centrefornewcomers.ca.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

CFN to Opens its Doors for Doors Open YYC

On September 23, from 10 am to 3 pm, CFN invites Calgary to come on by and say hello for Doors Open YYC.  Many of Calgary’s most intriguing and beloved sites participate in Doors Open YYC , as during this day, buildings in all quadrants of the city open their doors – free of charge – to the public and provide special revealing tours and behind-the-scenes experiences. Whether you’re into history, architecture, diversity, multiculturalism, the environment, art, sports, science or engineering, this is your chance to get an insider’s view of Calgary’s vibrant and dynamic cityscape.

Doors Open is a well-established and highly successful international concept that allows people free access to buildings in order to create enthusiasm for heritage and contemporary architecture and increase the appreciation of historic and culturally significant places and spaces.

Here at CFN visitors will get a complete tour of our 43,000 square foot facility,  the chance to take a look inside one of our many classrooms,  along with a peek at our multicultural crafts and stories in our colourful childcare centre. On top of that there will be some scrumptious treats from our amazing Ethnicity Catering Kitchen, and an even an opportunity get some Henna done (between 11 and 2).

Whether you have an admiration for something specific, or just want to experience the city with your family, a large variety of sites will be available to satisfy all ranges of interest for Doors Open YYC 2017. We couldn't be happier to take part in this wonderful day and look forward to opening our doors to you September 23rd. See you then!

Doors Open YYC @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Women's Self Defence Classes @ CFN

Self defence classes often lead those who participate to walk out as determined, strong, empowered individuals ready to take control of their own lives. A self defence can educate in showing us the options available to take control, build our inner strength and feel safer. Further still, knowing that we have the ability to defend ourselves in any given situation we're put into often helps us more fully explore the world, take on new projects, meet new people and find new ways to engage with those around us.

For these reasons and more that CFN is happy to announce, beginning September 29th and running through December, we will be offering Women's Self Defence classes right here at the Centre. Classes will be taught by instructors from Western Canada Martial Arts Academy (WCMAA) founded out of an amalgamation of two lineages under the late Sifu Bruce Lee and living legend Guro Dan Inosanto.

The combination of Martial Arts offered by WCMAA is highly effective in dealing with opponents in the quickest way possible, while also assisting in the development of self-confidence and discipline, and effectively attaining or maintaining physical fitness. Stay tuned for more info and we look forward to the first class!

       

Monday, September 11, 2017

CFN to attend Job Search Boot Camp - Tackling Technology

How fit are your job search skills? Are you ready to start the next phase of your career? CFN will be attending the Job Search Boot Camp to be held on September 12 and 13 at Fort Calgary. Applications Management Consulting will also be attending to talk about results from their recent interviews with 400+ large and small size employers. This will cover both present and anticipated technological changes in the workplace and what skills will be needed in the future.

You will learn the most up to date techniques to find work:​
  • Stretch your knowledge of interviews including digital interviews
  • Push up your resume to the top of the pile when using ATS
  • Jump into social media to find employers and connections
  • Work with a job search personal trainer during the day
  • Q&A sprints with HR Professionals
  • Find out where to find follow up support
Online pre-registration is required. To download a copy of the the agenda CLICK HERE and for more information and to register for this event simply CLICK HERE.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

CFN to Attend Calgary Stampeder's Multicultural Night

Join the Calgary Stampeders and CFN on Friday, September 29th for Stampeders Multicultural Night. The Stamps, currently with the best record in the Canadian Football League, are set to take on the Montreal Alouettes in a night to celebrate diversity here in Calgary.  The night is also a chance for newcomers to check out a CFL game and the culture of sport in Canada.

When newcomers arrive in Canada they are often caught off guard at how much time we spend talking about sports, how many people and their kids participate in at least one sport if not several, and how pro teams like the Flames and the Stampeders are on the front page of the newspapers and mean so much to so many people

From cheering on the Stamps or Canada’s Summer and Winter Olympic athletes, to learning how to play new sports, to making new friends at their own or their children’s sporting events, new citizens often talk of how their involvement in sports makes them feel very much connected to Canadian life. Sports are clearly more than just sport here in Canada. They have the ability to connect people from different heritages and ethnicities, while providing a safe environment to explore different cultures.

