*Please note: ICA is experiencing a high volume of inquiries and requests to help with the sponsorship and resettlement of refugees. We appreciate your patience while we respond to these inquiries, and will continue updating our website and social media accounts with useful information.
All inquires related to volunteering, donating, and offers of service for Syrian refugees should be directed to email@example.com
New Resources for PSRs
A full video recording of the last Constituent Group training in January 2016. A big “thank you” goes to our generous partner, Royal Roads University, that recorded the whole day of training and then conveniently sliced it up into video segments that you can watch at your leisure.
A direct link to the course is available on RRU’s Moodle site:
A complement to this training is the housing webinar that Sabine Lehr facilitated on March 31, which was kindly hosted by our partner, Ready to Rent BC. You can access the Webinar here:
Housing for Refugees
The Capital Regional District has a low housing vacancy rate. Government-assisted refugees receive comparable allowances to that of social assistance levels. In our efforts to secure housing for resettled refugees in a timely manner, we are calling on residents through this questionnaire to share information about available rental units. Please complete the survey here.
Donate to Refugees
Donate immediately to our private sponsorship of refugees fund; ICA can provide tax receipts for those who contribute.
Or, bring in-kind donations such as household items to the Women in Need Community Cooperative (WIN).The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) and the Victoria Women in Need Community Cooperative (WIN) are partnering to support refugee resettlement in Victoria, BC. In the last number of years WIN has been providing ICA with gift certificates under their Gift Certificate Program to support immigrants and refugees. We will continue this partnership as well as cooperate to ensure Syrian refugees are equipped with basic necessities.
Community members wanting to assist refugees by offering in-kind donations are encouraged to contact WIN to coordinate drop-off times and locations.
For any questions please contact ICA or WIN at:
The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria
930 Balmoral Road, Victoria, BC, V8T 1A8
Victoria Women in Need Community Cooperative
Donation Line: 250-480-4006 ext. 2
Donations accepted at
1803 Cook Street (housewares)
1107 North Park Street (clothing)
Furniture Donations ONLY accepted at
785 Pandora Avenue
Privately Sponsor a Refugee or Refugees
In August 2015, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria received approval from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to become a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH). This is a framework agreement with the Canadian government to support refugees to resettle in Canada through Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. ICA is the second group in Greater Victoria that holds an agreement with CIC to privately sponsor refugees as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, along with the Anglican Diocese of BC.
Under the agreement, ICA will work with Constituent Groups in sponsoring refugees. As ICA has done in the past, it will continue to assist community sponsoring organizations or Groups of Five - five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents who get together to sponsor a refugee or refugees. Sponsoring groups assist with financial obligations, as well as the reception, housing, and care of the refugee newcomers when they arrive to the region. In 2015, ICA is authorized to sponsor five refugees of any nationality, and can also facilitate the sponsorship of any number of Syrians or Iraqis – the Canadian government is not currently implementing a cap.
ICA is currently working with Constituent Groups in the Greater Victoria area and has successfully matched some of these groups to UNHCR-referred or privately-referred sponsorship cases.
If you are interested in taking action to assist refugees, here are some practical steps you can take:
Form a sponsoring group to determine how many people will be involved in resettling refugees and ensure you have a plan on how to raise funds (resettlement assistance, funding, and other support obligations are required for 1 year - cost estimates here)
If you are wanting more information about forming a constituent group, or have come together with a group of people and are wanting to privately sponsor a refugee or refugees, please contact Sabine Lehr, Immigrant Services Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate or volunteer to help sponsor refugees: there are many groups and charities locally (including ICA), nationally, and internationally
Donate immediately to our private sponsorship of refugees fund; ICA can provide tax receipts for those who contribute
Helpful resources for further information
ICA's Refugee Fact Sheet
Syrian Population Profile: http://lifelinesyria.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/EN-Syrian-Population-Profile.pdf
Refugee Sponsorship Training Program website: http://www.rstp.ca/
FAQs about sponsoring Syrian refugees: http://www.rstp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Info-Sheet-Syrian-Refugee-Sponsorship-Sept-2015.pdf
Canadian Council for Refugees website: http://ccrweb.ca/
Immigrant Services Society of BC website: http://www.issbc.org/
Guide to Private Sponsorship of Refugees, Government of Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca/English/resources/publications/ref-sponsor/index.asp