Subject: We are pleased to announce the use of ISSofBC as our official brand

Dear Partners and Friends,

We are pleased to announce the use of ISSofBC as our official brand, and as our only name, moving forward. But first, here’s a bit of history.

In the late 1960s a group of volunteers, working out of a basement in Vancouver to organize reception services for refugees fleeing violence in East Africa, planted the seeds for what is today the Immigrant Services Society of BC.

“The Immigrant Services Society of BC” name evolved from versions that summarized the organization’s reason for being. From the “Immigrant Services Committee” in 1969 when we were a voluntary subcommittee of the Citizenship Court Committee, to the “Greater Vancouver Immigrant Services Society” when we incorporated in 1972, and finally to “The Immigrant Services Society of BC” in 1974 to reflect our broadened geographic base, the various iterations of the Society’s name these last 46 years have all been rooted in one core purpose: services for immigrants.

However, despite being accurately descriptive, the name “Immigrant Services Society of BC” continues to pose identity challenges, one that is identified in every market survey we’ve done. The most common challenge is the name’s vulnerability to unintended alterations. When the word “immigration” is substituted for “immigrant” in the society’s name – an all-too frequent occurrence – the result is a name that neither reflects our mandate nor our mission. This gives rise to a misplaced understanding of our role and service mission. Another identified drawback is the name’s length, which is a challenge for users whose first language is not English.

Beginning in the early 2000s, a concerted effort was made to ramp up the use of our short name – ISSofBC – in all of the Society’s visual representations, for example: communication and marketing materials, official forms, and signage. This was done in part to address the branding challenges of our long name. And although informal, the effort contributed to the ISSofBC name gaining familiarity and engagement among our colleagues, partners and friends.

We believe the time has come for us to formally and publicly roll out ISSofBC as our official brand, a name around which our wide range of services can unite.

As ISSofBC, our clients, community partners and supporters can continue to count on the same standards of innovative and responsive service delivery they have come to expect from us. Working collaboratively with our partners in government and the community, we will continue to build on the services we provide to thousands of immigrants and refugees each year, and strengthen our contributions in promoting their integration into their adopted country.

ISSofBC. One mission: Helping immigrants build a future in Canada. Thanks for continuing this journey with us.

Sincerely yours,

Patricia Woroch
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Immigrant Services Society of BC, 2610 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4L2, Canada
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