For newcomers to Canada, playing and watching sports with native or more established Canadians provides the chance to share and engage in discussions about Canada’s culture and history, helping them learn more about Canadian society and feel more at home with each passing game. And when Canadians take an interest in the sports new citizens have a passion for, sports becomes a powerful way to unite us all.

For more info and to purchase tickets to the game for just $25 tickets, CLICK HERE and we'll see you at McMahon Stadium on the 29th!

          

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

CFN CEO to Receive University of Calgary Alumni Award

CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen
The University of Calgary Alumni Association recently announced the recipients of the 2017 Arch Awards. Amongst this year's recipients are cultural ambassadors, community connector and visionary leaders. Let's hear is for the change-makers, risk-takers and trail-blazers that have sparked change close to home and around the globe. This year CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen is amongst the recipients.

Anila's work at CFN is formulated through its 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.” To this extent, beyond traditional settlement services, Anila has spearheaded programming to include volunteer-led refugee supports; Indigenous integration for newcomers; LGBTQ, domestic violence, homeless and mental health support services; and broadened vulnerable youth programming and social venture opportunities.

For more on the Gala event to be held on September 22nd, as well as a list of all of this year's recipients visit the University of Calgary Website.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

CFN @ Calgary Pride & The Prairie-Northwest Territories LGBTQ+ Newcomers Settlement Conference

Over the weekend CFN, for the first time, marched in the Calgary Pride parade. The event was originally held back in 1990 and was marked by marchers wearing paper bags over their heads, both out of fear of being identified and as a protest against the stigma that kept LGBTQ people in the closet.  My how times have changed! The event is now one of Calgary's biggest of the year, with people of all ages and all walks of life marching with pride and hope for the future, drawing national news coverage for its ability to attract support from influential organizations, businesses and political figures.

CFN was especially proud to be marching to help mark our partnership with Calgary Outlink in the LGBTQ+ New Canadians Resiliency Project. This project aims to strengthen LGBTQ New Canadians’ resiliency, while helping them avoid the challenges associated with the intersectionality of being LGBTQ and new to Canada. It facilitates belonging with Calgary's LGBTQ community; engagement with immigrant serving organizations; and creates successful integration into the Calgary Community. Furthermore, the project is designed to increase the number of supportive connections in client lives and produce greater feelings of acceptance.


Further to our mission, CFN will be hosting The Prairie & Northwest Territories (PNT) LGBTQ+ Newcomers Settlement Conference set to take place September 25th and 26th. Goals of the conference include to convene stakeholders and practitioners from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories working or wanting to work towards LGBTQ+ newcomers settlement outcomes; to share examples of work across the region, focusing on successes, challenges, and innovations occurring in organizations and program delivery; to explore service provision gaps and strengths; and to share proven, best and promising practices. There will be a total of 44 service providing organizations attending the conference.

The New Canadians Project, marching in Calgary Pride and hosting Western Canada's Prairie and Northwest Territories LGBTQ Settlement Conference was summed up by CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen. "Initiatives like this are at the heart of what we do at CFN.  They remind us of our mission and values... to assist all newcomers; especially the most vulnerable, in living healthy, vibrant lives in Canada."

For some great photos of the parade CLICK HERE and to watch some of the colourful highlights of what was an amazing day simply click below. 
CFN @ Calgary Pride 2017 from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Healthy Women @ Genesis Centre & CFN

CFN is proud to support the ‘Healthy Women’ Activity Sessions taking place at the Genesis Centre, each and every Monday, from September 11th through December 4th. These sessions are for stay at home immigrant women with an objective of empowering them by breaking their social isolation, providing the opportunity to make new and supportive friends, along with learning more about their neighbourhood activities and community resources. These sessions will also help them develop both personal and leadership skills, while learning modern or traditional cooking from different cultures - with and emphasis on healthy nutrition. Women will also receive a Food Handling Certificate in the last session of the workshop.

