Thank you for your interest in joining a Bow Valley Immigration Partnership working group.  If you'd like to get involved with the partnership, please read the following information and complete an Expression of Interest Form.
For more information, please Meagan at bvip@banff.ca or 403-431-0705.

THE PROJECT: 

The Bow Valley Immigration Partnership (BVIP) is a collaborative community project that brings together stakeholders from Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore, western M.D. of Bighorn, and Kananaskis to plan for the successful integration of immigrants to the valley. Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, our partners include Town of Banff, Town of Canmore, Canadian Rockies Public Schools, Bow Valley College, Banff Lake Louise Hospitality Association, Settlement Services in the Bow Valley, The Job Resource Centre, Banff Ministerial Association, Bow Valley Primary Care Network, Canmore Hotel & Lodging Association, Alberta Parks, Parks Canada, and more.

Why it Matters

We believe the successful integration of immigrants is important not only for newcomers themselves but for our community as a whole. The more than 1 in 5 permanent Bow Valley residents who were born outside of Canada contribute much to the social, economic, and civic health of our area. However, newcomers also face barriers that make it challenging to stay, feel a sense of belonging, and participate in community life. People from all walks of life, all sectors, and all backgrounds have a role to play in addressing those barriers. That's why we work with organizations and individuals from across the Bow Valley. Your input can help ensure our settlement strategy reflects the diverse perspectives of the people who live here. 

our 3 year plan

In 2015, we finalized a strategy based on research and public consultations with more than 600 individuals in the Bow Valley. The strategy identified areas of focus for 2015-2018.  We believe these categories capture some of the Bow Valley’s most pressing challenges to integration and are areas that our member organizations can have a significant impact in. 

Our 2015-2018 priorities are: 
                                                                          
•        Fostering welcoming attitudes (this includes community outreach to address discrimination and misconceptions about immigrants and newcomers, as well celebrating diversity, inclusion, and respect)

•        Building social connections (between immigrants and non-immigrants, newcomers and long-term locals)

•        Improving employment outcomes (goals in this area relate to things like reduction of discrimination, employment standards, workplace training, and foreign credential recognition) 

•        Improving education & language learning (including child and adult education)

•        Encouraging civic & political involvement (building leadership capacity and promoting newcomer engagement in civic activities)

•        Improving immigrant access to housing information. Improving understanding of the housing needs of immigrants.

Our Working Groups:

In 2015, four thematic working groups helped develop action plans for the integration strategy. Today, these groups oversee their implementation. The groups include:
                                                                          
•        Social Integration:  Planning and implementing actions to foster welcoming attitudes (addressing discrimination and misconceptions about immigrants and newcomers, as well celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion and respect) and strategies to build social connections between immigrants and non-immigrants. This working group works on things like public education campaigns, multicultural celebrations, and more. 

•        Employment: Developing strategies related to employment challenges such as workplace discrimination, employment standards, workplace training, and recognition of foreign credentials and experience. For the past year, this group has focused on planning our Workplace Inclusion Charter. 

•        Education & Language Learning:  Developing strategies related to adult and children's education & language learning needs. This group works on everything from support for language learners to professional development, post-secondary, and lifelong learning opportunities. 

•        Civic & Political Participation: This working group helps acknowledge and celebrate newcomer volunteerism, develop intercultural competency in civic organizations, support newcomer leadership development, connect organizations with foreign-born leaders, and empower new locals to participate in the civic and political life of the community.

•        NEW: Health: Since completing the 2015-2018 strategy, we have become aware of a number of health needs affecting Bow Valley newcomers. The health working group works to respond to current needs and will lead the planning of 2018-2020 integration strategies related to health. 

Positions Available

Organization Representative 

If you believe your organization has a role to play in one or more of our priority areas, we'd love to have your involvement. As an organizational representative, your role will be to bring the perspective of your organization into the BVIP process and to share BVIP news and insights with your organization.

If you and your organization are interested in learning more about best practices in inclusion or would like to become involved in BVIP but are not sure where you fit, please contact Meagan at bvip@banff.ca or 403-431-0705. 

Community Member at Large 

As a Community Member-at-Large on one of working groups, you will play an important advisory role in the implementation of the Bow Valley integration strategy. Your role will be to bring the perspective of the wider Bow Valley community into BVIP processes. From time to time, you may also be asked to share BVIP news and insights with the community through your personal networks.  

The Commitment

As a BVIP working group member, you will be asked to:

  • Attend meetings in Banff and Canmore about 3-5 times a year, or as needed
  • Review & participate in periodic correspondence between meetings
  • Help to implement action items as required
  • (Organizational representatives only) share information between BVIP and the organization you represent
  • Commit to participate until May 31, 2018

Total time commitment: approximately 3-8 hours/month.

This is not a paid opportunity, but please contact Meagan at bvip@banff.ca if you would like to participate but are concerned about the costs of transportation or child care during meeting times. 

Specific Duties Include:

  • Identifying actions to address 2015-2018 Integration Strategy priorities and goals

  • Implementing 2015-2018 Integration Strategy actions

  • Reporting to the BVIP Partnership Council on strategy implementation progress

  • Advising the Council on emerging needs, trends, and opportunities

  • Sharing information between BVIP and community groups and organizations

  • Assisting in recruitment of new Working Group members

  • Promoting the work and values of BVIP through community channels and networks

  • Championing welcoming and inclusive communities

    Benefits to You Include:

    • Experience -- This opportunity will allow you to demonstrate communication, teamwork, and leadership skills, as well as a commitment to community building. 
    • Professional development  -- You will play an important role in the creation of the next Bow Valley integration strategy and will learn and practice group decision making processes, policy making, diplomacy, leadership, strategy, and communication skills. Some training opportunities may be provided.
    • Knowledge -- You'll learn about how immigrants settle into a new country and what communities can do to help newcomers succeed. You'll also learn more about your community, including programs and resources that are available locally. 
    • Connections -- This is an excellent opportunity to make new friends and network with people from across the Bow Valley, including representatives of a variety of agencies, employers, and governments.
    • Giving Back -- BVIP is an action-focused initiative determined to make a real difference. If you want to help your community, here's your chance. 
    • Recognition -- As an individual or as an organization, you will be a part of a reputable and dynamic partnership that is working together to build a stronger and more welcoming community. We celebrate our members at every opportunity, including newspaper ads, newsletters, at presentations throughout the Bow Valley.
    • Fun! We can't promise every meeting will be fun, but we'll do our best :)

    You should Apply If You:

    • Now live in Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore, Exshaw, Harvie Heights, Lac Des Arcs, Dead Man's Flats, or Kananaskis 
    • Feel comfortable communicating in English in a supportive and friendly environment 
    • Have knowledge, expertise and/or commitment to serving and integrating immigrants
    • Understand the BVIP mandate
    • Understand working group roles & responsibilities
    • Have read and understand the 2015-2018 Integration Strategy
    • (Organization Representatives only) Have authorization and/or authority to represent your organization at the BVIP table
    • Are willing to attend 4 meetings per year and commit until at least May 31, 2018

    Expression of Interest Form: 

    Thank you for your interest in joining the Bow Valley Immigration Partnership! Expressions of interest will be reviewed by a sub-committee of the BVIP Partnership Council and all applicants will be contacted within 7 days of submitting an expression of interest. 

    Phone *
    Phone
    Which working group(s) are you interested in joining? *
    If you choose more than one, please let us know which is your preference in the additional comments section at the end of this form.