Success stories from communities & workplaces

Read about some exciting initiatives that communities across British Columbia have undertaken to make their communities more welcoming and inclusive.

“Defining Diversity, Creating Community”

Defining Diversity, Creating Community is a documentary film produced by the Powell River Diversity Initiative (PRDI). The film, which premiered at the Powell River Film Festival, explores the history of immigration in Powell River and illustrates ways in which the community can be more inclusive. The film won a bronze medal in the documentary film category at the Houston Texas Film Festival. PRDI has also developed a companion teacher’s guide and diversity outreach toolkit.

See the film trailer:

To learn about PRDI resources see:

“Diversity Champions” in the Workplace

Led by the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, over 180 local agencies, businesses and institutions created the Community Partnership Network (CPN). The CPN is committed to building diverse, welcoming and inclusive communities in Greater Victoria. One CPN project was a multi-media campaign to promote CPN’s online tools to attract immigrants and celebrate Diversity Champions—employers who support diversity in the workplace.

To learn more about the Community Partnership Network and view videos, see:

“Get in the Know!“

DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, based in Surrey, led the Get in the Know! project to develop resources for both employees and employers. The resources, which include a website and a guidebook, promote the benefits of hiring new immigrants and provide practical information to employers on retaining immigrant staff.

See the Get in the Know! resources:

“Project Diversity”

Project Diversity, a project of the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC) and other members of the Committee for Cultural Pluralism, developed a handbook to support facilitators in leading workshops on how to create welcoming and inclusive organizations and communities. Workshop materials include icebreaker exercises, handouts and presentation slides.

To access the handbook, learn more about Project Diversity and SPARC, and to find more resources, including short videos see:

“Safe Harbour: Respect for All”

The Safe Harbour: Respect for All (Safe Harbour) program began in Nanaimo when a group of enthusiastic businesses and agencies became the first Safe Harbours in B.C. The program supports businesses, agencies and municipalities to work together to build safe and inclusive communities that celebrate diversity. Participants receive training on how to provide a “Safe Harbour” for their clients, customers, students and employees, and how to serve a diverse population. The training creates awareness about the different ways people experience discrimination and identifies simple steps to support someone who needs temporary refuge. Participants receive Safe Harbour designation and a window decal as a visible marker that they will provide temporary sanctuary to people experiencing harassment.

Safe Harbour is now a project of the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of British Columbia (AMSSA) with programs in over 20 B.C. communities. AMSSA forecasts that over the next ten years the Safe Harbour decal will become as widely recognized as Block Parent and other programs that promote community safety and well-being. In 2016, AMSSA BC will be adding more Safe Harbour workshops and enhanced services to support organizations with their commitments to diversity and inclusion.

Find out more:

“Small Acts Big Impact”

The North Shore Multicultural Society and the North Shore Welcoming Committee, in association with the Shaw Multicultural Channel, developed two videos for local employers and community members. The videos promote the value of immigrants in workplaces and in the community, and illustrate the power of individual action to make newcomers feel welcome.

View the videos:

“Welcome PG”

Welcome PG is a collaboration of community stakeholders, businesses, non-profit organizations and service providers whose goal is to remove barriers to social inclusion. It was created to enhance economic prosperity by strengthening its capacity to attract internationally trained immigrants coming to Prince George. The program provides a forum for stakeholders to share innovative resources to promote cultural diversity in their workplaces and tap into the skills of new immigrants.

Welcome PG received the first annual Prince George Chamber of Commerce Business Award for Welcoming and Inclusive Workplaces. The award recognizes businesses that reduce employment barriers for new Canadians, provide cross-cultural training that supports inclusiveness to all employees and work toward creating a more welcoming community.

Read more:

Other Community Initiatives

For information on other initiatives to create welcoming communities, check out the Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC website, agencies that serve immigrants, or municipal websites throughout the province:

Find out more: