Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Best of Calgary & First Calgary Financial - The World's Your Oyster

Want to learn about investing or more about socially responsible investments? Come on down for oysters and refreshments this Friday, June 2 at Rodney's Oyster House, runner up for Calgary's best seafood and take in First Financial Calgary's workshop. Tickets are just $20 and there will be a ton of big give aways.

An oyster shucking demonstration will be followed by an innovative workshop with the team at First Calgary Financial where you'll gain insights and tools to help build a plan to get to the future you want. Over drinks and oysters you'll evaluate your personal values and financial goals, to begin to build a plan that's right for you. Refreshments and a taste of Rodney's oysters are included.

All Calgarians should have the right to sound and free financial planning, and so all proceeds from tickets to this event will go to support The Centre for Newcomers.

The Ideas Week labs are presented in partnership with Best of Calgary and First Calgary Financial - the intention is to bring Calgarians an exclusive opportunity to connect with the best of our city through fun, interactive and unique events. To purchase tickets CLICK HERE. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

CFN's Youth Possibilities Program 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 Graduation @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Friday, May 26, 2017

CFN CEO MCs the Deborah Ellis Be The Change Event

This past week the Calgary Public Library, as a part of the Calgary International Children's Festival, hosted the Deborah Ellis: Be the Change event at the John Dutton Theatre. The event, emceed by CFN CEO Anila Lee Yuen, focused on building a kinder world and empowering youth to take action. In addition to Deborah Ellis speaking, short presentations featuring some of the work elementary students are doing in Calgary to build a kinder more caring community were a part of the program.

Deborah Ellis is an award-winning author and activist, who wrote the international bestseller The Breadwinner, as well as many other challenging and beautiful works about children the world over. The Cat At The Wall, is her most recent work and tells the story of a young cat who sneaks into a Palestinian house on the West Bank, and a young boy who is hiding beneath the floorboards. She has won the Governor General’s Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work amongst several others. Ellis has received the Ontario Library Association’s President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement, while also being named to the Order of Ontario.


Perhaps most telling of Ellis' character, she is a passionate advocate for the disenfranchised, donating most of her royalty income to worthy causes, including more than one million dollars in royalty donations from the Breadwinner alone. Organizations such as Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Street Kids International, the Children in Crisis Fund of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) and UNICEF have all benefitted from Eliis' incredible generosity. For more photos of the event CLICK HERE and stay tuned for more of Ellis and her work.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

CFN Attends Calgary International Children's Festival

The Calgary International Children’s Festival (Kidsfest) celebrates its 31st anniversary this season. From its humble beginning in 1987, Kidsfest has grown to become one of the most prominent arts festivals of its kind in Canada and the largest presenter of performing arts for young people in Calgary. As a vital contributor to the cultural landscape of our community, Kidsfest offers children, parents, and teachers an experiential and educational environment for imagination, growth, and creative expression.

Along with the support of our fantastic audience, Kidsfest has been gifted with the support of government, corporate, and personal donations recognizing the importance of arts exposure for young minds. We also benefit from the support of over 500 generous volunteers each year. With an over 30-year legacy, Kidsfest has started to reach its next generation of patrons. It’s exciting to see adults who had their first exposure to performing arts through the Calgary International Children’s Festival share that same magic with their children today.

CFN Send out a thank you to all those how work so tirelessly to bring joy and fun to our littlest citizens! For a few pics of our little one s at today's show CLICK HERE and for more info on one of Canada's best children's festivals check out their website. 

CFN @ Calgary International Children's Festival from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

June is World Refugee Month

REFUGEE AWARENESS ORANGE RIBBON CAMPAIGN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

CFN would like you to join us in honouring the courage, strength, and determination of refugee women, men and children in Calgary. June 20th is observed as World Refugee Day to honour the courage, strength and determination of all those who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. Building on this, CFN will be launching our 2nd annual citywide Refugee Awareness Campaign on June 1, 2017 to engage the broader community in showing your support for our new Calgarians.

