When we were in the planning stages of the Immigrant Business Fair held earlier this month, it seemed fitting that this event should be the launch of our new initiative, the Welcoming Communities Program. Now that we have had time to reflect on feedback received from both exhibitors and attendees, we know it was.
I am writing to thank the 27 exhibitors that participated in the fair and came with enthusiasm and anticipation. In a truly international event that showcased products and services from around the world, immigrants demonstrated the contribution they are making to the local economy and their eagerness to establish themselves here in Chilliwack. I also want to thank all those who showed their support by attending the fair for without you the exhibitors would not have had an audience.
Under the Welcoming Communities Program aim to build a more welcoming and inclusive environment, a committee made up of local public and private organizations will be working on several more projects over the next ten months. Guiding the group is its vision “to create awareness of services for newcomers in Chilliwack and build connections and relationships across the community.”
In closing I want to acknowledge the support and participation in the fair of Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce, Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation, Skills Connect for Immigrants and GT Hiring Solutions and Work BC. These are important employment and business services that newcomers to Chilliwack should know about. With their added presence, information sharing and networking, as anticipated, were a clear outcome of the fair.
For anyone wanting information regarding the Welcoming Communities Program and its activities, please contact project coordinator, Melissa Warren firstname.lastname@example.org 604.393.3251.
Director, Community Programs
Chilliwack Community Services