On June 7, 2016 ICA hosted an event thanking partners and contributors for their refugee resettlement efforts over the past months, and to recognize this milestone as Victoria continues to welcomes more refugees. The event included speeches by notable public figures such as Martha Juillerat, Constituency Assistant to Randall Garrison, Member of Parliament, Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke; Carole James, Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA; Acting Mayor Charlayne Thornton-Joe; ICA’s Board President, Cathy Hunter, and ICA’s Chief Executive Officer, Jean McRae.
Along with speeches, Amanda Edward of the Cowichan First Nation offered a blessing ceremony to start our event and Sari Alesh, a Syrian musician recently arrived to Victoria, provided a musical performance on the violin that evoked an incredible mix of emotions from the audience. Along with food from Fig Delicatessen, and special “Refugees Welcome” pins, the event was considered a big success.
Those in attendance were by no means exhaustive of all the contributors who have worked hard to make Victoria such a welcoming and inclusive community. Thank you to the many individuals, volunteers, organizations, and businesses from various sectors that have been involved in welcoming privately sponsored and government-assisted refugees to the region.
Check out the photos from the event here! Photography courtesy of Kirsten James.