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 ling 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.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Women's Health & Family Wellness Expo @ CFN

The Women’s Health & Family Wellness Expo 2017 is coming to CFN. The big event will be held on Saturday August 19th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm right here the Centre for Newcomers, with registration starting at 12:30 pm.

There will be many resource tables on display, as well as live entertainment, cultural performances, activities for children, light refreshments, door prizes, along with clothing and toy give aways. Take advantage of interactive attractions, including workshops on weight management and a healthy diet, skin care, fitness and dance, arts and crafts, free health screenings and more.

In the end, the day is a chance to make changes now and work towards learning how to lead a healthier, more active, more fulfilling life. See you there! 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Totally Awesome Summer Camps @ CFN

Late last week CFN Productions once again had a chance to stop by for a visit with CFN's Totally Awesome Summer Camp's (TASC) counsellors and kids.  Totally Awesome Summer Camp is a school-aged care program for kids ages 6 – 12; it supports parents to continue their LINC English classes over the summer. Participants enjoy fun crafts, games, and outings designed to develop their creative, communication and leadership skills. The program is led by two post-secondary students through the Service Canada Summer Student grant program.

During our visit we had the chance to talk with Raina Kim, one of our TASC Counsellors and summer students who is currently enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan. And was the case with her fellow counsellor Joy, there is some serendipity to her being here. Raina's mother attended the Centre for Newcomers as a LINC student. not long after the family of five immigrated to Canada from Seoul, South Korea. After arriving here at just 7 years old, Raina has now has completed that serendipitous circle in her position as a TASC counsellor at CFN.  For a peek inside TASC, (during Science week no less!) and to hear Raina talk about her experiences simply watch below and for a few pics of our visit CLICK HERE. 

Totally Awesome Summer Camps @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Youth Possibilities Program Summer Graduation

Last Friday marked the latest graduating class from CFN's Youth Possibilities Program. 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 reached their potential 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 receive paid 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.

Congratulations to our graduates and never forget, you will always be a part of the CFN family! For a few photos of the day's events CLICK HERE and to see a few highlights simply watch below.

Youth Possibilities Summer Graduation @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, July 31, 2017

CFN Peer Mentorship for Professionals Program Visits Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre

As a part of CFNs Peer Mentorship for Professionals Program, a field trip to Leduc took place over c #1 Energy Discovery Centre. The Centre has an interactive museum and science space that shows you the history of the oil industry in Alberta.
this past weekend.  Some may not know this, but Alberta Oil started to flow in Ledu

In the years since the discovery at Leduc #1, oil has impacted nearly every fabric of lives in Alberta. A visit to Leduc #1 will take you through the 365 million years of history and technology that created the world we live in today. Participants in the Multicultural Peer mentorship program for professionals visited the discovery Centre on a study trip to learn more about the history and development of the oil and gas sector in Alberta.

Mentoring, at its core, guarantees people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity.

CFN Multicultural Peer Mentorship for Professionals  is a 4-month program that matches Mentors working as professionals in their industry in Canada with Mentees who are professionals striving to find employment in their fields. It allows for newcomers to learn from the stories and experiences of successful immigrant professionals, while improving their knowledge, skills and understanding of the Canadian workplace culture and the environment. Additionally, it helps establish a wider peer support network within and outside one's culture. Funding for the program comes from United Way of Calgary and Area and City of Calgary Family and Community Support Services.

CFN Volunteers Volume IV from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Mentoring @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Indigenous Education for Newcomers a Great Success

The official launch celebration of the Indigenous Education for Newcomers Initiative was a great success. 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.  Click below to catch some of CBCs coverage of the big event and stay tuned for more.

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

Friday, July 28, 2017

Indigenous Education for Newcomers - Launch Celebration Agenda

With the official launch celebration set for tomorrow, July 29th at the Genesis Centre, CFN is so very proud to be a part of the 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. Below is tomorrow's agenda and we look forward to seeing you there! 

  • 9:30    Opening Blessings from Elder - Honour Song & prayer by Herman Yellow Old Woman
  • 10:00   Welcome, Anila Lee Yuen and Cindy Provost, Event Co-Chairs 
  • 10:15   Welcoming remarks from government
  • 10:45   Making Treaty 7 - Video: To Be or Not To Be Friends - Live: Nora Dubois Tsuu T’ina Prophecy and monologue
  • 11:05   Participatory discussions with audience  - Sharing circles 
  • 12:00   Break for Lunch  - Elder Herman Yellow Old Woman sharing songs and significance - Vendors, Ethnicity catering, resources tables, etc. 
  • 1:00   Youth Reconciliation Tree with Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth
  • 2:00 Media Representation/Misrepresentation- Gabrielle Lindstrom, PhD Candidate, University of Calgary
  • 3:00 Understanding “the land.” – Making Treaty 7 with Andy Curtis and Elder Clarence Wolfleg
  • 4:00 Closing Circle & Round Dance with Elder Clarence Wolfleg

Indigenous Education for Newcomers Celebration Launch - July 29th @ the Genesis Centre from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Indigenous Education for Newcomers - Hashtag Contest from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Indigenous Education for Newcomers - Hashtag Contest

Saturday July 29th The Indigenous Education for Newcomers Launch Celebration will take place at the Genesis Centre from 10am to 4pm. A jam packed day will be highlighted across our social media platforms and for those tweeters out there, whoever uses the hashtag #treaty7newcomers the most on Saturday will win 6 tickets to the Laugh Shop.

Long time members of the Calgary entertainment landscape,  the Laugh Shop has been hosting premier, marquee talent in an intimate setting since the 1980s. One of the best comedy clubs in the country is also one of the most intimate for patrons and performers alike. Seating 300 people, the differences are huge when comparing The Laugh Shop to the Saddledome or a even a theatre. As a result, comedians often stick around after the show to take pictures and sign autographs and just hang out with the crowd.

Rosanne Bar, Rob Schneider, Chris Tucker, Jim Belushi, along with any one of Wayans Brothers are just a few of the A-List comedians that have recently performed at the Laugh Shop and they, along with the entertainer of the week, are guaranteed to provide a performance that will leave you with a smile on your face.

A big thank you to the Laugh Shop from all of us here at CFN and keep up the great work!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Indigenous Education for Newcomers - CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen

On July 29th the Indigenous Education for Newcomers Launch Celebration is taking place at the Genesis Centre. To RSVP to the big event on Saturday CLICK HERE. CFN CEO since late 2015, Anila has been a key community builder and a champion for diversity and inclusion here in Calgary for the better part of 20 years. Watch below as she reveals how the Initiative first began to take shape, what her thoughts are on the future of reconciliation, as well as what it means to Canada as a whole.

Indigenous Education for Newcomers - CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

WelcomePack Canada @ CFN

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 is very glad to join WelcomePack’s distribution network and looks forward to collaborating on a great initiative. Check out their website for more details!

Indigenous Education for Newcomers - a Chat with Making Treaty 7's Michèle Stanners

On July 29th the Indigenous Education for Newcomers Launch Celebration is taking place at the Genesis Centre. Making Treaty 7 has been an integral part of the initiative since its development stages and has generously arranged, amongst other inclusions, live scenes from Making Treaty 7 to be performed at the celebration this Saturday. Michèle Stanners, Making Treat 7's Executive Director, also sits on the Indigenous Education for Newcomers Advisory Committee. Watch below as she talks about both her work with Making Treaty 7 and the Committee.
Genesis Centre.

The purpose of Making Treaty 7 is to produce an event, of both local and international interest, with the potential to act as a transformational agent for people of all ages and backgrounds. Inspired by the founding event of modern Southern Alberta, Making Treaty 7 invites Calgarians, and all Canadians, to consider an enlightened, sustainable future – for all of us. To RSVP to Saturday's big event simply CLICK HERE.

Indigenous Education for Newcomers - a Chat with Making Treaty 7's Michèle Stanners from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Indigenous Education for Newcomers - A Chat with Calgary Foundation's Tim Fox

On July 29th the Indigenous Education for Newcomers Launch Celebration is taking place at the Genesis Centre. The Calgary Foundation has generously granted funding for the Initiative and Indigenous Community leader Tim Fox, who is the Calgary Foundation's Director of Indigenous Relations, also sits on the Indigenous Education for Newcomers Advisory Committee. Watch below as he talks about both his work with the Foundation and the Committee, as well as his vision for reconciliation in Canada.

Since 1955, the Calgary Foundation has been nurturing a healthy, vibrant, giving and caring community. The Foundation facilitates collaborative philanthropy by making powerful connections between donors and community organizations for the long-term benefit of Calgary and area. In 2015-16, the Calgary Foundation saw $38.8 million in new contributions, had an asset base of $822.7 million and granted $45.9 million to 883 charitable organizations.

It is their strategic partnerships with generous fundholders and effective nonprofits that enable the Calgary Foundation to do great work and build a vibrant community. And as always, the strength and value of a community foundation is reflected in a strong and sustainable charitable sector.

A Chat with Tim Fox of the Calgary Foundation from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, July 24, 2017

CFN Staff Day

On Friday, July 21st, CFN held its annual Staff Day at North Glenmore Park. It was a day of fun but beneath it all, it was a day of heartfelt appreciation for the dedicated and hard working staff and volunteers that work each day to make Calgary the best it can be.

Since 1988 the Centre for Newcomers has been a key resource for immigrants and refugees of all nationalities. Located in the Marlborough commercial district in Pacific Place Mall, the Centre services individuals from all across Calgary and is easily accessible by public transit, either bus or C-Train.

Our vision is the ultimate goal, 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. And our mission is 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. The Centre for Newcomers provides local, provincial and national leadership in immigrant settlement and integration and view the integration of newcomers as a two-way process of experience, influence and impact between newcomers and the communities that welcome them.

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.

In the end, our staff and volunteers make all this possible. Thank you for all that you do to help build our community! For more photos of the day CLICK HERE and for video highlights simply click below. 
CFN Staff Day 2017 from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Refugee Alberta @ AAISA

 CFN has been a proud member of the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA) since its inception and all of us here would like to congratulate AAISA on the success of their new website - The website is funded by the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and serves as a one-stop shop for refugees to access information on settling in Alberta and services to support them in their new life.

Following one of the largest resettlements of refugees in Canadian history, the website’s launch responded to a significant need across the province. Service providers, such as our valued members, offer a variety of programs and services across Alberta.  AAISA has designed this website to help support refugees as well as to build the capacity of organizations that serve them with vital information related to their resettlement journey in Alberta. The website has three sections - I am a Refugee, I am an Organization and I Want to Help. 

While I am a Refugee assists refugees in learning more about their settlement and integration journeyI am an Organization AASIA recognizes that in order to support the successful resettlement of refugees in Alberta, building the capacity of the organizations and community members working with refugees is vital. Lastly, I Want to Help supports community members, whether they are private sponsors, donors or prospective volunteers with information on what they can do to assist refugees and their communities in the settlement process.
in Alberta, with Government Assisted Refugees coming to Alberta will be originally settled in one of six official resettlement cities. These cities are Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, and Brooks.  Each of the six resettlement centres have a Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) provider and other services available to help get refugees off to a successful start in their new home. Privately Sponsored Refugees may settle outside of these six cities. 7,004 refugees have arrived in Alberta since November 2015.

For a quick peek at just some of what the site had to offer click here for a full glossary of terms and the links below will help you find programs and services in your community. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Totally Awesome Summer Camp @ CFN

This past week CFN Productions had a chance to stop by for a visit with CFN's Totally Awesome Summer Camp's (TASC) counsellors and kids.  Totally Awesome Summer Camp is a school-aged care program for kids ages 6 – 12; it supports parents to continue their LINC English classes over the summer. Participants enjoy fun crafts, games, and outings designed to develop their creative, communication and leadership skills. The program is led by two post-secondary students through the Service Canada Summer Student grant program.

During our visit we had the chance to talk with Joy Monagas, one of our TASC Counsellors and summer students who is currently enrolled at SAIT. And in a wonderful case of serendipity, Joy herself was once a participant in CFNs childcare program and now has come full circle in her position as a counsellor.  For a peek inside TASC and to hear Joy talk about her experiences simply watch below and for pics of our visit CLICK HERE. 

Totally Awesome Summer Camps (TASC) @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Financial Training @ CFN

The Newcomer Settlement Program (NSP) of CFN is expanding its service horizon on financial empowerment. CFN is pleased to announce that we are now offering a 2-stream financial services: One-on-one Financial Coaching and Financial Literacy.

Financial Coaching is a confidential one-on-one help session with a trained financial coach which is a good fit for anyone who feels burdened by current and ongoing financial obligations, unsecured financial future or unable to make choices that allow the person to enjoy life. Four settlement practitioners acquired professional training in this field from Bow Valley College. In essence, they have become certified financial coaches. This service, is open to all clients (including staff), regardless of immigration class, and will also cater to Canadian citizens.

Financial Literacy aims to inform low income newcomers and individuals with financial problems about the financial system and services in Canada. Topics will include asset building, banking, budgeting, consumerism and credit. This will be incorporated in the counsellors’ information and orientation to clients, as well as in group sessions (workshops) which, will now be facilitated by our own trained counsellors. Through these staff, CFN is licensed to provide Financial Literacy training for clients.

For more information give us a call at 403-569-3325 or visit our website.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Making Treaty 7 @ Indigenous Education for Newcomers Launch

Photo by Bert Crowfoot
From its beginnings, Making Treaty 7 has sat upon the advisory committee and helped steer the Indigenous Education for Newcomers Initiative. On July 29th at the Genesis Centre for the Launch Celebration of the Initiative, live scenes from Making Treaty 7's Napi's Story, as well as an explanation of Indigenous ways of knowing and living on the land by local elders, will be a part of the days' events.

