Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Come and check out our Little Free Library at our NE Location

After two days of hard work, the CLB 7 class at the Welcome Centre, the CIES NE location, is pleased to announce that our little free library is up and running. It is located just outside the school, next to the bus shelter. Feel free to drop by and take a book, or leave a book. Books in any language are welcome. Thank you to all of the staff and students who donated funds to this project. We could not have done it without your help!

For those of you at our south-east location, be on the lookout for another little free library that will be installed outside, thanks to a generous donation from BRZ.

Although these little free libraries are located next to our schools, we are hopeful that they will be used by the community at large to promote literacy and to encourage a love of reading in students and passerby alike.

Monday, September 28, 2015

CIES Attends Latest International Ave Mural Unveiling

On Friday CIES attended the unveiling of the latest mural to be displayed along Calgary's International Avenue. The project is part of the long-term beautification plan that draws upon on the area’s incredible diversity and multicultural character. This marks the 9th mural since 2001 to be sponsored by the International Avenue BRZ that showcases perhaps what is Calgary's most ethnically diverse district. Other completed works represent such places as Portugal, the Caribbean, Vietnam and the Middle East.The latest work was welcomed Friday in a celebration at the artBox on 17E where the four-metre by five-metre mural will now be permanently displayed.

Ethiopian born artist Sisay Shimeles set out to create a piece celebrating the city’s east African community that would link countries such his own, Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Eritrea among others. One look at Shimeles' work reveals the mystical and the mythological, the beauty and the harmony of the region captured beautifully.

As a side note, once again the artBOX served as the venue for yet another intercultural event, a marvellous space with a true character all its own. Moreover, event sponsor the International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ) is doing an amazing job supporting and promoting the Greatness of Forest Lawn. We in turn are proud supporters of them both. For more pictures of the event CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Calgary Jobs, Information and Training

Here at CIES we always do our best to stay plugged into the Calgary community. so you can be too. From Day one CIES has always believed that strong community partnerships are the best way to have both a meaningful and sustainable impact on the life of immigrants here in Calgary.  We are affiliated with a number of key organizations throughout the city and this expansive network allows us to stay informed on your behalf. Below is a list of upcoming opportunities for a wide range of skills sets and experience levels to improve your skills, network and submit resumes for employment. Click on the provided posters for more details. 


  • McDonald’s is hiring.  Apply online at during their Hiring Day on September 24.  
  • Attend the CCIS Career Fair on October 1 from 10 am. to 1 pm.  To register, send your resume to CCIS before September 25.  The event will give you an opportunity to meet Calgary employers from diverse sectors.  Job opportunities include Customer Service and Sales, Fitness Consultant (Sales), Housekeeping Aides, Laundry Aides, Dietary Aides, Cooks, Warehouse, Construction Labour, Class 3 Drivers, Restaurant Shift Manager, Restaurant Shift Member.
  • Winter will soon be upon us!  Attend the annual Ski Hiring Fair on October 1 from 1 pm. to 4 pm. at Cascade Plaza in Banff.  


  • Apply to the CCIS Engineering & Technology Upgrading Program at any of their upcoming Information Sessions. The program provides newcomers with Engineering backgrounds with the necessary training to secure sustainable employment in their field of expertise.  Please see attached poster for more information.


  • The no-cost NCLEX-RN study group for internationally educated nurses from October 15, 2015 to January 28, 2016 (Thursdays) from 5:00 pm. to 8:00 pm.  .
  • The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) study group for internationally educated engineers. October 3, 2015 to February 6, 2016 (Saturdays) from 9:00 am. to 1:00 pm. (facilitated sessions) AND October 7, 2015 to February 3, 2016 (Wednesdays) from  5:30 pm. to 9:00 pm. (peer study)
  • Attend the East Calgary Employment and Resource Fair on October 24 from 10 am. to 3 pm. at the Forest Heights Community Association.  On October 21 from 5 pm to 9 pm there is a great opportunity to get help with your resume and interview skills before you come at the Job Fair Prep session. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

CIES to Attend 1000 Voices Job Fair

Here at CIES, we constantly assist our clients with plugging into all segments of the Calgary community. Today our Employment Skills Training (EST) classes will be attending the 1000 Voices and Alberta Works Hiring Fair. After in depth interview preparation, as well as resume planning, EST students will attend the fair armed and ready to go. Employers hiring at the fair include the Calgary international Airport, Home Depot, Loblaw, SEARS, SYSCO and Tim Horton's.

Attending job fairs and workshops are a regular part of training at CIES and our EST Program, as well as visits from guest speakers such as Employment Standards, Calgary Police, Financial Institutions such as ATB and many more. Check out the videos below for more information on the kind of training and services offered by CIES and good luck down there today everyone!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Life 2.0 - A CIES Documentary Film

As many of you know, CIES has moved into original video production over this last year. We are currently in the process of developing  a documentary on the process of integrating into Canadian life and more specifically, life here in Calgary after arriving in Alberta as a new immigrant. The goal is for the film to be released at some point next year and will include interviews with newcomers to Calgary, settlement agency representatives, as well as both municipal and provincial lawmakers and legislators. We are currently looking for people who are interested in sharing their ideas and stories in front of the camera. Give us a call @ 403-235-3666, contact us through Facebook, or send us a an email for details. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Great in Greater Forest Lawn is Back!

