September 2019
In this issue
Save the Date!

AMSSA's Annual General meeting is coming up!

When: Friday, September 20
Time: 3:30 PM - 7:30 PM 
Where: Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, BC

Highlights of the event include the presentation of the Diversity Awards, a performance, as well as a networking reception.

Registration is required. 

Register by today, September 16th by clicking here.


AMSSA's next webinar will be on the topic of gender-based violence.

When: Tuesday, October 29
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Information about the webinar will be available soon. Keep checking our events page for updates!

Learn How Blended Learning Supports PBLA in our webinar Exploring Online Service Delivery: Principles and Practices

Recorded June 25, 2019, this webinar helps LINC teams understand the benefits and multiple approaches to online learning, as well as stay current on research and available supports.

Presentation by Rob McBride, LearnIT2Teach

Presenters Olga Kanapelka (ISSofBC), Rob McBride (LearnIT2teach) and Dr. Suzanne Smythe (Simon Fraser University) also focus on:
  • The upcoming national learning management system (
  • Training teachers for blended and distance learning delivery
  • Ways that PBLA is integrated into blended learning
  • Digital inclusion (access, adoption and application)
The Exploring Online Service Delivery Webinar can be viewed here.

To watch the recordings and past webinars click here.

Available Now! 2020 Multifaith Calendars

The Multifaith Calendar displays religions, spiritual occasions and festivals based on the diverse cultural communities in Canada. With original artwork and information and facts on 14 religions, spiritual paths, Canadian and UN observed dates, the Multifaith Calendars is a resource with impact.

Order yours today! To learn more about the calendars visit our website by clicking here or  contact Rob Austdone at

Building Capacity 
to Support BC's 
Migrant Workers 
Visit, the digital resource hub for those who support and work with migrant workers. Check out the videos, special editions of the Migration Matters Info Sheets, webinars, and other resources! 

Want to keep up to date with the Migrant Worker Hub? Sign-up for the Migrant Worker Hub newsletter, subscribe by clicking here.

Staff movement

Saeedeh Foghani, Office Coordinator returned from maternity leave in July. Welcome Back! You can connect with Saeedeh directly at

We are happy to welcome Jessie Murphy who will be working with AMSSA during her Practicum for her Masters of Public Policy at Adler University.

Thank you!
AMSSA would like to extend a thank you to Mary Fowles, Acting Office Coordinator. We wish you all the best!

Special thank yous to Simar Thukral, Administrative Assistant and Jessie Sanghe, Intern Program Assistant for your support and contributions to AMSSA's work over the summer period!

Connect with us!

Recognizing Champions in Settlement and Integration with AMSSA's 2019 Diversity Awards

AMSSA is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2019 Diversity Awards. An Awards Selection Committee selected the following recipients:

Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award

MPNH's Family Literacy Outreach Program

Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House

Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House (MPNH) is a community-based, non-profit agency that provides a full range of services and programs for people of all ages, cultures, languages and walks of life in East Vancouver. MPNH was nominated for their Family Literacy Outreach (FLO) program. The FLO program, in collaboration with Vancouver Community College, serves vulnerable newcomer adult learners with young children and provides a holistic family literacy approach by bringing the learning environment into the home.

Service Recognition Staff Award

Loren Balisky, Kinbrace Community Society

Loren Balisky established Kinbrace Community Society, BC's longest-serving housing provider for refugee claimants and has worked at Kinbrace for 21 years. Through his collaborative leadership and experience living alongside refugee claimants, he helped launch multiple innovative programs. Loren has offered his leadership in many capacities including the Housing Working Group of the Multi-Agency Partnership, UNHCR Detention Monitoring, and Navigating Refugee Reform workshops. He was instrumental in the creation of the programs READY Tours and The Refugee Hearing Preparation Guide which is now available in 11 languages. 

Service Recognition Volunteer Award

Jim Tallman for his volunteerism at ISSofBC

Jim Tallman has volunteered in the settlement and integration sector for 27 years in multiple capacities including as a Settlement Mentor and Board Director. Jim has served on the ISSofBC Board for 23 years and 8 years as President. In his years on the Board, he has made significant changes in governance, policies and procedures, and streamlined Board processes. Jim has also provided his professional expertise in the natural resources sector by contributing to ISSofBC's career services programming. As a Settlement Mentor, Jim had over 20 mentor matches and has created the foundations of ISSofBC's settlement mentor training. 

Congratulations to the recipients of this year's 2019 Diversity Awards! The Diversity Awards will be presented at AMSSA's Annual General Meeting September 20.


We would also like to recognize and congratulate nominees for the 2019 AMSSA Diversity Awards:

Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award Nominees:
  • Muslim Food Bank and Community Services Society
  • Pacific Immigrant Resources Society
  • Ridge Meadows Multicultural Society
  • S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
Service Recognition Staff Award Nominees:
  • Jane Wei Liang, Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society of Prince George
  • Marfat Hamra, Muslim Food Bank and Community Services Society
  • Vandna Joshi, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
Service Recognition Volunteer Award Nominees:
  • Hakimali Dhanani, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
  • Pamela Chestnut, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
  • Roshme Aziz, Muslim Food Bank and Community Services Society

Special Thank You to the Diversity Awards Selection Committee:
  • Cherry Fernandez, South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services 
  • Marcela Mancilla-Fuller, Collingwood Neighbourhood House
  • Mary Daniel, Board Director, AMSSA
  • Rima Wilkes, University of British Columbia

Check out our newest Migration Matters Info Sheets!

AMSSA has recently released the Migration Matters Info sheet, Newcomer Men: Unique Challenges and Considerations. This issue discusses the unique challenges that newcomer men face, both in their migration journey and in their new home. It also provides additional resources to support those working with newcomer men and boys. It is a follow up to last year's E-Symposium on the same topic. An accompanying online video will be coming soon. Read it by clicking here.

We have also just launched a special Migrant Worker edition of the Migration Matters Info Sheets on the Canada Pension Plan for Migrant Workers

The Canada Pension Plan for Migrant Workers Info Sheet provides useful information on the Canada Pension Plan including eligibility, how to receive benefits and additional benefits that individuals may be eligible for. Click here to read it!

Sign-Up for the Front-line Worker 
E-Learning Courses

AMSSA has released two more front-line worker e-learning modules!

The newest e-learning modules include:

Diversity and Inclusion

BC Settlement & Integration Services (BCSIS) service providers must ensure that program staff is trained to provide services and support in a culturally appropriate manner. BCSIS front-line workers support markedly diverse clients. The training considers the biases and cross-cultural communication issues newcomers encounter, particularly in the context of employment, and practical tips on how to assist them.

Pathways to Permanent Residency for Temporary Residents

Settlement and Immigration supports are an essential component of BCSIS services. This e-learning module provides front-line workers with an overview of federal and provincial immigration pathways enable support for their clients' ability to succeed in immigration.The training will help differentiate the role and responsibilities of settlement workers versus immigration consultants and apply appropriate boundaries. Pathways for International Students and Temporary Foreign Workers are a focus of the e-learning module.

Other available topics include:
  • Refugee Mental Health Front-line Workers Training
  • BC Employment Standards and Workplace Safety Training for Front-line Workers
It's free to sign-up!

Stay tuned for the WorkBC Employment Services module currently in development!

Click here to learn more and sign-up for the courses!