Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
AMSSA Insider Header w Trademark

May 2016
In This Issue
Important Changes to AMSSA's Leadership

After sixteen years, AMSSA's Executive Director Lynn Moran has decided to retire. Lynn has led AMSSA through the waves of change that have buffeted the sector since she became Executive Director, making sure that AMSSA remained relevant, valued and recognized as the voice of settlement and diversity in British Columbia. 

We will greatly miss the compassion, skill and organizational intelligence that she brought to the important work that AMSSA does. She will truly be missed.

A celebration will be held on June 29, 2016. Invitations and further event details will be sent in the coming days. 

Nominate for AMSSA's Diversity Awards!

Are you an AMSSA Member? Nominate your own organization or another AMSSA member for the:


Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award highlighting organizational excellence.


Service Recognition Staff Award for an outstanding staff member. 


Service Recognition Volunteer Award for a dedicated volunteer.

This is an opportunity for your organization to showcase the talents and skills of your staff, volunteers and organization as a whole.  

We encourage all AMSSA members to consider submitting a nomination for the AMSSA 2016 Diversity Awards.
Click here to learn more about the awards and how you can nominate.

The nomination deadline is May 27, 2016.

Explore How Immigrants Access the Workplace

Getting a job in Canada is not simple and it can be a long and challenging journey. The newest edition of Cultures West explores the pathways immigrants take to access employment.

Read the Cultures West online by clicking here.

Want to receive the next Cultures West by Canada Post? Subscribe by clicking here.

Online Resources for Settlement Providers

Check out our resource pages! 

The latest resource page has curated online resources focusing on Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS).

We also recently released a resource page on the topic of Immigrant Self-Employment & Entrepreneurship to further assist organizations in supporting their clients. 

Click here to access the resource pages. 

Receive Settlement News and Resources with Settlement Net 

AMSSA's Settlement Net database is a one-stop-shop for settlement updates, resources, news articles, reports and more!


Receive an e-update every Tuesday with new resources and media clippings.


Register for Settlement Net and receive up-to-date information on the immigration and settlement field by clicking here.


Interested in more eLearning?

AMSSA hosted the following webinars recently:

The Purpose Capital webinar entitled Exploring Social Finance Models for the Settlement Sector examined how social finance models lead to improved outcomes for individual newcomers and settlement service provider organizations. 

Also, check out the Western Region Working Group webinar on Pre-Arrival Services in Western Canada presented by Dr. Mahmudur Bhuiyan from Immigration Research West (IRW). 
View the webinars online by clicking here and share them with your networks!

Study on the Go with a Learner's Licence or Citizenship Prep Kit! 

The Prep Kits are sets of study cards that summarize the ICBC Learn to Drive Smart handbook
or the Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship guide

They allow people to effectively determine what information they know and what information they need to study further. The study cards come in a small portable plastic box for studying on-the-go!

For more information about the Prep Kits visit our website or contact us at amssastore@amssa.org 
or 1-888-355-5560.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date! AMSSA's next E-Symposium on Interfaith Bridging will be on June 23, 2016. 

Stay tuned to our website at www.amssa.org for further details and registration information. 

Featured Member: ISSofBC Welcome Centre Opens June 25

Clients to receive streamlined access to care through one-stop housing and services hub
Two years and almost to the day since ground was broken in June 2014, the ISSofBC Welcome Centre formally opens on June 25th as a fully-integrated services facility addressing the immediate needs of immigrants and refugee newcomers in Metro Vancouver. 

The opening of the ISSofBC Welcome Centre - located at 2610 Victoria Drive - is the culmination of a long-held vision to create a regional hub of transitional housing and support services for newcomers. It is the first purpose-built facility of its kind in the world and sets a new international standard in service delivery for immigrants and refugees.
Through this 58,552 sq. ft., Gold Leed, multi-purpose facility, newcomers will have streamlined access to care through services from ISSofBC and co-tenants including the Inland Refugee Society, Settlement Orientation Services, and Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture, as well as from multi-purpose government outreach offices.
Among the building's features are:
  • 18 housing units that can be configured to accommodate singles to families with a total capacity of 138 beds;
  • Community kitchen;
  • Meeting spaces;
  • Rooftop urban garden plots; and,
  • Vancity ATM and banking kiosk.
ISSofBC Welcome Centre was built with funding support from the governments of Canada, BC and Vancouver. The City of Vancouver also provided the land for the construction project. Private sector groups like Vancity and the Edith Lando Family Foundation also made substantial monetary contributions. 

"The new ISSofBC Welcome Centre will be a safe haven where immigrants and refugees can come for assistance to get a solid start on their new lives in Canada," said ISSofBC CEO Patricia Woroch.

Learn more at www.issbc.org.

Featured Member is a segment in The Insider e-newsletter which profiles AMSSA members. Have a program, service, or announcement you want profiled in the next AMSSA Insider? E-mail us at communications@amssa.org.

Looking Forward to the Year Ahead

AMSSA is looking forward to continuing to support the settlement and diversity sectors with information services and resources. This year, we will be providing enhanced online services - look out for changes to our e-symposia, online videos, and other elearning formats. 