The ribbons will be available for purchase by donation at various businesses and organizations across the city, with proceeds from the orange ribbons going towards CFNs programs and community services that serve and support over 10,000 newcomers to Calgary each year - work we simply could not do without the support of the community.

If you would like to wear an orange ribbon for the month of June, display a box in your office to encourage others to participate or sponsor our campaign visit our website or give us a call at 403-537-3394. Stay tuned for more coming soon!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Mental Health Capacity Building @ CFN

CFN staff recently completed The Community Helpers Training Program facilitated by the Canadian Mental Health Association. The program aims to strengthen people’s helping skills with more formal training and increase their knowledge of community resources. Topics such as ethics of helping, limits of a helper, stress/self-care, healthy relationships, mental health, drugs and alcohol, and suicide awareness were all covered.  The training follows best practice standards and uses a variety of engagement styles such as art, group work, digital videos, mini-lectures and role plays.

The best part of Community Helpers is that there is no cost to implement the program within your school, workplace, or community. The full program is 8-10 hours in length.

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Calgary Region is part of Canada’s most established national mental health organizations, the Canadian Mental Health Association. CMHA facilitates access to resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience and support recovery from mental illness and addiction.

CMHA – Calgary Region builds awareness and provides education, advocacy and support for individuals and families living with mental illness, addiction, or a loss by suicide. We provide community-based support programs, including supportive and independent living, homeless outreach, aboriginal outreach, suicide bereavement support and peer support programs for families and individuals. We work closely with other community organizations to bridge gaps in the mental health care system and facilitate access to important services and resources. For more information on Community Helpers visit their website. 
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CFN to Attend SocialWest 2017

SocialWest is a multi-day conference developed for those working in communications, marketing and social media professions and CFN will be attendance June 14th - 16th. The three day event will include sessions, panels and workshops led by the industry's foremost experts. Over the course of SocialWest, speakers will share the elements of truly successful social media and digital strategies for businesses big and small.

SocialWest 2017 will feature more than 30 speakers and experts from across the country. Each speaker has been specifically chosen because they are exciting, dynamic and invested in using their sessions to educate attendees.

Social networking tools as they exist today are changing how we think, work, learn and live and CFN seeks to remain in the front bumper of the digital narrative. As during the last great split from the normative causalities of daily life illustrated during the Industrial Revolution, the entire template for daily living has been scrapped and replaced with a newly forming organic prototype. What is happening today is just the beginning of the new standard that will lead to ways of discovering and interacting with both information and each other in ways never imagined. The fading boundaries of our suddenly very outdated past lives means we are re-writing social rules.  In other words, many of the norms and mores that once were – simply no longer apply.

Supporters look on with excitement, as we are no longer limited to or rely upon people in our neighbourhood or the workplace to provide the interaction we crave. Some argue that we have shifted from the role of passive consumer to active participant, getting our news and information by which we establish our morals and social guidelines through a network of our creation. What information we chose to forward to others, the individual super structure for living we acquire, process and re-construct in our own image, tells others about just who we are. Most importantly, the long-reaching facilities to amplify these images, ideals and values has never been allotted to us before. By extension, we are more literate, more engaged and more connected than at any other point in human history.  Above all else, we are more open to generating new relationships, and more aware of the world around us.

Skeptics abound as well. Many describe social networking as dwindling our attention spans to almost zero, as well as drastically eroding our very identities. Some attribute the social networking template to fleeting relationships and a dehumanized sense of community, as our ability to empathize and communicate with our fellow human beings in the non-virtual world quickly becomes an endangered ability. Social skills in general are being damaged beyond repair and people no longer have the ability to simply speak with one another, and share and even value life experiences in way that does not include a blog, a wall, or a 130-character blurb. In short, we are losing the depth of our humanity, our souls a mile wide and an inch deep, shallow and without profundity.

Regardless of one’s stance on social networking, it's existence is not pejorative in nature and thus the debate over whether we are being changed for the better or worse is a moot point. It is here. It is shaping our lives. Whether willing or not, we are all participants in quantum shift in human existence the likes of which happens every few hundred years.  Understanding its effects, positive or negative, is all we can attempt to do.

CFN looks forward to hearing seeing and learning new ways to engage the online world and thus the people that make up our very communities at SocialWest 2017. For more info on the big event simply visit their website.

Social Media @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

CFN Hosts Calgary Inter Agency Immigrant Services Network

Yesterday saw the Calgary Inter Agency Immigrant Services Network meet at CFN. In existence since 1996, the Network is a resource and information sharing body, which meets 3 times a year to enhance service delivery to the Calgary immigrant community.

As the host agency, CFN offered a presentation, along with information on our mandate, programs and services. Guests were given a tour of CFN's one of kind 43,000 square foot facility, while network agencies offered updates of their own, followed by a roundtable discussion and Q&A session.

Representatives from the City of Calgary, OMNI Alberta, Immigrant Services Calgary, The Immigrant Access Fund, Jewish Family Services, the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies, Alberta Health Services, Directions for Immigrants, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, the Temporary Foreign Workers Advisory Office, CLICK Coaching and Counselling, Connexion and others were in attendance. CFN would like to thank everyone who joined us at the Centre and we look forward to meeting again. For more photos of the day's event CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Peer Mentoring for Professionals @ CFN

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.

CFNs 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.

Antonio Gerona is currently a mentor at CFN, volunteering his time in the Peer Mentoring for Professionals Program and giving back to the community.  To hear from Antonio simply click below.

Peer Mentoring for Professionals @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, May 15, 2017

CFN Podcast Centre - LGBTQ Capacity Building

As many will already know, CFN has partnered with Calgary Outlink for the LGBTQ New Canadians Resiliency Project. At it's core the project is designed to increase the number of supportive connections in clients' lives and produce greater feelings of acceptance in the Calgary community.

We are excited to move forward with Calgary Outlink in this endeavour and in order to ensure CFN's capacity to do so have engaged the services of Sagesse.  Sagesse works as a community mobilizer and supports organizations and communities to build capacity.  The term capacity building is consciously used by Sagesse because it honours the knowledge, experiences and support that are present within communities and organizations, while also acknowledging that we all have room to grow and learn.

This week's podcast sees LGBTQ Program Coordinator Rachel Braeuer and Peer Support Program Lead Amy Munroe join us at the Podcast Centre to talk about the work they do in the community and their role in working with CFN.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Stampede Spirit School @ CFN

On Wednesday May 31st CFN is getting ready for Stampede with the Stampede Spirit School. If you’ve ever been curious about what happens in Calgary for 10-days each July, want insider tips on how to dress for a country adventure in the heart of downtown and need to know more about The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede Community Projects & Development Committee has answers to all these questions and more.

The Stampede Spirit School (SSS) goes out into the community to reach newcomers in our city and give them an introduction to the Calgary Stampede. Part of the Stampede’s mandate on diversity and inclusivity,  the SSS extends its utmost welcome to people who might have never attended the Stampede before.

This is your chance to meet the 2017 Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses, 2017 Indian Princess, Line Dance Teachers and more. The Program is fun and interactive, with games and lots of engaging activities, including a VIP prize for 4 people to get VIP entrance into the Stampede and get a backstage tour of the Rodeo, the Indian Village, the Grandstand Show, and all the areas that you don’t get to see as a public visitor of the Stampede.