In addition to the cooking sessions, CFN staff will be facilitating fun activities such as Zumba dancing, yoga and meditation, and workshops on topics such as financial management, grocery shopping tips and field trips to food markets.

The initiative is funded by the Genesis Centre with which CFN has been partnering for five years in a capacity of organizing activities collaboratively and providing settlement services to the immigrant population. Throughout the years, CFN has seen the benefits and the power of partnership and collaboration, not only with the Genesis Centre, but with other organizations around the city. A big thanks to the Genesis Centre for such a wonderful program and we look forward to the coming weeks! For more information or to register simply see below.


The Calgary Fire Department @ CFN



CFN will be hosting a recruitment information session by the Calgary Fire Department on September 15.  It’s Human Resources Department will be coming to speak about the hiring processes and current opportunities. The intention being to help newcomers to Canada get acquainted with Calgary Fire Department hiring practices.

The Calgary Fire Department is dedicated to the safety of Calgarians. Four platoons of firefighters located in 39 fire stations across Calgary provide a range of emergency and non-emergency services. Emergency services include response to fires, emergency medical incidents, chemical and hazardous materials releases and motor vehicle collisions. In addition, they provide specialized rescue services in high or collapsed structures, confined spaces, on our waterways or in situations caused by weather events.

The Calgary Fire Incident Map shows the types and number of incidents they attend in each area of the city. The Calgary Fire Department is an accredited agency with the Commission of Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). Accreditation is about striving for excellence, and ensures the continuous improvement of service to Calgarians. They are one of only seven Canadian fire services who have received this designation. Of more than 33,000 fire agencies across North America, only 201 have achieved this status.

The session is open to all. For more information on how to register simply email v.stikic@centrefornewcomers.ca. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Indigenous Education for Newcomers Recap

Indigenous Education for Newcomers @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

The official launch celebration of the Indigenous Education for Newcomers Initiative took place on July 29th and was a great success. For a thoughtful look back on the day that was simply watch above. Once again, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to our partners, the Government of Canada, Government of Alberta, Calgary Foundation, ATB, The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, Calgary Immigrant Educational Society, Calgary Police Service, University of Calgary, Making Treaty 7, City of Calgary, Calgary Public Library and Humainologie.

Also a special thanks to Herman Yellow Old Woman, Andy Curtis, Elder Clarence Wolfleg, Elder Clarence Wolfleg, and Gabrielle Lindstrom, our Advisory Committee, along with all the volunteers, resource tables, and last but not least - to the hundreds in attendance who took time out of their day to join us. This event was for you.

WelcomePack Canada @ CFN

Last Friday CFN handed out gift boxes from WelcomePack Canada to a number of clients here in YYC. WelcomePack Canada’s landmark annual program – the ‘WelcomePack’, brings together leading Canadian brands – in categories like banking, telecommunications, automobiles, restaurants, real estate, consumer products, media and entertainment – to extend a special and memorable welcome to new Canadian immigrants.

Launched on September 18, 2013, WelcomePack Canada has already distributed gift boxes to over 30,000 new Canadian immigrants. Phase 2 of the program started on July 1, 2015 and we will be distributing another 30,000 gift boxes to new Permanent Residents who landed in Canada on or after January 1, 2014 and are 18 years and older.

Inside the WelcomePack gift box is a colourful and informational WelcomePack Magazine that serves as a friendly guide for newcomers – full of tips and advice that will help them make smart choices as they settle in.Want to know how to save while getting ahead, where to find financial and job advice, schools, housing and healthcare information?. You will find all these and more within the covers of this magazine.At the back of the magazine are valuable coupons – over $1,000 in value and savings – that will add to the fun of your Canadian adventure by saving you money.

The success of this program is made possible by the support and participation of over 35
settlement agencies. CFN, the only distributor in Calgary, is very glad to join WelcomePack’s distribution network and looks forward to collaborating on a great initiative. For more pics from Last Friday's WelcomePack day at the Centre CLICK HERE and check out their website for more details!


Friday, August 25, 2017

Build Community, Create Hope, Inspire Love

Build Community, Create Hope, Inspire Love from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Community Building is a phrase we often here from our politicians, public figures and non-profits throughout our city - but just what does community building mean? By definition, it could best be described as efforts geared toward the creation or enhancement of community among those within a given district or neighbourhood, or even amongst those who share a common interest.

A wide variety of efforts and practices can be incorporated into community building, ranging from simple events like potlucks and small book clubs, to larger–scale efforts such as mass festivals. Some engaged in community building efforts in industrialized nations see the apparent erosion of community in these places as a key cause of social disintegration and the emergence of many negative behaviours. Some see building community as a way to increase social justice, individual well-being and as a way to reduce the negative impact of disconnected individuals.

Here at CFN we see community building as working towards a community that values diversity, in which people of all backgrounds find and create opportunities to fulfil dreams and participate fully as citizens. In the end, the Centre’s promise to the community is this:  by welcoming newcomers, and supporting them to settle and integrate, by working collaboratively and in partnership, with a workplace culture that is founded on respect, co-operation and trust, we are making a positive difference in the lives of all Calgarians.

Thank you to all those who make make the effort, who inspire, who create and who build community. here in Calgary. Together we've made a difference; together we've made our city one of the best paces in the world to live. That being said... we're only just getting started.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Transition to Employment Services @ CFN

CFN is proud to introduce a new program called Transition to Employment Services (TES)  – a joint venture between CFN and Calgary Immigrant Educational Society (CIES).  It targets clients currently receiving EI or who have been on EI in the last 5 years.  Eligible clients will be provided specialized support services such as job search coaching, employability skills workshops, job placement assistance and may avail technical training (e.g. First Aid/CPR, H2S Alive and others), childcare support and workers’ compensation benefits (WCB) while attending the program.

Program features include client assessment and individual service, employment readiness support through training and one-on-one counselling, industry-specific mentorship support, job placement / direct job matching or work experience support, and networking events with perspective employers.

Service locations are right here at CFN and the CIES NE Welcome Centre location. For more information download a copy of the Program brochure HERE or book an appointment with a Career Practitioner at the CFN Front Desk.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

CFN @ Theatre Calgary

A profound, playful, and magical new Canadian play, Blow Wind, High Water will run at Theatre Calgary September 5-30. A raging flood threatens three generations of Calgarians as they struggle to come together to keep from going under. With a surging river and an aged patriarch trapped in time, the family attempts to create a legacy worth inheriting by future generations.

Theatre Calgary, throughout its history, has strived to connect their productions to the everyday lives of citizens of Calgary, By extension Theatre Calgary has long been a community builder here in YYC and is long time supporter of CFN. We look forward to taking in the show come September and congratulate Theatre Calgary on this unique and truly Canadian project, as well as on all the work they do for YYC!


CFN @ Calgary Pride

CFN is excited to be marching in this year's Calgary Pride Parade for the first time and look forward to being a part of what is no less than an important and very special event.  The signature Calgary Pride Parade is one of the most colourful celebrations of the year.  This family friendly parade sees upwards of 60,000 spectators as over 150 entries from community groups, corporations, politicians, churches and public services roll through the heart of downtown, and celebrates the tremendous diversity of Calgary’s community.

Coinciding with our first time marching in this year's parade is 2017's partnership with Calgary Outlink for the LGBTQ New Canadians Resiliency Project. April 10th saw the official launch of this groundbreaking initiative, a project that aims to strengthen LGBTQ New Canadians’ resiliency, while helping them avoid the challenges associated with being LGBTQ and new to Canada. It facilitates belonging with Calgary's LGBTQ community; engagement with immigrant serving organizations; and creates successful integration into the Calgary Community. Furthermore, the project is designed to increase the number of supportive connections in client lives and produce greater feelings of acceptance in the community.

We are excited to move forward with our partner Calgary Outlink in this endeavour and look forward to making Calgary the best city it can be for each and every one of us who call it home. For more details simply watch below. If you would like to volunteer for Calgary Pride this year, visit their website and see you at the parade!


LGBTQ New Canadian Resiliency Project Open House from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

LGBTQ Project @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.