AMSSA Insider

July - September 2011
In This Issue
Safe Harbour Champions Breakfast
Emotional Well Being Resources
Congratulations to Baljit Sethi
AMSSA Brand Launch
2012 Multifaith Calendar
Staff Movement
AMSSA's 2012-2012 Board of Directors
AMSSA By-Law Amendments
2011 Diversity Awards
Guided Pathways E-Symposium
Safe Harbour: Respect for All
Community Planning Tables
ECE Report
Human Trafficking: Building Settlement Knowledge



AMSSA held it's 2011 Annual General Meeting on September 23, 2011 at the Museum of Vancouver.


Thank you to those who attended!


Next year's AGM will take place at Van Dusen Gardens on September 28, 2012. Save the date!


Safe Harbour Champions Breakfast


To acknowledge the involvement of our Safe Harbour-certified locations across BC, AMSSA is presenting an award to an outstanding Safe Harbour champion and five Shortlisted Nominees at our 3rd annual provincial Champion's Breakfast.


The deadline for nominations is October 14th.


The buffet-style breakfast will take place at the Holiday Inn Vancouver Centre from 7:00am to 9:00am on November 1, 2011.


Ticket Prices: 

$35.00 per person 

$300.00 for a table of 10


Please click here for more details. 


Purchase your tickets now!

To purchase tickets, please contact: 


Lindsay Marsh

T: 604 718-2776 



Emotional Well Being Resources


In 2011, AMSSA with funding provided by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation supported eight Diversity Health Fairs by member agencies in Abbotsford, Campbell River, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Prince George, Vernon and Terrace.


The theme of the 2011 Diversity Health Fairs was "Promoting Physical and Emotional Wellbeing". AMSSA developed various theme based resources. 


You can find an example of the Emotional Wellbeing magnet here.




AMSSA would like to congratulate Baljit Sethi from the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society of Prince George. 


She was recognized on October 4, 2011, for her hard work and dedication to multiculturalism and diversity with the Order of British Columbia. 




AMSSA's new Brand 

As you may have n
oticed AMSSA has a new brand and logo. We are very excited about the new AMSSA brand and feel that it truly reflects the work we do as a provincial association to support our member agencies. 


On July 21, 2011 AMSSA hosted an event at the YWCA in downtown Vancouver to launch our new brand. Many thanks to all the members, funders, and guests who joined us for the official unveiling.


Throughout this rebranding process, we have learned that a brand is more than a logo - it represents how people think about you and how they experience you. 


Learn more about AMSSA's new brand, please click here.


2012 Multifaith Calendars are Here!


Celebrate Diversity with the 2012 Multifaith calendar.


The 2012 Calendar features beautiful artwork as well as accurate dates and descriptions of over 370 observances and events from 14 world religions.



Please click here for more details or call AMSSA at 604 718-2780 or toll free at 1 888-355-5560 to order.


Staff Movement


The new faces at AMSSA are Jia Thong, Events Assistant and Jessica Chant the Diversity Health Fair Coordinator. Welcome! 


A warm welcome to Melissa Jay, AMSSA's Office Coordinator who started in July. 


Congratulations to Melissa McDowell. She is now AMSSA's Sectoral Communications Coordinator.


In July, AMSSA said

good-bye to Alison Scott who was AMSSA's Office Coordinator for one year. 


Sophie Deviau Dempsey and Shona Reid are now working part time as they work on their Master's degrees.


 Quick Links




Join Our Mailing List

AMSSA's 2011-2012

Board of Directors 


We are pleased to annouce our 2011-2012 Board of Directors!


Executive Committee Members:


Farah Kotadia, Past President
Carol Wutzke, President
Alisa Choi Darcy, 1st Vice President
Kashmir Besla, 2nd Vice President
Hilma LaBelle, Treasurer
Steven Baileys, Director at Large

Rachel Blaney, Director at Large


Provincial Board Members:


Joan Haack, Representative, Region 1 (North)
Jane Dickson, Representative, Region 1 (North)

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

Madeleine Lyons, Representative, Region 4 / 5 (Fraser Valley / Lower Mainland)

Lily Chen, Representative, Region 4 / 5 (Fraser Valley / Lower Mainland)

Raminder Pal Singh Kang, Individual Director at Large

Colleen Chong, Individual Director at Large

Berta Lopera, Individual Director at Large


AMSSA said goodbye to Past President, Mason Loh and Board Members: Mary Kean, Jill Atkey, Moustafa Mohamed and William Zhang. AMSSA thanks them for their contributions and their dedication to promoting diversity in BC.


(Photo by: Jennifer Lord Photography, 2011)         

Welcome to new Board Members: Colleen Chong, Berta Lopera, Madeleine Lyons, Joan Haack and Lily Chen. 


AMSSA By-Law Amendments 


As you may already know, AMSSA's Board of Directors put forward amendments to AMSSA membership fees and membership categories which were voted upon at the AGM.


