Help a Refugee

*Important Update: ICA is currently seeking sponsorship groups for privately sponsored refugees. Refugee families have been identified for resettlement but rely on the support of groups of five or constituent groups. To find out more please contact Sabine Lehr, Privately Sponsorship of Refugees Manager at

ICA has a history of resettlement assistance in Victoria BC, beginning with the resettlement of Fujian Chinese in the 1990s and the Kosovar Resettlement Assistance Project in 2001. More recently, ICA worked with the Project Tibet Society that brought 50 Tibetan refugees to Victoria under a larger national resettlement program of 1,000 refugees across Canada. In addition to supporting newly arrived Syrian refugees in 2015 and 2016, ICA is passionate about assisting and providing services to immigrants and refugees from a variety of backgrounds.

In February 2016, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) was approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to provide services to Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) under the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP). ICA began to deliver this program on February 29, 2016. During the first two weeks of March, over 150 Syrian refugees arrived to the Capital Regional District (CRD). We anticipate more individuals and families will be resettled in the region over the coming year, bringing the total number of Syrian refugees closer to 300. Many families have found permanent housing, but housing needs remain high and we encourage any communities members with housing leads to contact us.

In addition to supporting Government-Assisted Refugees, we have also been helping to coordinate the private sponsorship of refugees in our role as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH). In private sponsorship, groups of citizens come together to form a Constituent Group and support a refugee family. ICA and other Sponsorship Agreement Holders provide ongoing support for these groups. Currently, we estimate around 60-70 Constituent Groups in Greater Victoria at various stages in the sponsorship process.

*Please note: ICA is experiencing a high volume of inquiries related to 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.

For volunteer opportunities, please contact Sharmarke Dubow, Facilitator of Refugee Volunteer Support Services at

For housing inquiries, please contact Adam Yaghi, Resettlement Assistance Program Housing Coordinator at

Helpful resources for further information

ICA Refugee Fact Sheet
Syrian Population Profile
Refugee Sponsorship Training Program
Canadian Council for Refugees
Immigrant Services Society of BC
Guide to Private Sponsorship of Refugees, Government of Canada
Infograph: A Year of Refugee Arrivals
Infograph: Employment Statistics Greater Victoria