Subject: It’s now only a week until you’ll be moving into ISSofBC Welcome Centre

Welcome to the 6th eNews. It’s now only a week until you’ll be moving into ISSofBC Welcome Centre.

This enews is mostly given over to neighbourhood perspectives from ISSofBC’s leaders. And as in previous issues, this one also features building updates and important information to help prepare you for the move to ISSofBC Welcome Centre. If there is something you’d like to know about ISSofBC Welcome Centre and the surroundings, please send an email to
Neighbourhood Perspective

In this enews, we went to ISSofBC’s leaders to ask them for their thoughts on the new building.

One of the most interesting responses came from Caroline Dailly:

Rather than really answering any of the questions, may I share why I am not looking forward to moving into ISSofBC Welcome Centre? ;)

GAR clients will love the new place; everything has been designed to meet their needs in the best way possible. They will be in a great neighborhood, with Trout Lake Park and all the ethnic food stores a few blocks away, with a banking kiosk on site. There is only one problem with that: I don't know how we will be able to convince them to move out!

Other than that, I am pretty happy to move there and benefit from the synergy that will result from having so many partners on site.

How will ISSofBC Welcome Centre change the way we work with our clients?

Given the array of services available ‘under one roof,’ it will offer us the opportunity to really connect clients to all the services available to them. So our approach will really be much more holistic and we'll be able, for example, to walk a client down a floor to access a particular service. That's so meaningful for a client: it's really a huge “value add” for the organization.Carla Morales

The most exciting thing is having a variety of services available in one location that I believe will be invaluable for clients.Patricia Woroch

I think that having so many services and supports under one roof allows ISSofBC staff to meet others in different organizations and increase their networks. Clients benefit from more comprehensive support because referrals and collaboration will be made more frequently as staff in co-located organizations become more familiar with ISSofBC and our services.

By being part of a neighbourhood or community, new immigrants and refugees can see and have a better sense of how integration in Canada looks like and hopefully be more comfortable to emulate that as they settle in their own communities.
Jennifer York

The location of ISSofBC Welcome Centre will allow for more easily-accessible field trip opportunities for our LINC clients, thus providing a richer learning environment. Also, our LINC clients will be immersed in a local community, which will allow them to better experience the Canadian way of life.Diana Smolic

The space will be dynamic, full of possibilities and a fertile ground of creative programming ideas. I am excited to see that we can now have a space to hold big events (networking events, Christmas/year end parties, reunions, International Women's Day, and Mini Fairs such as Education Fairs, Newcomer Fairs, Job Fairs) without worrying about rent. Women's groups can now have support groups built around food preparation or cooking because we will have a full kitchen in the new building!Liza Bautista

With the co-location of ISSofBC’s major services for newcomers – i.e. Settlement, Language Training and Employment – staff delivering these services will have convenient access to each other. This will lead to better coordination of services and more efficient resolution of client issues, which will result in improved services for clients. The opportunity to understand and become familiar with the needs of the different client groups is enhanced by co-location, which will contribute to more responsive client service. Outside of ISSofBC, having other services and resources that target newcomers under the same roof will go a long way towards easing the difficulties that many newcomers experience with navigating the service landscape.Lily Lim

What do you think is the best thing about moving to 2610 Victoria Drive?

It brings together staff from Drake and Terminal locations under one roof. Having everyone physically in the same location will create camaraderie, teamwork, and help each program to better respect one another's roles.Veronica Lee

It’s to be part of a community. ISSofBC in Vancouver will now belong to a neighbourhood. I've been working mainly at Terminal Avenue which is located in an industrial area and so it's like an island of it's own. By being part of the community, clients and staff at the ISSofBC Welcome Centre have a sense of belonging and hopefully will want to contribute more to their community and their workplace.Jennifer York

There is so much to offer near to the new location such as Commercial Drive and Trout Lake that will provide many opportunities for both staff and clients. I can’t wait to walk around the lake, try some new restaurants, go shopping for fruit and veggies, and explore all the stores! Patricia Woroch

One of the best things is being in a brand new building that will provide a healthier work and study environment for both staff and LINC clients. Having accessible green space in the building and nearby parks around Victoria Drive also contributes to a healthier work environment.Diana Smolic

From the business case, ISSofBC Welcome Centre will replace the ageing Drake building, consolidate the administration functions, provide a state-of-the-art building to showcase and market ISSofBC, and provide one stop shopping of services for our clients.Lawrence Tam

It’s to have the RAP, LINC, Settlement under one roof, being close to actual communities (mainstream and immigrants), and closer to shopping (groceries, drug stores, small businesses).Lisa Bautista

You really can't beat the location. The facility is close to an amazing park, the Trout Lake community centre, the Skytrain, diverse restaurants and cafes.Chris Stephenson

Why are you looking forward to moving into ISSofBC Welcome Centre?

To finally see the culmination of this 20+ years’ vision.Liza Bautista

It's an opportunity to be part of an exciting new chapter in ISSofBC's history.
Theo Madeley

Over the years, the LINC program at Terminal has operated anywhere from 2 to 3 different floors and I am looking forward to our LINC classes and program staff (teachers, admin and childcare) all being together on one floor as this will allow for more opportunities to connect with one another. As well, with a greater focus on paperless systems, I am welcoming the opportunity to have a more organized office! I’m also looking forward to having many more options for restaurants and a chance to explore a new community.Diana Smolic

ISSofBC staff can be proud of working in a facility that incorporates environmental design along with providing space for streamlined services that will greatly impact the settlement outcomes of our clients.Chris Stephenson

It will eliminate the historical psychological barrier that has existed between Terminal Ave. and Drake St. staff for years due to operating out of separate locations, paving the way for greater teamwork and organizational unity.Lily Lim

The potential of what or who ISSofBC can be, both as an employer and a service provider. With our own meeting room and our presence in a neighbourhood, we can do so much and be so much more than what we are now. Also being part of this new centre which is considered first of it's kind in the world is very exciting!Jennifer York

How will ISSofBC Welcome Centre change the way we work with our clients?

The ISSofBC Welcome Centre is much more than a building - it represents the physical embodiment of the organizational commitment to providing holistic services in an integrated manner. Co-location of services for immigrants and refugees including settlement, employment and language classes, as well as community organizations, financial services and government agencies facilitates a no wrong door approach for our clients. Further, it provides opportunities to more fully engage with all aspects of the community, from individuals to government, private sector and academia to ensure a better understanding of client needs and promote Canada's two-way model of integration.Kathy Sherrell

Veronica’s Corner

As we inch closer to the big move, here’s some important information from ISSofBC’s Move Coordinator, Veronica Lee:

  • Staff should pack up desks and personal spaces
  • Delivery & installation of new furniture scheduled May 6-19
  • Complete walkthrough of new facility with the movers and Relocation Team taking place week of May 16
  • There is restricted access to the building during the move; only Relocation Team is allowed onsite
  • Entry FOBs to be distributed key staff members
  • Remove trash in the Terminal Avenue office/classroom prior to moving day
  • First day in the new facility, greeters will direct staff to their work stations
  • Parking facilities will be used by those with monthly parking permits
  • The Church parking lot located beside ISSofBC Welcome Centre is off-limits. Please do NOT use.
ISSofBC Welcome Centre is located at 2610 Victoria Drive, Vancouver BC, V5N 4L2. Click on the address to view the location on google maps.
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Immigrant Services Society of BC, 2610 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4L2, Canada
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