Back in June the artBOX hosted "Great in Greater Forest Lawn," a promotion run by the International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone.The concept was for people to pitch ways to improve Forest Lawn with little restriction as to how. Creativity was the name of the game. The winning pitches based on audience voting received funding to help get their projects up and running. The event brought the Forest Lawn community together and stressed the amount of potential the district of our city holds.

With the tremendous interest in the Great in Greater Forest Lawn event held in June, the International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone has decided to do it again. Great in Greater Forest Lawn - Part 2 is a special event that wants to change the way we think about our community. Do you have an idea that needs a little help or are you the one able to help make that idea a reality? Regardless, we need you to be a part of another exciting community event at artBOX on Tuesday, October 6 at 11:30 am.

All members of our community are welcome to pitch their ideas. Ideas can be business, art, project-based, music, community or event related and the only condition - it happens in our community. Back in June, CIES very own Diana Katsnelson, CLB 6/7 instructor from our NE location, and her pitch for the "little free library", a give a book \ take a book drop box, was selected as a winner. Organizers have once again arranged for a $2,500 total to be awarded over the lunch. So be a part of the social change and momentum we are creating together. Tickets are $10 and available on eventBrite. Proceeds go to the fund. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Humanitarian Crisis of Our Time

When a group of Syrian teenagers were arrested for spray-painting a challenge to the country's president on the wall of a school building back in 2011, they were held and tortured for weeks. Protests started calling for the president to resign and within a few months a full blown Civil War began ravaging the nation.

Syria’s Civil War is the humanitarian disaster of our time and the worst since the second World War. The conflict has produced nearly 250,000 deaths and most recent statistics suggest more than 11 million people have fled their homes. Making matters more tragic, 50% of all refugees are children who have lost everything - their parents, their friends, their schools, their homes - everything. The increasing impact on neighbouring countries and beyond is mounting. Make no mistake, this has evolved into a truly global crisis.

Millions of Syrians need help. And the more aware people are of the situation, the more a global response to reach them.  So take a few minutes today to understand the magnitude of this crisis — and find out how you can help.

Friday, September 4, 2015

CIES and Alberta Works - Upcoming Job Search Boot Camp

C.I.E.S believes that strong community partnerships are the best way to have both a meaningful and sustainable impact on the life of immigrants here in Calgary.

We are affiliated with a number of key organizations including the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies, Immigrant Sector Council of Calgary, Calgary Chamber of Volunteer Organizations, the Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary, Immigrant Services Calgary, Calgary Public Library, Calgary Immigrant Women Association, Women in Needs Society, Centre for Newcomers, Calgary Catholic Immigration Services, Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, Bow Valley College, Mount Royal University, The University of Calgary and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Initiatives for Change amongst others.

CIES often contributes to the community through voluntarism as well and the 22nd and 23nd of this month, will be doing so at the Alberta Works Job Search Boot Camp. EST Coordinator David Wright will attend, offering counselling and support of the event as well as presenting to participants of the camp what CIES has to offer. We are always happy to assist Alberta Works, Alberta Human Services, as well as Alberta Jobs, Skills,Training and Labour in the tremendous contributions they make to the Calgary community whenever we can.

The Boot Camp offers the same program each day and is not a two day event nor a job fair, but a workshop designed to improve one's job search skills. This invaluable and free workshop runs from 8:30 to 3:00 pm at Civic building on Third, 130 3 Avenue SE. Registration can be done online at the link below and in doing so will help participants:

  • Whip resumes into shape
  • March confidently into an interview
  • Learn how to build a team of support
  • Work with a job search personal trainer during the day
  • Receive coaching tips from HR professionals
  • Find out where to find follow up support

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

CIES Summer Festival Highlight Reel

As most all of you know, CIES held its 5th Annual Summer Festival last week. The day has already been captured in photos and shared with you all, but today we want to share with you our just completed video highlight reel of this amazing event. CIES would once again like to thank all those who attended and participated in the day's activities. We could not have put on such a truly wonderful day without you. Now on with the show!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Canadian Workplace Culture Website

Every workplace has its own culture. Canadian workplaces may be different than what those from other parts of the world are used to. The easiest way to figure out what that culture is, is to observe and ask. Here at CIES we incorporate workplace culture studies into our LINC program, and specialize in such within our Employment Skills Training Program (EST) .

Workplace culture revolves around those ever intangible soft skills so vital to career success in Canada.  Google defines soft skills as "personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people." In other words, everything from patience to the art of conversation, most all of which you will not touch upon in any kind of practical training.

Our very own Inna Terry, CLB 3/4 LINC instructor in our SE, has constructed a great website and wonderful resource regarding workplace culture in Canada. This Technology Language Learning Module is done within the framework of the course Language Teaching and Technology in the Interdisciplinary Master of Education (MEd) Program at the University of Calgary. Reading material, full lessons, and assessments are all included on the site and I encourage anyone applying workplace culture in the classroom to take a look. CLICK HERE to for her Canadian Workplace Culture Site. Thanks for sharing Inna!