Treaty 7 is one of a family of numbered treaties signed between Canada’s First Nations and Queen Victoria between 1871 and 1921. Treaty 7 paved the way for the peaceful settlement of the Province of Alberta. Making Treaty 7 tells the story of that historic agreement, and investigates the results and implications 140 years later.

The purpose of Making Treaty 7's work is the potential to act as a transformational agent for people of all ages and backgrounds. Inspired by the founding event of modern Southern Alberta, Making Treaty 7 invites Calgarians, and all Canadians, to consider an enlightened, sustainable future – for all of us. The Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society operates as a not-for-profit entity, governed by a board of directors.

All cultures can best be expressed through their connection to “place.” The story of Canada is the story of the land we live on, that we cultivate, harvest and build our cities on. It is also the story of who each of us are, where we came from, and why we are here today. Looking forward, our story is the story of how we hope to live together in the future.

Our right to live and prosper here in Canada is made possible through a series of agreements laid out between First Nations and European new comers. The treaties outline how different cultures can co-exist as one country. Every Canadian benefits from privileges, and is bound by responsibilities, that stem directly from the agreements laid out between First Nations and European newcomers. Treaty 7, is one of a family of numbered treaties that were intended to define how two very different cultures might agree to coexist.

A greater understanding of what Treaty 7 means, to each and every one of us, would be of great benefit to anyone who wishes for a better understanding of Calgary, its immediate history, and its potential as a truly great city.

Making Treaty 7 (Highlights from 2015 Show) from Chris Hsiung on Vimeo.

Friday, July 14, 2017

CFN @ the Calgary Stampede

In collaboration with the Calgary Stampede Community Projects and Development Committee,  CFN joined others in the settlement sector at the Calgary Stampede. The day include a personalised tour of the Agricultural Barns and activities, the Indian Village and the Rodeo. The purpose of the tour is for the Calgary Stampede to engage with the settlement sector in welcoming newcomers to Calgary.

The stampede has always been and continues to be about the community. In March 1912, Guy Weadick arrived in Calgary to pitch a 6-day spectacle titled the “Frontier Day Celebration and Championship.” Weadick, a successful vaudeville performer who had travelled throughout North America and Europe as a trick roper, envisioned a world-class rodeo competition that would celebrate the romance and culture of the “disappearing” Old West. He received support for the event he called the “Stampede” from four prosperous southern
Alberta ranchers: A.E. Cross, George Lane, Pat Burns and A.J. McLean, collectively known as the Big Four. First held in September of 1912, the Stampede featured roping and bronc events with competitors from throughout the North American West. Women participated in the saddlebronc and trick riding competitions. Members of the Treaty 7 Nations participated in the events as well. The title of world champion bareback bronc rider went to Tom Three Persons of the Kainai (Blood) Nation who was the first person to stay on Cyclone, the famous horse unbeaten by 129 other riders before Three Persons rode him to a standstill. Despite the rainy weather, the first Stampede drew large crowds and was a success.

Due to the onset of an economic depression followed by the outbreak of the First World War, Weadick’s hopes of making the Stampede an annual event were dashed. But in 1919, the Big Four and Ernie L. Richardson, the Secretary of the Calgary Exhibition, called him back to the city to hold a Victory Stampede that would celebrate peace and the end of the First World War. Once again, the Stampede was a successful rodeo competition and western event.

In 1923, the Stampede joined with the Exhibition holding one event – the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede – in July. This was also the first year of the pancake breakfast, started by Jack Morton offering breakfast to visitors and locals alike from the back of his chuckwagon parked downtown. Within a few years, attendance broke 200,000 and the spectacle continued to grow into the Stampede we enjoy today. It remains a celebration of the Old West out of which Calgary grew and showcases the modern, multicultural and cosmopolitan city it has become. Like the Stampede, Calgary’s past and present are firmly rooted in the traditions of western heritage and values.

A huge thanks to the Calgary Stampede for their hospitality and for more photos of the big day CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Indigenous Education for Newcomers Launch Celebration Coming Soon

With the official launch celebration set for July 29th at the Genesis Centre, CFN is proud to be
 a part of the Indigenous Education for Newcomers Initiative, an initiative that addresses the historic injustice and trauma that has contributed to deep social, cultural, economic and spiritual challenges for Canada’s Indigenous people. Working in partnership with Making Treaty 7, University of Calgary, Calgary Police Services, Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, Calgary Immigrant Educational Society, and the 12 Community Safety Initiative, along with City Councillor Brian Pincott, Federal MP and Cabinet Minister Kent Hehr,  and Tim Fox of Calgary Foundationour 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.

