AMSSA Insider

September 2012
In This Issue
Celebrating Thirty-Five Years
AMSSA's Diversity Health Fair on the International Stage
Mark your 2013 Multifaith Calendar
Job and Event Posting on AMSSA's Website - Free for AMSSA Members
AMSSA's Research Database
AMSSA Diversity Awards Nominees
Settlement Net has a New Look!
Themed Event: Workers' Safety
Provincial E-Symposium on Outcome Evaluation
Safe Harbour: Respect for All

Celebrating Thirty-Five Years


AMSSA will be celebrating its 35th Anniversary at the Annual General Meeting to be held on Friday, September 28, 2012. 


The AGM will be hosted at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens (5251 Oak Street at 37th Avenue), Peggy Gunn Woodland Hall.


Highlights of the event will include AMSSA's Diversity Awards presentation and keynote speaker Alden Habacon.  


AMSSA's Diversity Health Fair on the International Stage


AMSSA recently participated in the webinar "Healthy Living: Promoting Health and Safety in Immigrant Communities" organized by Cities of Migration for their Learning Exchange program of events.


Lynn Moran, Executive Director presented on the history and main components of the Diversity Health Fair model as a successful approach to engaging different stakeholders in promoting healthy living among immigrant populations.


The webinar that was attended by an international audience, can be accessed on Youtube here.


Mark Your 

Multifaith Calendar! 


The 2013 Multifaith Calendar is now available! 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
For more information about the calendar go here
Follow the AMSSA Multifaith Calendar on twitter @AMSSAMFCalendar.

Job and Event Posting on AMSSA's Website - Free for AMSSA Members


Job and event postings are free for AMSSA members. If you have an opportunity you would like on the AMSSA website, please send the Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF document(s) to Melissa Jay at


The deadline for submissions is Thursday at 12:00pm. All job and event opportunities will be on the website by Friday. The AMSSA website is updated weekly.


Rates for non-AMSSA members:
  • 250 words - $65.00
  • 50 words - $30.00 

To view the job and event opportunities posted on AMSSA's website click here to go to AMSSA's website.


Resources for You:

AMSSA's Research Database


AMSSA's research database that is updated on a regular basis. The database disseminates research papers and studies focusing on multicultural health as well as issues related to immigrant settlement. 


Take a look at AMSSA's Research Database


Visit AMSSA's Research Database to inform planning, decision-making, program design and preparation for funding applications here.  


Staff Movement


Welcome to Wendy McCulloch AMSSA's new Program Director to the AMSSA family. 


Wendy has six years of experience in the settlement sector and program management, including project model development and planning, implementation planning, resource management, strategic partnerships and evaluation measurement system development.  


Wendy also brings with her strong collaborative leadership skills, as well as research skills in community-based research. Wendy started her work at AMSSA on July 16, 2012.


A warm welcome to Heather Gies, AMSSA's new Safe Harbour PR Campaign Assistant. Heather is working with Lindsay Marsh on a Safe Harbour Public Relations campaign. She is at AMSSA part time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Heather started on August 22, 2012.


Sevinj Asgarova will be AMSSA's Newcomer Children Research Project Coordinator. Sevinj will be starting on September 5, 2012 and will be working at AMSSA two days a week. Welcome Sevinj!


A big congratulations goes to Lindsay Marsh, Safe Harbour Coordinator for completing her Master of Arts Degree at Royal Roads University for Intercultural and International Communication. Her thesis Unheard stories: narrative inquiry of the cross-cultural adaptation of refugee women in metro Vancouver is published online, click here to download it!


 Quick Links



AMSSA'S E-Symposia Videos


2013 Multifaith Calendars  

AMSSA Insider


Like AMSSA on Facebook
Join Our Mailing List

AMSSA Diversity Awards Nominees  


(2011 Award Recipients: South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services Society & Awards Committee Chair, Brenda Lohrenz)


AMSSA is happy to announce the amazing nominees for the 2012 Diversity Awards. 


Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award

  • Society for Intercultural Education, Training & Research (SIETAR BC)
  • DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, Children and Youth Empowerment Camps

Service Recognition Staff Award

  • Baljit Sethi, Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society of Prince George (IMSS)
  • Thuy Sin, Multicultural and Immigrant Services Society of North Vancouver Island (MISA)
  • Kim Ton, MOSAIC
  • Sadia Ramirez, MOSAIC
  • Harpal Johl, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

Service Recognition Volunteer Award

  • Ed Friesen, Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS)
  • Wendy Lau, South Vancouver Neighbourhood House

Congratulations to this year's nominees! The awards will be presented at AMSSA's Annual General Meeting on Friday, September 28, 2012. For more information about AMSSA's Diversity Awards please click here.