Over the course of approximately two hours information and resources about the Stampede are shared, such as what the Calgary Stampede is and what it means to Calgary; the “need to know” about Stampede – when, where, how much, how to get there, the logistics; and other good information to have – like notable days during such as Kid’s Day or Senior’s Day. Attendees will be invited by CFN staff. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

CFN CEO Speaking @ Canadian Immigration Summit 2017

The Canadian Immigration Summit is where stakeholders from across the country convene to discuss innovative, practical, and actionable solutions to strengthen Canada’s immigration system. Key themes of the 2017 Summit agenda include shaping immigration policies and programs to meet the needs of business, harnessing technology to support newcomers and enhance the efficiency of the immigration system, and empowering immigrants and refugees to find and create good jobs in Canada.

Speakers include The Hon. Ahmed D. Hussen, Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, The Hon. Lena M. Metlege Diab, Minister of Immigration from Nova Scotia, The Hon. Laura Albanese Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from Ontario, Marie Chapman, Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Museum of Immigration, Craig Alexander, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at the Conference Board of Canada and CFN's very own Chief Executive Officer Anila Lee Yuen.

On the eve of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the country’s immigration system faces major domestic and international challenges. At home, immigrants and refugees often struggle to find good jobs and integrate into Canadian society. Business argues that Canada requires a quicker, more responsive immigration system. Abroad, large refugee flows have called Canada into action. An ever-competitive global economy has created abundant opportunities for the internationally mobile, for whom Canada is only one of many options.

That being said, innovation is part and parcel of Canada’s immigration system. From the development of a transcontinental railroad following Confederation which gave immigrants access to farmland in the West, to the establishment of the world’s first skills-based points system and private refugee sponsorship program, to the Provincial Nominee Program and Express Entry in more recent times, Canada turns towards innovative solutions to achieve its immigration objectives and enhance the nation’s prosperity at this is what sits at the heart of this years summit in Ottawa.  For more information of the summit visit their website.

source: Conference Board of Canada

Monday, May 8, 2017

CFN Attends Western Canada'a First Podcast Conference

Western Canada's first ever podcast conference took place in Calgary and CFN attended the sold out event this past weekend, an event that trended number one across Canada on Twitter this past Saturday morning. Podcast production workshops shared information about gear, hardware, software, editing, and DIY tips. In terms of show development, show structure, interview techniques, and content hooks were revealed. Lastly, workshops provided the opportunity to learn about podcast promotion, marketing, advertising, and audience engagement.

The podcast summit was the brainchild of Ernest Barbaric. Social Media Marketing Instructor at Mount Royal University and Digital Marketing Instructor at the University of Calgary once a year, Barbaric is a trusted local authority on digital and social media marketing.

Speakers included CBC and CKUA alum, Meg Wilcox, veteran audio producer, Brock Armstrong, marketing strategist, journalist, and CBC columnist Adam Rozenhar and Scott St. Pierre Producer behind multi-award winning Rob. Rather than a panel discussion,  interviews with accomplished podcasters also took place live on stage. On top of that, QuickCuts sessions included video messages / tutorials sent in featuring Terry O’Reilly from Under The Influence, Nora Young from CBC Spark and Ray Ortega from The Podcasters’ Studio.

The day was an informative and entertaining success for all in attendance and we look forward to attending next year!

CFN to Host The Calgary Inter-Agency Immigrant Services Network

On Wednesday May 17th CFN will host the next meeting of The Calgary Inter Agency Immigrant Services Network. In existence since 1996, the Network is a resource and information sharing body, which meets to enhance service delivery to the Calgary immigrant community. The Inter Agency Network meets three times a year – In January, May and September – usually on the third Wednesday of the month.

As the host agency, CFN will offer a presentation, along with information on our mandate, programs and services. A tour of CFN's 43,000 square foot facility will also be a part of the day, as well as information on CFN Youth Programs Real me & Youth Possibilities. Network agencies will then offer updates of their own, followed by a roundtable discussion and Q&A session. Watch here for more details!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Refugee Awareness Orange Ribbon Campaign

CFN would like you to join us in honouring the courage, strength, and determination of refugee women, men and children in Calgary. June 20th is observed as World Refugee Day to honour the courage, strength and determination of all those who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. Building on this, CFN will be launching our 2nd annual citywide Refugee Awareness Campaign on June 1, 2017 to engage the broader community in showing your support for our new Calgarians.

The ribbons will be available for purchase by donation at various businesses and organizations across the city, with proceeds from the orange ribbons going towards CFNs programs and community services that serve and support over 10,000 newcomers to Calgary each year - work we simply could not do without the support of the community.

If you would like to wear an orange ribbon for the month of June, display a box in your office to encourage others to participate or sponsor our campaign visit our website or give us a call at 403-537-3394. Stay tuned for more coming soon! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Languages of The World @ CFN

One of the most fundamental characteristics of human nature is a soul’s desire to explore reality and search for meaning – as our minds long to understand.  Language is the medium by which we can think about and describe our understandings of reality, of life and of dreams and perhaps nothing is more cultural than language.

At CFN we offer services in the following languages: Arabic, French, Urdu, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), East African languages, Amharic and Tigrinya (Ethiopian/Eritrean), Farsi, Filipino, Hindi, Punjabi, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Sudanese,Vietnamese and of course English.

It should be noted that what we refer to simply as “Chinese” is actually a whole family of languages conveniently lumped into a single category. “Hindi” is also used as a catchall term to cover numerous dialects and sub-dialects. That being said, the most spoken languages in the world from 1 to 5 are Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi, Arabic...  so we got them all covered!

And lastly, have you ever wondered what are the most difficult languages to learn? Take a look below and find out...

Monday, May 1, 2017

CFN Podcast Centre - Science & Culture with Sarthak Sinha

Sarthak Sinha is currently a student at the University of Toronto, but has been doing graduate-level research at the University of Calgary since middle school. Sarthak came to Canada with his parents when he was in the 6th grade and it was his parents aspiration to provide him and his brother with an opportunity to pursue an education they never had growing up in India.

After taking some time to adjust to life in Canada, Sinha has excelled. He represented Team Canada in 2012 and 2013 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. In each year his projects won third place in the categories of medicine and health sciences with competitors from nearly 70 countries. He has also been an author on nine international conference abstracts published in the field of neuroscience and peripheral nerves.  He has been recognized as a “Top 20 Under 20” in Canada by Youth in Motion, “Under 25: Ones to Watch” by Maclean’s magazine, “Top 40 Under 40” by Avenue magazine and “Famous 5” by Enbridge Foundation.  Sarthak, who is also an ambassador for MS Society of Canada, additionally delivered two TEDxTalks. The most notable one being on “The Future of Education” at TEDxEdmonton.

Sarthak recently visited us at the Podcast Centre where we had the chance to talk about his journey since arriving in Canada nearly 10 years ago. Click below to tune in and hear his thoughts.

CFN Recognizes Mental Health Week May 1 - 7

This May 1st through the 7th turn up the volume for the 66th Annual CMHA Mental Health Week and get loud for mental health. This year during CMHA Mental Health Week, Canadians are speaking up: we’ve been in line for mental health care for way too long.  To be truly mentally well, Canadians also need psychotherapy, counselling and community-based mental health services and programs; we need acknowledgement and respect; and we need adequate housing. This CMHA Mental Health Week, May 1-7, Canadians are writing their MPs, speaking out on social media, and donating our time and money, all in the name of getting loud for mental health.

In the end, we all want to be healthy and happy. No one can be truly healthy without positive mental health. It involves how we feel, think, act and interact with the world around us. Mental health is about coping with the normal stresses of life and making a contribution to our community. Ask for help or seek advice from a professional – give your mental health the attention it needs and deserves.

Positive mental health isn’t about avoiding problems or trying to achieve a “perfect” life. It’s about living well and having the tools to cope with difficult situations even during life’s challenges. Each person’s path to mental well-being is unique. We all have our own goals, our own challenges, our own talents and our own supports. But positive mental health is within everyone’s reach.

Let's Talk Mental Health @ CFN from CFN Productions on Vimeo.