Workshop Facilitator Professor Dustin Louie 
One of the recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is for the information kit for newcomers to be revised “to reflect a more inclusive history of the diverse Indigenous peoples of Canada including information about the Treaties and the history of residential schools” (TRC, 2015, p.10). This initiative seeks to narrow the information and knowledge gap that exists in newcomer populations in Calgary through educational workshops on Indigenous matters by forging meaningful partnerships with Calgary-based organizations to address challenges that Indigenous people face.

Making Treaty 7 ED Michèle Stanners
The initiative will combine culturally-appropriate educational workshops on matters identified by Indigenous people as relevant to newcomers’ understanding of the history of Canada’s Indigenous community. The workshops will include issues related to historic injustice and trauma and Indigenous peoples’ rich history and culture.

The rationale is that engaging in ongoing public dialogues, enhancing professional development and training for public servants, strengthening intercultural competency in Indigenous matters are all part of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action aimed at addressing historic trauma and historic injustice of Canada’s Indigenous peoples (TRC, 2015)

This event is open to the public and admission is free. Use North entrance of the Genesis Centre for quick access. Lunch will be provided to the first 250 people to register. To RSVP simply CLICK HERE and stay tuned for more details coming soon!

Workshop Attendees @ CFN

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Kim Thuy

Part 9 of our Celebrating Refugee Series takes us to Kim Thuy.  A Canadian novelist born in Saigon, Vietnam. At the age of 10, Thuy left Vietnam with her parents and 2 brothers, fleeing the country's communist regime. After a stay in a refugee camp in Malaysia, the family, like many refugees who then qualified as "boat people," arrived in Granby, Quebec.

After trying various occupations, Thuy pursued studies at the Université de Montréal where she completed three degrees. At the same time, she opened a restaurant in Montréal to introduce the city to the cuisine of her native country. When the restaurant closed Thuy began to write, fulfilling a long-held ambition.

Thuy's first novel, "Ru" fictionalizes her family's long journey from Vietnam to Québec. Critics universally praised the book (which means "lullaby" in Vietnamese) since its release, and it has been published in several languages.

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Kim Thuy from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Maryam Monsef

Part 8 of our Celebrating Refugees Series takes us to the Honourable Maryam Monsef. Monsef is a Canadian politician of Afghan descent. She is a Member of Canada's Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, and a Minister in Prime Minister Trudeau`s Cabinet.

Monsef's father died when she was still an infant and her mother struggled to raise her three daughters under the growing problems in Afghanistan. She moved the family between Iran and Afghanistan for many years, until they finally made the journey to Canada as refugees, settling in Peterborough, Ontario.

Monsef went to Trent University, earned a degree in Psychology and co-founded a grassroots initiative called the Red Pashmina Campaign - an effort to help support women in Afghanistan.

Monsef's induction into politics happened when she ran for mayor of Peterborough in 2014. She did not win, but the Liberal Party of Canada chose her to represent them in the upcoming federal election. She was elected on the 19th of October 2015. PM Justin Trudeau soon appointed her as the Minister of Democratic Institutions and later the Minister of the Status of Women. She is the second-youngest Canadian minister ever.

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Maryam Monsef from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Hyam Abu Nada

June 20th was World Refugee Day, but Refugee Month and the Orange Ribbon Campaign continue throughout June. Part 7 of 9 in our Celebrating Refugees series takes us to Hyam Abu Nada. Hyam is not a Governor General or a Cabinet Minister, nor is she a famous musician or an acclaimed writer. She is just a woman, just an ordinary person like you and me, except for the fact that she was forced to flee her home in search of hope and freedom, and who is now working so very hard to make a new life here in Calgary.

Hyam has a Bachelor's Degree in Food Science Technology and has worked as a Project Coordinator, a Field Supervisor and an Agricultural Engineer in Gaza, Palestine. The Gaza Strip is home to 1.8 million people, people who face poverty, mass unemployment, a crippling lack of electrical power and infrastructure, and the ever present fear of sudden conflict.  In many ways, Life is in Ruins in Gaza.

We had the chance to talk with Hyam about her journey to Canada, about what she's found most difficult and most surprising since her arrival, and about what message she has for the people of Canada. Watch below to hear her answers to these questions and more.

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Hyam Abu Nada from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

AGM & World Refugee Day @ CFN

Yesterday CFN held its Annual General Meeting & World Refugee Day Celebrations and CFN would like to send out a big thank you to all those who participated in what was a special day.

In the end, CFN is Calgary; CFN is Canada and our heart, like the heart that drives World Refugee Day, can perhaps best be summarized by a single word - hope.  Canada, more than ever, truly is a beacon of hope to the world.  For all our flaws, for all the challenges that still lay in front of us, we are a nation where individuals are treated with respect, have equal rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of sexual orientation, free education and healthcare, and can live life, for the most part, as we see fit, without fear of repercussion, and with pride and hope for the future. As Canada approaches its 150th birthday, pride is another word that comes to mind. Hope and pride; yes indeed Canada is simply one of the best places in our big wide world in which to live out the human experience.

CFN thanks our community partners and collaborators, our fellow settlement agencies, along with the host of passionate and driven non-profits that burn bright throughout our great city and serve to better the city in which we all live; we thank the hundreds of our volunteers who donate their time to help improve the lives of others; we thank the more than 130 people who come to work at CFN everyday and work hard to build the community around them; we thank our heartfelt Board, our spirited leadership, but most of all we thank all those who are now working so very hard to make Calgary their new home - who in the process make Canada the glorious country it has always been.

And therein lies our responsibility as a community. All of us here at CFN will surely do our best, each and every day, to help them, in any way we can, throughout their journey; to assist these newcomers, into a city, a culture and a country that was built upon the ideals of pride and hope, upon the ideals that serve as a driving force behind all those looking to make something better for themselves and their families.  For photos of our Annual General Meeting CLICK HERE, to download a copy of CFN's Annual Report CLICK HERE, and for a quick by the numbers glance of Fiscal Year 2016-17 simply watch below.

CFN's Annual General Meeting: FY 2016-17 By The Numbers from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Dany Laferrière

Part 6 of our Celebrating Refugees Series take us to Dany Laferrière, a Haitian-Canadian novelist and journalist who writes in French. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in Petit-Goâve, Laferrière worked as a journalist in Haiti before moving to Canada in 1976. He also worked as a journalist in Canada, and hosted television programming for the TQS network. Laferrière published his first novel, Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer (How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired) in 1985. The novel was later adapted into a screenplay by Laferrière and Richard Sadler, earning a Genie Award nomination for best adapted screenplay at the 11th Genie Awards in 1990. The film adaptation of the novel starred Isaach De Bankolé and was directed by Jacques W. Benoit.

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees:Dany Laferrière from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

In 2009, Laferrière won the prestigious Prix Médicis for his 11th novel, L'énigme du retour. Upon receiving the prize, he commented on its ability to open up a new readership in France, giving him visibility there. .On 3 June 2014, he was awarded the International Literature Award by the House of World Cultures for his novel The Return. In 2015, Laferrière was awarded the Order of Canada.

June 20th is World Refugee Day

Here at the CFN, today, we celebrate World Refugee Day. Last year we started #RefugeeDayYYC to go along with our city wide, month long Orange Ribbon Campaign to bring awareness to the plight of refugees and to honour their strength, courage and resilience. World Refugee Day commemorates the obstacles refugees face each year, while also celebrating their courage and strength. Since 2001, the United Nations and more than 100 countries have observed World Refugee Day annually on June 20th. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has started the #WithRefugees petition to send a message of action, solidarity, and responsibility on behalf of refugees to governments worldwide.

Together, we can work to end the refugee crisis and find homes for displaced peoples worldwide. Here are several facts to help you better understand the current refugee crisis:
  • According to the UNHCR, there are 65.3 million forcibly displaced people around the world. 
  • More than 21 million of these people are refugees and 10 million are stateless. 
  • On average, 42,500 people per day flee their homes to seek protection within the borders of their own country or other countries.
  • In the last year alone, there have been 13.9 million people newly displaced.
  • The civil war in Syria has led to one of the worst humanitarian crises of our lifetime.
  • More than 11 million Syrians are currently displaced. This amounts to 45% of the Syrian population.
  • 86% of the world's refugees are hosted by developing countries.
  • This number has jumped by 16% in the last decade. Refugees only account for a tiny percentage of overall immigration.
  • The world’s largest refugee camp is located in Dadaab, Kenya, which is home to more than 329,000 people.
  • The Dadaab refugee camp was been threatened with closures due to potential security risks.
  • Of the 20 million refugees worldwide, 51% are under the age of 18.
  • This is the highest number of child refugees since World War II. 
  • The first-ever Refugee Team competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. 
  • The team was comprised of athletes from Ethiopia, South Sudan, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria.

Monday, June 19, 2017

CFN @ SocialWest

Last week CFN attended SocialWest, an exciting multi-day conference developed for those working in communications, marketing and social media. Attendees experienced sessions, panels and workshops lead by the industry's foremost experts. Over the course of SocialWest, speakers shared the elements of truly successful social media and digital strategies for businesses big and small. SocialWest 2017 featured more than 30 speakers and experts from across the country. A worthwhile educational conference for social media and marketing professionals of all levels, we look forward to  attending again next year!