The results were as follows:


Resolution 1: A resolution in regards to fees paid by Associate Members: PASSED


Resolution 2: A resolution in regards to fees paid by Full Organizational Members of AMSSA: PASSED


Resolution 3: A resolution in regards to the categories of Full Organization Membership in AMSSA: PASSED


AMSSA Recognizes Passion for Strengthening Diversity with the 2011 Diversity Awards


The Riasat Ali Khan Award was named to commemorate Riasat Ali Khan who was a leader in promoting multiculturalism and diversity. The Riasat Ali Khan award and the Staff and Vounteer Service Recognition Awards recognize the amazing organizations and individuals who help strengthen diversity in British Columbia.


The 2011 Diversity Awards ceremony was held at AMSSA's AGM on September 23, 2011 at the Museum of Vancouver. 


The Riasat Ali Khan nominees were OPTIONS Community Services and Inter-cultural Association of Greater Vancouver nominated for their collaborative and educational programs.


The Riasat Ali Khan Award recipient was South Okanagan Immigrant Community Services for their innovative radio pilot program.


Nominees for the Service Recognition Staff award were Connie Hong from OPTIONS Community Services and Karen Larcombe from South Vancouver Neighbourhood House.


The Service Recognition Staff Award was received by Joan Haack from the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society.


The Service Recognition Volunteer Award nominee was Graham Lloyd, nominated by Vernon and District Immigrant Services.


The recipient of the Service Recognition Volunteer Award was Nirmal Parmar nominated by Skeena Diversity Society.


Congratulations to all the nominees and award recipients. 


Please click here to see the presentation shown at the AMSSA's AGM.


 Guided Pathways E-Symposium


On September 28, AMSSA hosted an e-symposium for settlement service providers on the new Guided Pathways case management process, which was developed by a research team from UBC's School of Social Work for the new WelcomeBC Settlement and Integration Program. The e-symposium panel featured an introduction by Vicki Chiu, Senior Program Developer with the BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, and a presentation by Liz Jones and Dr. Miu Chung Yan, who were both involved in developing the new process and tools. During the Q&A session, participants had the opportunity to ask questions to the panel. A total of 234 participants joined the e-symposium online or in person at SFU Harbour Centre in Vancouver. AMSSA gratefully acknowledges the Government of Canada and the Province of BC for their financial support, as well as the presenters for sharing their knowledge and expertise.


Safe Harbour: Respect for All

 Safe Harbour: Respect for All logo

AMSSA hosted a full-day Train-the-Trainer workshop with 20 Safe Harbour Community Organizers from across B.C. to guide coordinators through a set of scenarios and resources focused on intercultural capacity and workplace inclusion to be used in workshops, presentations, in-house visits, and/or networking events.


Community Organizers are busy increasing the recognition of Safe Harbour in their neighbourhoods through workshops and promotional events.   


We have over 850 certified-Safe Harbour locations across B.C. Please look out for the window decal and feel free to say hello to the manager and staff inside.

Community Planning Tables 
The Province is considering establishing/supporting Planning Tables in different communities throughout BC. The purpose of these Planning Tables would be to engage local service providers, funders and other stakeholders in identifying regional needs, in providing input into service planning, and in facilitating cross-agency and cross-sectoral collaboration in the area of immigrant settlement and integration. 
On June 20, AMSSA hosted a meeting at the Executive Airport Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre in Richmond, with executive and program directors of WelcomeBC-funded agencies and provincial government staff to examine the idea further. The meeting was facilitated by Jody Johnson of PEERs, Inc. AMSSA gratefully acknowledges the Government of Canada and Province of BC for their financial support, as well as the participants for sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Early Childhood Education Research


AMSSA's Newcomer Children's Champion Program is pleased to receive a MITACS research grant. We are reviewing "promising practices" of early childhood programs that serve immigrant and refugee children in B.C. From interviews with ECE coordinators and frontline staff, we are capturing the unique approaches used to address the needs of newcomer children and their families. Look out for this new resource this Fall.


For resources please visit the ANCIE.


 Human Trafficking: Building Settlement Sector Knowledge


On June 24, AMSSA hosted a provincial learning event for WelcomeBC settlement workers on the topic of human trafficking. The agenda was developed in collaboration with Victor Porter, Program and Research Analyst with the Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The event featured a keynote presentation by Professor Benjamin Perrin, one of Canada's leading experts on human trafficking and author of the book Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking, as well as panel presentations by Rosalind Currie, Director of Policy and Stakeholder Relations with the Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Norman Hopkins, Regional Program Advisor with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and Setsuko Hirose, Coordinator with MOSAIC's Multicultural Victim Services Program. AMSSA would like to thank the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia for their financial support, as well as the presenters for making this day a success.


The AMSSA Insider is sent by e-mail through: