AMSSA Insider

December 2012
In This Issue
The Perfect Holiday Gift
Respect for All PR Campaign
AMSSA Celebrates 35 Years
Safe Harbour's Champions' Breakfast
Safe Harbour Location Tour
Save the Date! 2013 Diversity Health Fair
2012 - 2013 AMSSA Board of Directors
AMSSA Diversity Awards Recipients

Are you Ready for the Holiday Season? 


Order your 2013 Multifaith Calendars now for your family, friends, colleagues and clients. 


Know important dates and events from 14 of the worlds religions and spiritual paths. Order yours online, or download the calendar order form here.  


Multifaith Calendar 2013
MAS 2013
Make sure to send your order to AMSSA by December 17 to ensure your calendars are delivered for your holiday gift giving!
For more information about the calendar check out the AMSSA Calendar website here
Follow the AMSSA Multifaith Calendar on twitter @AMSSAMFCalendar.

Respect for All PR Campaign


As part of our ongoing provincial Safe Harbour PR Campaign, our TV public service announcement has been re-released to CityTV, CBC, CTV, Global, Shaw Cable, and OMNI for air time over the coming months, so please be sure to look out for it!  


As well, a Respect for All bus ad with Carl Valentine is being displayed on the inside of 75 transit buses around Vancouver over the next eight weeks.


AMSSA won the 2012 Award of Excellence (Honourable Mention) by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation on behalf of the Safe Harbour program. A Press Release was issued by the BC government newsroom to acknowledge Safe Harbour and the BC Hate Crimes Team for their efforts. 


Stay up-to-date with Safe Harbour by subscribing to our monthly Respect for All e-newsletter (, following our Blog, tweeting us on Twitter, and liking us on Facebook.




AMSSA would like to extend congratulations to the recipients of the WelcomeBC Awards and Provincial Nesika Awards.


WelcomeBC Awards


Campbell River and Fort St. John were the community recipients of the WelcomeBC Awards.


Campbell River was represented by a number of organizations one of which was AMSSA member, Multicultural and Immigrant Services Association of North Vancouver Island (MISA). 


Fort St. John's representation included AMSSA members S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and Fort St. John Literacy Society. 


Provincial Nesika Awards


AMSSA member Collingwood Neighbourhood House received the 2012 Provincial Nesika Award for the organization category as well!


AMSSA Celebrates 35th Year Anniversary


AMSSA celebrated its 35th Anniversary and Annual General meeting on Friday, September 28, 2012. The AGM was hosted at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens. 


Highlights of the event included AMSSA's Diversity Awards presentation, keynote speaker Alden Habacon and a celebratory mango mousse cake!


Thank you to everyone who attended.  Mark your calendars for next year's AGM which will be on September 27, 2013.


Staff Movement


Welcome to Alex Kang, Sectoral Communications Assistant and Lisa Elliott, Diversity Health Fair Coordinator to the AMSSA family. Alex and Lisa began working at AMSSA in October.


AMSSA would like to extend a heart felt thank you to Heather Gies, Safe Harbour PR Campaign Assistant. Heather's last day at AMSSA was November 27th. We will miss you!


 Quick Links



AMSSA'S E-Symposia Videos


2013 Multifaith Calendars  

AMSSA Insider


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Safe Harbour's Champions' Breakfast


AMSSA welcomed 65 guests to our biggest Safe Harbour Champions' Breakfast yet on November 6th. The event was emceed by AMSSA 1st Vice President, Alisa Choi Darcy. Thank you to Vancity, our Title Sponsor and Canada Safeway, who donated beautiful gift baskets for prizes. 


Guests from the corporate sector, non-profits, as well as municipal and provincial government enjoyed an around the world buffet breakfast, an Aboriginal Welcome by Latash Maurice Nahanee, and a keynote address by Dawn Chubai, Live Eye Host, Citytv's Breakfast. We were also joined by Minister John Yap and Respect for All Champions Anita Braha, Vancity and Carl Valentine, Whitecaps FC.


The 2012 Champions were:


(L-R: Alisa Choi Darcy, Vice President, AMSSA;Catherine Ducharme, AMSSA Board Director; Gagan Gill, Canada Safeway, Anita Braha, Vancity Board Director; Carl Valentine, Whitecaps FC Ambassasor; Bill Dartnell, AMSSA Board Director; Photograph by Jennifer Lord Photography)

Thank you to everyone who attended the Safe Harbour Champions' Breakfast! 


Safe Harbour Location Tour

AMSSA organized a two-day tour with EmbraceBC of Safe Harbour certified locations and Community Organizers in Abbotsford, Vancouver, and the Comox Valley.


AMSSA's Lindsay Marsh guided Mark Seeley, Director, Multiculturalism Unit, Carmen Lavoie, Contract Manager with EmbraceBC, and Dawn Minty, Assistant Deputy Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology and Responsible for Multiculturalism, on the tour to meet representatives and hear firsthand about the impacts of their participation. Locations included the University of the Fraser Valley, the City of Abbotsford's Matsqui Recreation Centre, Canada Safeway, Courtenay Medical Associates, and the Comox Valley Airport, our 2010 Respect for All Champion. 


(L-R: Dawn Minty, Assistant Deputy Minister; Carmen Lavoie, EmbraceBC; Leslie Paul, Alex Robertson, YQQ; Lindsay Marsh, AMSSA; Mark Seeley, Director, Multiculturalism Unit; Immigrant Integration Branch)


Save the Date: AMSSA 2013 Diversity Health Fair - Saturday, March 9, 2013


The Diversity Health Fair Office at AMSSA is buzzing as we make plans for the Ninth Annual 2013 Vancouver Diversity Health Fair. The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 10 AM to 3 PM at the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Dr).


This free event includes over 50 health and wellness exhibitors, free health screenings, activities for the whole family in the Healthy Families Activity Zone, cooking demonstrations and free samples at the Healthy Cooking Stage as well as a full line-up of interactive multicultural performances. We're also planning some exciting new additions to this year's Fair. 


Like us on Facebook or follow our twitter feed @yvrhealthfair to be the first to hear event highlights.


For more information about the event, including exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities, please visit our website or contact Lisa Elliott, Diversity Health Fair Coordinator, at or 604 718-4220.  


2012 - 2013 AMSSA Board of Directors


On October 1, 2012 AMSSA announced its 2012 - 2013 Board of Directors:


Executive Committee Members:


Farah Kotadia, Past President

Carol Wutzke, President

Alisa Choi Darcy, First Vice President

Rachel Blaney, Second Vice President

Colleen Chong, Treasurer

Steven Baileys, Member at Large

Lily Chen, Member at Large


Provincial Board Members


Joan Haack, Region 1 (North)

Jane Dickson, Region 1 (North)

Andrew O'Brien, Region 2 (Mid-Central)

Alison Gutrath, Region 4/5 (Fraser Valley/Lower Mainland)

Bill Dartnell, Region 4/5 (Fraser Valley/Lower Mainland)

Pradeep Kharé, Region 4/5 (Fraser Valley/Lower Mainland)

Raminder Pal Singh Kang, Individual Director at Large

Berta Lopera, Individual Director at Large

Catherine Ducharme, Individual Director at Large


AMSSA said goodbye to Board Members: Madeleine Lyons and Kashmir Besla. AMSSA thanks them for their contributions and their dedication to promoting diversity in BC.


AMSSA Diversity Awards Recipients 


Congratulations to the Diversity Award Recipients:


( Lesley Woodman, Manraj Cheema, Ershad Fawcett, Shara Nixon from DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, pictured with Farooq and Haroon Khan; Photograph by Jennifer Lord Photography)


Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award

  • DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, Children and Youth Empowerment Camps
(Baljit Sethi, IMSS; Wendy Lau, Volunteer at SVNH, pictured with Catherine Ducharme, AMSSA Board Director; Photograph by Jennifer Lord Photography)

Service Recognition Staff Award

  • Baljit Sethi, Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society of Prince George (IMSS)

Service Recognition Volunteer Award

  • Wendy Lau, South Vancouver Neighbourhood House

The awards were presented at AMSSA's Annual General Meeting on Friday, September 28, 2012. For more information about AMSSA's Diversity Awards please click here.