What We Do
Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) is a comprehensive settlement and integration agency that provides a wide range of programs and services to Calgary’s immigrant and refugee population. Our mission is to be a comprehensive settlement agency working with immigrants and their families to make Canada home. Our vision is that immigrants and their families participate fully in an integrated and cohesive Canadian society. We are passionate, collaborative, accountable, and ethical leaders in settlement services.
We believe that people come first.
- We are committed to quality services for a diverse Canadian community. Which is why our slogan, “A New Beginning – A Better Canada” recognizes the wealth that different cultures, genders, ages and abilities bring to Canada. Ours is a culture of respect, trust and equity, and our staff and management work together to promote a human rights culture that impacts our beneficiaries, our staff, our board and our volunteers.
ISC is governed by a Board of Directors from a diverse range of backgrounds and ages, and managed by a Chief Executive Officer. Our team is made up of a diverse group of over 130 full-time and part-time staff, and is bolstered by the assistance of over 1163 volunteers. Together, our staff and volunteers speak over 170 languages and have a diverse range of educational and experiential backgrounds and conduct their work with the utmost professionalism. In the 2016-2017, they worked together to support 30,580 beneficiaries and provide 1,129 workshops.
Our Results (2016-2017):
Enhancing Accessibility – Recognizing the importance of making settlement services easily accessible to a diversified clientele, ISC has been establishing satellite offices at strategic locations in different quadrants of the city.
Enhancing Employability – Rebuilding careers in Canada is a primary concern for skilled newcomers. Over the past four decades ISC’s settlement service has grown from a handful of counselor’s to a reputable Settlement and Language Bank Centre (SLBC) with a staff team of over 50. SLBC provides comprehensive settlement and integration services in over 50 languages to immigrants and refugees from more than 160 countries of origin.
The Voices of Calgary (VoC) is one of our milestone programs in the 2016-2017 fiscal year. VoC is a first-of-its-kind initiative funded by Alberta Labour’s Foreign Qualifications Unit. Brandishing the slogan “Globally Hired- Locally Hired”, the campaign produces and broadcasts videos of internationally trained professionals in Calgary who have made significant breakthroughs from struggles to success and features testimonials from Calgary employers who have benefited from hiring foreign talents.
Enhancing Cross-cultural Communication – Through the provision of interpretation and translation services, the Language Bank has helped to bridge language and cultural gaps, opening doors for many newcomers to access valuable employment and education opportunities as well as beneficial community resources and needed services.
Settlement and Language Bank Centre (SLBC) – Highlights of ongoing service:
- 15, 128 beneficiaries served;
- 30, 061 services provided
- 161 countries of origin
- 39, 074 volunteer hours
ISC began operating in 1977 as the Calgary Immigrant Aid Society (CIAS), when a group of concerned citizens decided to form a society to assist new immigrants. It began with volunteer staff in an office space donated by Mount Royal College and was the first incorporated settlement agency in the Calgary area. In 1981 and 1982 following increased funding from the government, CIAS began advocating for more ethno-cultural staff in mainstream agencies. Additionally, they began expanding public education and outreach activities and with an emphasis on providing first language supportive counseling to new immigrants.
In 1997, as part of its 20th anniversary celebration, the Calgary Immigrant Aid Society launched the first Immigrants of Distinction Awards (IDA) with Dr. Martha Cohen, Order of Canada, as the Honorary Chair. The Immigrants of Distinction Awards continue to this day, recognizing the diverse talents among newcomers to Canada as well as celebrating diversity in the workplace. These awards exemplify the agency’s commitment to promote the benefits of a diverse society. In 2007, as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations, Calgary Immigrant Aid Society became Immigrant Services Calgary.
We are dedicated to putting immigrants first and providing a range of services to help them settle into their new lives and community.
- We remain committed to accessibility, community consultation, partnership and collaboration and the ongoing process of self-assessment and evaluation. These principles enable the agency to continue to creatively and effectively meet the diverse needs of an expanding immigrant and refugee population.