(2011 Award Recipients: Joan Haack and Nirmal Parmar & Awards Committee Chair, Brenda Lohrenz. Photography by Jennifer Lord.)


Settlement Net has a New Look!


In August 2012 AMSSA launched the re-designed Settlement Net, an online resource to assist and support the work of immigrant settlement and integration service provider staff throughout BC.


Settlement Net provides resources for use in direct client work such as information on a wide range of services and public education materials. Also, Settlement Net provides current sector-related news, including media clippings, resources on promising practices and professional development opportunities.  


Agency staff will be able to find up-to-date information and resources much faster and easier. These are some of the new features:

  • The improved design will make Settlement Net more user-friendly.
  • A detailed catalog of resources will help you serve your clients. The catalog contains information on immigration and employment programs, the Canadian health and education systems, information about daily life in Canada and much more.
  • An event calendar displays all upcoming and ongoing events for your clients and professional development opportunities for staff. 
  • Updates on the Transition are easily accessible from the Settlement Net homepage.  
  • A Message Board for all service provider staff to exchange information and resources with colleagues or ask them questions.

Every Tuesday, AMSSA sends out the Weekly Updates on the latest posts on Settlement Net, keeping you up-to-date with media articles, government and sector communications and the latest events. AMSSA gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation.


To find out more about Settlement Net and to sign up for the Weekly Updates go to Please note that Settlement Net is a password protected resource for WelcomeBC service provider staff.


Themed Event: Workers' Safety


On June 13, AMSSA hosted a themed event that brought together WelcomeBC Service Providers to share resources, practices and ideas for ensuring worker safety in the settlement sector. The event was led by the subject area specialist, Carla Alexander to provide her insights and experience on Workers and Work site Safety. The topics chosen for the day are as follow:

  • Assessing worker and worksite safety
  • Establishing boundaries
  • Handling clients who present a risk of threat

Over 60 participants joined us at the Holiday Inn Vancouver Centre, including representatives from the Immigrant Integration and Multiculturalism Branch.


AMSSA gratefully acknowledges the Government of Canada and the Province of BC through the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation for their financial support.


Provincial E-Symposium on 

Outcome Evaluation


On June 25, AMSSA hosted an online symposium on Understanding Outcome Evaluation at SFU Harbour Centre in Vancouver. The live webcast featured two presentations and a Q&A session that provided an overview of what outcome evaluation is and why it is important, both from government and community perspectives. The featured presentations are as follow

  • Working with Outcomes: A Community-Based Funder Perspective presented by Eric Hemphill, Project Lead - Evaluation, Performance, Research and Analytics Department, United Way of the Lower Mainland
  • WelcomeBC Evaluation provided by Ben Pollard, Director, Performance Management and Evaluation, Immigrant Integration and Multiculturalism Branch, BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation

AMSSA would like to thank all of the presenters for their contribution. AMSSA gratefully acknowledges the Government of Canada and the Province of BC through the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation for their financial support.


The videos of the presentations and Q&A session are available on the AMSSA Video Resources page here.


Safe Habour: Respect for All


AMSSA hosted a Train-the-Trainer workshop on July 23 for Safe Harbour coordinators to learn new re-engagement strategies, specifically targeting managers' awareness of Safe Harbour. We wish to thank BC Gaming for supporting this workshop.


Chai Time Event, Mission, BC Photography by:

The Safe Harbour Business Advisory Committee met to review the newly developed Safe Harbour Managers' Toolkit, E-Newsletter, and Powerpoint presentation to help AMSSA and Community Organizers better engage managers of Safe Harbour certified locations with fresh ideas for managing diversity and creating an inclusive workplace and community.


AMSSA has launched a provincial Safe Harbour PR Campaign with the aim of enhancing the overall brand and recognition among target audiences - and attracting potential corporate sponsors - across BC. The campaign includes celebrity champions, bus ads, and increased media outreach.    


On Canadian Multiculturalism Day June 27th, AMSSA released three press releases to highlight the involvement of Canada Safeway, Vancity, and the City of Burnaby respectively. The Burnaby Now newspaper published a press release on their blog and Vancity posted it on their website.   


Family Education & Support Centre has engaged a Maple Ridge News reporter who interviewed local Safe Harbour certified business, Benjamin Moore, about their involvement. A story ran in the paper in June.


There are 17 Community Organizers in 33 BC communities prepared to offer workshops, networking events, presentations, and resources to help businesses strategize and meet their goals around inclusion and support for diversity.


Stay up-to-date with Safe Harbour by subscribing to our monthly Respect for All e-newsletter (send us a note at, following out Blog, tweeting us on Twitter (@SafeHabourCdn) and liking us on Facebook.