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Media Release: ICA's 40th Anniversary Celebration

Media Release
For Immediate Release:

The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria celebrates 40 years of building cultural connections!

Victoria, BC (November 16, 2011)

The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is celebrating 40 years of building cultural connections. As a thank you, we are asking anyone who has been involved with ICA over the past 40 years to Reunite, Reconnect and Recreate at ICA’s 40th Anniversary Celebration on December 4th at the Crystal Garden from 2-5pm.

The celebration is a free family-friendly event with a Fun Zone featuring giant puppets, face painting and a photo booth. Featured performers include Uzume Taiko, Canada’s premier taiko drum group, Chikoro Marimba and their songs from Zimbabwe, the Saffron world music quartet, the rhythms of Masala, the Lion Dancers from the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club – and last, but not least - a Global Dance Mob! Colourful exhibits detailing ICA’s fascinating history will also be on display.

From the multicultural arts celebration of FolkFest and the magic of Luminara, to the day-to-day work of helping immigrants and refugees settle and build a good life as members of a new community, ICA has left an indelible mark on Greater Victoria. ICA started with a modest “International Fun Fare” in 1971 and evolved into a non-profit organization that has helped more than 20,000 immigrants settle in the Greater Victoria region. ICA, along with the commitment of the Victoria community, has helped change perceptions, cultural boundaries and enhanced the cultural scene, making Victoria a more welcoming and inclusive community.

“We are proud to have been involved in helping to shape Victoria’s attitudes and acceptance of all cultures. When I first started with ICA in 1985, we did not see so many services and businesses focusing their attention on welcoming newcomers in our community. I am proud of how far we’ve come in 40 years and we look forward to continuing to build cultural connections,” Jean McRae, ICA Executive Director.

ICA realizes its success is a result of the hundreds of volunteers, community partners, board members, donors, media and past clients who have been strong supporters over the years, and hopes to reconnect with as many people as possible during its 40th year in order to say thank you. ICA also plans to recreate 40 years of stories through personal connections to ICA by having people share their favourite memories and photos with us through our website.

Mavis DeGirolamo has volunteered with ICA for many years and shares her story about why she became involved with ICA, “Initially, it was a way to give back to an organization in which I truly believed in. It soon became a commitment to a family of friends as the staff and clients of ICA were, and continue to be, all so warm and welcoming. ICA promotes the values of Canadian society - respect, caring, inclusion, participation and an over-arching belief and practice of human rights.”

You Are Invited – Reunite! Reconnect! Recreate! – ICA’s 40th Anniversary Celebration
The media has been a strong supporter of ICA over the past four decades and we would like to personally invite you to help us celebrate this important milestone. In celebrating ICA’s 40-year history, we are also celebrating the success of a community that has made a big difference in the lives of those who have immigrated to Canada and those who have helped to create a more welcoming and inclusive community. We hope to see you there!

About ICA
The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) helps individuals and organizations to connect across cultures. We provide information, support and tools to help immigrants reach their goals. By engaging people through networks, education and arts programming we create a welcoming community.

ICA offers services for newcomers, including settlement and integration counseling, translation and interpretation, English classes, mentoring, volunteer matching, and peer support.  We also provide outreach and education in the community through arts programming, as well as workshops on anti-racism, multiculturalism, diversity awareness, immigration and human rights.

Media contact:
Jean McRae, Executive Director
Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA)
Office: 250-388-4728 ext. 103
Mobile: 250-213-2261