CFNs EthniCity Catering @ Feeding 5000

Feeding 5000 Calgary is a global initiative to raise awareness about food waste. The goal was to feed 5000 people with food that would have otherwise ended up being thrown away. Originating in England, Feeding 5000 has since become a global movement. Since then, Feeding 5000 events have happened in cities across Europe and North America with CFNs EthniCity Catering having the privilege of participating in Calgary's inaugural Feeding 5000.

Held at Olympic Plaza on Thursday, the event fed nearly 7000 people, while saving more than 1,000 kilograms of food from the landfill.

Food was donated by local farms, grocery stores and wholesalers, and put together in creative ways by chefs right here in YYC. The chefs, including Ethnicity Catering's Mark Sefton, treated the public to some delicious meals. The event was made possible by the hard work of hundreds of volunteers, who spent the week prepping for the event.  Leftovers from Feeding 5000 were donated to the Drop-In Centre, Alpha House and the Dream Centre. For more Photos of the event CLICK HERE. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Ahmed Hussen

Part 5 of our Celebrating Refugees Series take us to the Honourable Ahmed Hussen. As a young boy, he left war torn Somalia to forge a new life in Toronto. He first resided in Hamilton and later moved to Canada's largest city in 1993.  In 1996 he moved to Regent Park.

It was his experience living in Regent Park that drew him into politics. Hussen co-founded the neighbourhood association that pushed for the inclusion of more public housing in the $500-million redevelopment of the community, and eventually became a prominent voice as president of the Canadian Somali Congress. For his post-secondary studies, Hussen attended York University, earning a BA in History in 2002. Hussen later received a law degree from the University of Ottawa, and passed the bar exam in September 2012.

In December 2014, he presented himself as a candidate for a Liberal Party of Canada seat in the riding of York South—Weston for the 42nd Canadian federal election. Hussen won the nomination in a field of six aspirants and little more than a year later was named Minister of Immigration, Refugees an and Citizenship by Prime Minster Justin Trudeau.

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Ahmed Hussen from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

When it comes to refugees, simply put, the world is in the midst of a global displacement crisis the likes of which has not been seen since WWII. Below are some facts:
  • At the end of 2016 there were 65.3 million forcibly displaced people. They included 21.3 million refugees, 40.8 million internally displaced and 3.2 million asylum seekers.
  • If they were a country they would be the world's 21st largest.
  • More than half of refugees come from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.
  • Developing regions host 86 percent of refugees.
  • Turkey hosts by far the largest number with more than 3 million refugees and asylum-seekers, including 2.7 million Syrians.
  • Lebanon has the highest concentration relative to its own population with nearly one in five people being a refugee.
  • Globally, nearly one in 200 children is a refugee. The number of child refugees has more than doubled in the last decade.
  • Growing numbers of children are crossing borders alone. Last year, more than 100,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in 78 countries - triple the number in 2015.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Best of Calgary & Around the World

The Best of Calgary, in collaboration with First Calgary Financial and CFN, put on the ultimate cultural experience that fully satisfied everyone's international palate. The Around the World Dinner brought together a tasty menu of dishes exclusively catered by CFNs Ethnicity Catering, that explored food from five refugee countries including Syria, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Congo and Albania.

The multiple course dinner also featured a representative from each country, who spoke of their homeland and their experiences of immigrating to Calgary. The Around the World Dinner was chosen to be a part of the Best of Calgary Interactive labs and experiences, citing the Centre for Newcomers is an important component of the community in our city.

EthniCity Catering is a social enterprise of the Centre for Newcomers that provides transitional employment and training for immigrant and refugee women and men, and a multi-ethnic menu for Calgary customers. Offering a temporary and part-time Canadian job, along with training to work in a commercial kitchen, the program also presents the opportunity to learn essential life skills and workplace training, along with a food safety card from Alberta Health Services and support in looking for permanent work.

All of us here at CFN extend our thanks to Best of Calgary, First Calgary Financial, our evening's guests and of course our international table hosts. For photos of the event CLICK HERE and for a quick peek at the evening's highlights watch below.

Around the World Dinner from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ethno-Cultural & Intergenerational @ CFN

CFN organized an intergenerational session for ethno-cultural community leaders this past Saturday. This event was a part of CFN's community building and engagement strategy. Youth from diverse communities narrated the unique challenges they face on issues such as stereotyping, culture clashes, racism, exploitation, parental control and more. Community seniors and leaders then delved into how to navigate those challenges.

