Centre for Newcomers Society of Calgary

We provide much needed settlement and integration support to nearly 20,000 newcomer individuals, families, children and youth who make the brave choice to move to Calgary to begin a new life.

Every year, 20,000 newcomers with diverse backgrounds arrive in CalgaryOur Story Why We Exist

Meet Philip, an immigrant with many years of education and professional experience who came with his wife and young son to Calgary with his luggage, savings and dreams. An engineer by profession, he was unable to immediately land a job in his field.  Philip wasted no time juggling his time between survival jobs. His relationship with his family started to suffer as he came home every day, feeling exhausted, downhearted, and at times, feeling humiliated at the thought that he will not be able to live his dream as a successful professional in Calgary. Acknowledging his dilemma, he welcomed the offer of support from the Centre for Newcomers.

At the Centre Philip and his wife upgraded their English language skills, worked with settlement and employment services staff to address their priorities. Inspired, and armed with his career plan, Philip pursued and finished a training course related to his profession. He continued to connect with the Centre as he applied for jobs.  Though worried and down to their last $15, he received the good news, a job offer! Now a successful Project Co-ordinator for an Oil and Gas company, his success did not come easily. It took some time, risks and sacrifices. 

“Thanks to a devoted team of professionals at the Centre for Newcomers.  My family cannot thank you enough for the advice and suggestions to help me set my priorities. My wife has now adjusted to the new routine, working part time and being the super mom and wife. My son is now in school. If not for the career counselling and guidance, I will probably be taking a 3rd or 4th job to make ends meet.”

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Every year, nearly 20,000 newcomers with diverse backgrounds arrive in Calgary to seek a new life and to be part of building a dynamic community. These newcomers bring with them rich, cultural, professional, personal and educational experiences and are eager to make valuable contributions to this prosperous and global city. Yet many need support to settle and integrate into their new community successfully. As a catalyst to achieve successful settlement and integration, the Centre partners with government and communities to provide life-changing services that build connections, create opportunities and promote participation and citizenship to the increasing number of newcomer families, children and individuals who call Calgary their home every year.

Our Impact What We Do

In 1988 the Centre for Newcomers was established to respond to the flow of refugees from civil wars in Central America, and quickly developed into an agency with a full suite of newcomer settlement, employment and English language services, open to newcomers from all backgrounds.  The Centre supports newcomers to build a better life, to settle in a community where they can raise their families, to go to school and to work.  Integration into the community is the cornerstone of the Centre’s work – bringing together newcomers with the receiving community for the benefit of both.

For over 25 years, the Centre has served as a catalyst of transformation - a hub where several thousands of newcomers have made connections in Calgary, found jobs, supported to raise families and contributed to building this great city of promise. The Centre has actively supported several newcomer youth adapt to Canadian culture and to deal with the critical transition into adulthood. As well, the Centre has partnered with various communities and organizations to assist hundreds of newly arrived professionals and youth to gainful employment. In two years our Ethnicity catering program connected nearly 110 trainees to relevant work experiences. In short, in the past several years, the Centre has partnered with several Calgarians and organizations to provide transformative experiences to new Calgarians.

The Centre for Newcomers provides specialized support to immigrants under one roof, in NE Calgary, easily accessed by bus or train.

Average Yearly Stats

  • 2,500 attend adult English classes
  • 85% of tracked clients from Career Services find jobs or relevant training
  • 3,000 on-on-one consultations support the family settlement process
  • 10,000 individuals avail of services and support from the Centre
  • 1,000 take part in Children and Youth programs
  • 10,000 volunteer hours are provided by Centre’s volunteers
  • 20,000 meals are delivered to Ethnicity Catering customers

Our Mission | To achieve integration of newcomers in the community through services and initiatives that promote diversity, participation and citizenship.

Our Vision | A community that values diversity, in which people of all backgrounds find and create opportunities to fulfill their dreams and participate fully as citizens.

Annual Report 2015-2016 - CLIENT Numbers: 

  • 1,246 clients enrolled in Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) Classes
  • 10,642 clients attended 615 workshops
  • 23,000+ clients accessed drop-in career services
  • 10,000+ unique clients served (20% of whom were refugees*)
  • 5,542 clients received one-on-one counselling for settlement and career services
  • 83% of clients who are employed or in training after receiving career services​

Our Programs How We Do It

The Centre seeks to achieve newcomers’ integration in the community by providing services that promote diversity, support social and economic participation and ensure full citizenship. Our services include:

Adult English Classes | Students settle into classes for English language skills development.  As they attend class, they learn more about their local community, about Canada and other topics relevant to settling in an environment that may be different from what they are accustomed to, and they make friends with many people outside their own language and cultural groups. http://www.centrefornewcomers.ca/linc.shtml

Settlement Services for individuals and families | Newcomers work with professional Settlement Practitioners who assist them in setting priorities, objectives and plans that address their specific needs. http://www.centrefornewcomers.ca/newcomer_settlement.shtml

Career Development and Job Search | Newcomer professionals often find themselves confronted with workplace transition issues: a new workplace environment, credential or professional regulatory requirements, language.  The Centre provides support and guidance to newcomers to enable them to reduce the barriers they face as they develop and manage career plans that will support their integration into the Canadian workforce. http://www.centrefornewcomers.ca/career_development_job_search.shtml

Career training:  Success for newcomer professionals with advanced education and established careers, or those with little or no work experience in their home countries benefit from training that prepare them for the Canadian workplace.    

Children and Youth Services | Young immigrants (12-24) may become involved with gangs or groups engaged in illegal activities, often in search of identity.  The Centre supports the youth to help develop a sense of identity and belonging, and discover their many possibilities. http://www.centrefornewcomers.ca/youth_possibilities.shtml

  • Children’s Settlement, for children up to 12 years old, engages children and parents in educational and fun learning activities.  Parents participate in sessions with their children, transforming what can be a stressful time into one where the entire family feels equipped to face challenges. http://www.centrefornewcomers.ca/child_development.shtml

Volunteer Development | Newcomers and Canadians volunteer in meaningful ways that create and pave the way for a welcoming environment for other newcomers to Canada. http://www.centrefornewcomers.ca/volunteer_development.shtml

Centre for Newcomers ChecklistOur Requests What You Can Do

Calgary has recently been ranked the 5th most liveable city in the world and rightly so because Calgarians care about and for each other. Calgary is a city of promise, yet for newcomers without language skills, education or connections, our city can be a bleak and isolating place. The Centre for Newcomers partners with communities, organizations and businesses: assisting with employee recruitment, providing resources on a diverse workforce; connecting newcomers and their community organizations with other public and civil society organizations. The Centre works to ensure that Calgary continues to be a welcoming and receptive community is attuned to the gifts of newcomers and values diversity.

Investing your resources (experience, time, skills, expertise and knowledge) in the Centre for Newcomers ensures that we partner directly with over 75 organizations/communities to provide services that promote successful integration for newcomers and fosters a sense of belonging to their community. You can be part of creating a welcoming environment for other newcomers to Canada in the following ways:  

  • Invest part of your time to volunteer (e.g. as a resource speaker at our events and a mentor for youth and  immigrant professionals)
  • Connect us to potential donors/funding opportunities
  • Sponsor or donate towards existing programs or new initiatives
  • Partner with us in your diversity and inclusion initiatives
  • Connect us with employment opportunities for newcomers in the city

Please contact Francis at f.boakye@centrefornewcomers.ca or 403.539.5853. 

Calgary