Starting this year, the administration of Western Region Working Group (WRWG) activities has rotated to AMSSA. The WRWG, established by CISSA-ACSEI focuses on organizational development, research, and service delivery in the settlement and integration sector in Western Canada. Learn more at www.wrwg.ca.  

Also starting this year in June, AMSSA will be providing support services to the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program providers.

AMSSA will continue to provide usual services and resources such as Settlement Net, Migration Matters Info Sheet Series, online resource pages, Cultures West magazine, Safe Harbour: Respect for All program and more!

Over the past few months AMSSA said goodbye to valued staff members: Bahar Taheri, Tricia Oco, Carolyn Wong and Maryam Aini. We wish to thank them for all the work they've accomplished during their time with us. 

We have welcomed many new staff members and look forward to continue our work towards providing quality services to the settlement and diversity sectors. Welcome to Lucy Buchanan-Parker, Research and Information Coordinator; Kaan Eraslan, Audio Visual Coordinator; Saeedeh Foghani, Office Coordinator; Javier Ojer, WRWG Coordinator; Queenie Cheng, Safe Harbour Sales Coordinator; and Jennifer Cummins, Settlement Language Coordinator.   

Welcome to the AMSSA Team! 

Join Safe Harbour's New Member Program

Has your business or organization participated in Safe Harbour training in the past? If so, you can receive a complimentary 18 month membership to the new Safe Harbour program. This membership includes automatic renewal of your Safe Harbour certification and is on offer until August 31, 2016. 

To accept the complimentary offer, please fill out our downloadable form by clicking the link below.

What's New with Safe Harbour?
  • New Training: We now offer e-learning, blended, and in-person workshops. The Introduction to Diversity & Inclusion workshop goes into more depth on the topics of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. New scenarios help participants consider the ways in which their workplace could be more inclusive. Advanced workshops are in development.
  • Action Plan: We consolidate the ideas for action that come out of each workshop and provide this information to management. Safe Harbour staff support management with ideas and resources as they consider small or large changes to make their workplace more inclusive. 
  • Membership: Training includes a 2-year membership with various member benefits including access to the Safe Harbour Resource Library and brand new decals. Members display the decal to demonstrate to the public that they are committed to inclusion. To renew, members will be asked to demonstrate how they've maintained the Safe Harbour commitments. 
  • CommitmentsSafe Harbour members are asked to sign on to the new commitments: Build Awareness, Increase Understanding and Take Action to address exclusion so that people feel included in the workplace and community. 
  • Resource Library: Safe Harbour members get access to the Safe Harbour Resource Library which is a curated database of diversity and inclusion resources like reports, videos, and articles to further their education and to use to engage their team in dialogue on the issues.
Connect with us by e-mail at safehabour@amssa.org, or 1-888-355-5560, 604-718-2780. 

View our latest Webinars on Curriculum Development and Diversifying Funding

AMSSA's webinar series are interactive, online events that cover a broad scope of topics relating to immigration, settlement and Service Provider Organizations (SPO) capacity development. Recent webinars were hosted on the following topics:

Diversify Your Funding: Grant-Seeking and Building a Social Enterprise: Developing diverse funding sources is gaining in importance for non-profit organizations. There's no simple formula that will apply to all organizations-a unique, tailored approach is needed to fit the size, needs and strengths of each organization. This introductory webinar explored how two methods of diversifying an organization's funding - grant-seeking and building a social enterprise - can have the largest impact

Dynamic Workshops: The Fundamentals of Curriculum Development: For Settlement Workers who spend most of their time working one-to-one with clients, the development of workshops to support groups of newcomers can be challenging. This webinar provided a practical overview of curriculum and curriculum approaches, the planning process and items to consider when developing a curriculum framework for delivery of settlement services.

View the AMSSA webinars online by clicking here and share it with your networks!

Learn more about Newcomer Health Care, Immigrant Self-Employment, and Newcomer Diets 

AMSSA's Migration Matters info sheet series provides 
information and resources on topics of relevance to the settlement sector in a concise, easy-to-read format. Recent info sheets have covered:

Newcomer Health Care which explored the challenges that newcomers may face in accessing health care and identifying common strategies for supporting newcomers to navigate the health care system. It identified four key strategies for bridging the gap between settlement and health.

Immigrant Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship explored the experiences of newcomers in self-employment and best practices in facilitating immigrant entrepreneurship. It also explored the benefits and barriers to self-employment for immigrants.

Diet, Health, and Settlement examined the ways that newcomers adapt to Canadian food culture and respond to the challenges of accessibility and acceptability of food for newcomers. It explored the concept of food insecurity as it relates to newcomers.

Read and share the Migration Matters Info Sheets by clicking here.

View our latest E-Symposium: Collaborative Approaches to Promoting Newcomer Health  

Settlement service providing organizations and organizations in the health care sector have an interest in supporting newcomers to successfully access health care and to achieve good health outcomes. To achieve this, the two sectors must work together to bridge the gap between settlement and health. Newcomers need to be supported to navigate the health care system and to effectively engage in maintaining good health.

AMSSA's latest e-symposium focused on exploring innovative approaches to health care and health promotion for newcomers, looking at the collaboration and communication between the settlement service provider agencies, the health sector and newcomers themselves.

 View the e-symposium by clicking here.