The event was an endeavour to directly address the struggles of immigrant youth and children, who often feel marginalized even as newcomers try and settle in Canada facing numerous financial, settlement, cultural and linguistic hurdles. For immigrants, parenting is more complex process because it is challenged by changes in family roles, values and a lack of extended family support. An intergenerational conflict arises in terms of divergent expectations of parents and their children.

Having a conversation about these youth issues also gels well with the mission and vision of CFN since we manage two services for the youth - Youth Possibilities Program (YPP) and the RealMe initiative. Some of the outcomes centring on capacity building focused around youth empowerment, evolving a community integration strategy, inter-cultural mingling and providing a positive sense of direction to the new generation.

As many as 49 community members, including 27 youth, drawn from 18 ethno-cultural organizations participated in the event. Some agencies mandated to deal with youth issues were also in attendance. CFN sends out a heartfelt thank you to all who contributed towards making this day such a great success, most especially those young people who are taking an active role in bettering the community and leading their peers and beyond by example. Keep up the great work! For more photos of the event CLICK HERE.

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Michaelle Jean

The Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Canadian journalist and documentarian who was Canada’s 27th governor-general (2005–10) and the first person of African heritage to hold that post. She later became the first woman to serve as secretary-general of the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie (2015– ).

Jean’s family was descended from slaves. Her father suffered imprisonment and torture under the regime of François Duvalier, leading to the family’s flight to Canada when Jean was age 11. They settled in Montreal. Jean proved to be a brilliant student, studying languages and literature at the University of Montreal, where she earned a master’s degree in comparative literature. She also attended universities in Italy and France.

A social activist, Jean mixed freely in the diverse world of Montreal’s ethnic communities, honing a perfect command of French and English in the process. Embarking on a career in broadcast journalism, she became a popular commentator on the French-language network of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and also worked frequently on the English network. From 2001 Jean worked as an anchor for Radio-Canada’s Le Téléjournal, and in 2004 she began to host her own television interview show.

On Sept. 27, 2005, Jean was officially installed as Canada’s governor-general. She was the first black person and the first Haitian immigrant to hold the prestigious post as the British monarch’s viceregal representative in Canada. The appointment brought out, in a striking fashion, the changing nature of modern Canada: since World War II Canada had become a genuinely multicultural society, with attitudes influenced by the heavy flow of immigrants.

Orange Ribbon Campaign - Celebrating Refugees: Michelle Jean from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

When it comes to refugees, it should always be remembered that they are people who come to Canada having left their homes, and in many cases they have had to live in refugee camps for many years. When they arrive in Canada, they have to start their lives over again.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), along with private sponsors, identifies refugees for resettlement. A person cannot apply directly to Canada for resettlement. After they are identified, it takes time to process the cases. Private sponsors across the country also help resettle refugees to Canada. Some do this on an ongoing basis. They have signed sponsorship agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees. These groups are known as Sponsorship Agreement Holders. Sponsorship Agreement Holders can sponsor refugees themselves, or work with others in the community to do so.

Other sponsors, known as Groups of Five and Community Sponsors, are people or groups in the community who have come together to sponsor refugee(s). They do not generally sponsor refugees on an ongoing basis. The Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program matches refugees identified by the UNHCR with private sponsors in Canada.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Orange Ribbon Campaign: Celebrating Refugees: K'Naan

As a part of our Orange Ribbon Campaign, we will be highlighting some of Canada's most well known refugees throughout the month to bring awareness to the highest numbers of displaced people on record and to honour the strength, courage and resilience of refugees the world over. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, just as the civil unrest that rocked the country was beginning, musical artist K'Naan spent the early years of his life trying to avoid death and listening to the hip-hop records sent to him from America by his father, who had left Somalia earlier. When K'Naan (whose name means "traveler" in Somali) was 13, he and his mother arrived in Rexdale, Ontario as refugees.

In tenth grade he dropped out of school and traveled North America for two years, performing occasionally. He was able to perform at the United Nations' 50th anniversary concert in 1999, held in Geneva, where he used his platform to publicly criticize the United Nations' handling of the Somali crisis in the 1990s. One of the audience members, Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, was so impressed by the young MC's performance and courage that he invited him to contribute to his 2001 album Building Bridges, a project through which K'NAAN was able to tour the world.

His seminal work The Dusty Foot Philosopher came out in 2005 and in 2007, the live album On the Road appeared. Two years later, the album Troubadour became K'Naan's first for the major-label A&M. After his track "Wavin' Flag" became the anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, his More Beautiful Than Silence EP arrived in 2012.

The world, our world is now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 65.3 million people around the globe have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. There are also 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement. In a world where nearly 34,000 people are forcibly displaced every day as a result of conflict or persecution, the role of the international community is more important than ever before.