Thursday, October 29, 2015

Childcare Education @ CIES

An initiative here at CIES that offers a tremendous opportunity to those with children at home but who still wish to study is our Childcare program.  To help students stay focused on their studies, and thus expediting their integration process into Canadian society, our free of charge childcare services are available to help nurture their children while they’re in class. By creating a welcoming environment, this program helps children between the ages of 19 months and 6 years build necessary social skills, establish new relationships, and, when necessary, cope with the effects of dislocation and trauma.

Our certified childcare specialists plan regular activities that are appropriate for the ages and abilities of participating children. In order to foster respect and understanding within a multicultural context, we encourage children’s creativity while taking into account their variations in physical, mental, and emotional development. Our team is dedicated to helping children to make a positive transition to Canadian society.

Halloween is a uniquely North American holiday and thus it was cultural day in some regards at CIES. Today the childcare team took our little ones for some in-house trick or treating, escorting them through CIES headquarters in the SE, from office to office. Candy was given to everyone and a great time was had by all. For pics of the day's fun CLICK HERE  and Happy Halloween from all of us here at CIES!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Calgary Jobs, Training and Information

CIES always does 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.


  • Kal Tire is hiring tire technicians for their busy fall season. On the spot interviews will be held at the North Hill Kal Tire on October 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  
  • Attend the Diversity in Supply Chain Career Fair on November 5 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the University of Calgary Down-town Campus. 
  • Loram, a North American railway maintenance company, is hiring General Labourers.  An orientation session and interviews will be held at the Fisher Park Alberta Works Centre on November 12 from 9 am. to 2 pm.  



  • The Opportunities Knock program can help you to improve your Job Search Skills and succeed in finding the job you want.  Attend their Open House Information Session on November 6 from 9 a.m. to noon.  Please see attached poster for more information.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

CIES - The New Era

For nearly three decades the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society has been an integral part of the Calgary community, having served more than 250,000 clients since 1988. As we move further into the 21st century, we continue our mission - to provide Calgary immigrants and economically disadvantaged individuals with a solid foothold in Canada and afford them the opportunities to grow into productive, confident and contributive Canadians - and today serve more than 1000 individual clients each and every day.

After several ideas and proposals, our Board of Directors voted in a new version of our logo and to no longer use a separate logo for our NE location. Further streamlining the Society, we now have only one website, rather than one for each location. The new logo has been swapped into all online entities (including right up top here on our blog) and you can click here to checkout our new improved and unified website.

With a solid and unified online presence in place that integrates our website with our blog, Facebook and Twitter pages, the latest initiatives now in the works include online scheduling and access, a shared filing system and online teachers resource centre, amongst others.

A call for an organizational upgrade and adaptation to the technological revolution of which we are now in the throes is now our mandate and this ongoing shift symbolizes how a bottom up, self-organizing system here at CIES, will help immigrants adapt to how Canadians both live and learn in today's world - and that is our ultimate goal.

Monday, October 26, 2015

CIES Set to Kick Off United Way Campaign

For more than two decades CIES has received funding, to varying degrees, from the United Way. In return, for some 20 years we have been participating in the workplace United Way Campaign and will kick off things for 2015 on November 1st. Via a variety of events, CIES will raise money throughout November and at month's end will donate all proceeds to the United Way. An truly invaluable arm of the community, the United Way provides Calgary with the services and programs that are needed to improve the quality of life for our most vulnerable citizens. This is no doubt why we are always grateful for the opportunity to participate in this yearly campaign.

A few of our fundraising activities for the United Way can be see below:
  1. Jeans day. Staff can pay $5.00 for the week or $2 a day. Fridays are still casual days so there will be no need to pay on Fridays.
  2. Change/coin drive – classes collect coins for the month and the class that collects the most coins will receive a pizza party!!
  3. Yard Sale/Student Bake Sale on November 17. $5 to rent a table. All proceeds of table rental will go to United Way. Proceeds made at the table with go to class/individual running the table.
  4. Bake Sale (Details to come)
For more information about the United Way and how you can help simply visit their website

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Neighbourlink Moves Forward

About six months ago, the Calgary charity NeighbourLink was set to close its doors, but director of operations Nikki Golnik wasn't having any of it. After months of hard work, and voluntarism by many, former employees and otherwise, NeighbourLink will be ready to once again take on new clients as of November 2, 2015.

Chris Jost, NeighbourLink’s new executive director, also played a vital role in the long standing organization's resurrection. Dedicating himself fully to getting this truly valuable organization back on its feet, Jost went to work and said that Neighbourlink owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to their creditors, who forgave the organization’s debt.

NeighbourLink primarily assists people who are transitioning out of homelessness by providing them with furniture and other household items, as well cribs, diapers and formula to families in need. We would like to congratulate Nikki and Chris, as well as all those who worked so tirelessly to save what is a much needed charitable organization and long-serving organization here in the city of Calgary. And remember, we here at CIES are ready to do whatever we can to help. Best of luck in the new Era of Neighbourlink!

You can help with donations of furniture and diapers and baby formula are always welcome. Like Neighbourlink on Facebook or visit the organization’s website for more information 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Calgary Downturn in Oil and Gas Creates 'Multiskilling'

Research reveals that the oil price is expected to hover between $40/bbl and 60$/bbl throughout 2016 with little chance of recovery until 2017. Many oil and gas related jobs will continue to disappear in Calgary and many like myself may never return to the business.

The down turn will likely continue in Calgary as profits from oil and gas, service, financial, construction, trucking and real estate industries will decline.  On the flip side some industry sectors like health care, social services, warehousing and logistics will continue to see growth.

The future of the oil and gas industry in Calgary will likely involve more downsizing, salary reductions and increased cost cutting as the industry transforms itself.

Successful companies will likely use a "Multiskilling" approach to jobs.  The idea is that with investment in re-training, one skilled worker can become proficient at doing the job of two or three skilled workers.  While I believe that cross-training should always be encouraged there are advantages and disadvantages.

Multiskilling can improve workforce quality, increase reliability and advance careers.  Specialists can be reassigned more easily, the workforce is more flexible and overall operational costs can be substantially reduced.

While it may reduce costs for some specialized roles in the oil and gas industry there can be no substitute for years of on the job experience.  Multiskilling will increase individual workloads and increase stress, and there may be a higher risk of accidents with employees that have limited experience and are unfamiliar with procedures.

Double Rainbow Over A Canadian RigMultiskilling will become a calculated risk the longer the downturn continues and cost reduction activities are needed.  Companies will need to practice restraint and be more cautious.  The problem is that cost efficiency measures will tend to continue despite future recovery.

As the experience drain continues a greater range of responsibilities are placed on oil and gas staff.  Hopefully overall cost savings from multiskilling are not lost to increases in incidents.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Alberta Human Services

Canada has always been a nation of immigrants and continues to both support and need immigration to maintain, grow and prosper as a nation. Here in Alberta, Alberta Human Services are one of many wings of the provincial government that greatly assists newcomers to Calgary, as well as all Albertans.

Their mandate is to assist Albertans in creating the conditions for safe and supportive homes and communities so they have opportunities to realize their full potential. Human Services core business is to work collaboratively with government, community, partners and stakeholders to deliver citizen-centred programs and services that improve quality of life for Albertans.

 For more information click here to visit their website. It is truly an invaluable resource to any Albertan, most especially those new to the province and to the city of Calgary.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Public access, educational and governmental television are local TV channels that provide programming as diverse as the communities in which they’re based. By extension, public access TV plays a very important role in constructing community identity. Offerings range from local events and services to city council meetings to community sporting events, and a whole lot in between. Shaw TV Calgary is a cable television community channel operated by Shaw Communications. The channel operates on cable channel 10.

In the days of budget cuts and the internet, public access community television has taken some knocks. The importance of local community media however, cannot be understated. I was once channel surfing with a couple of friends late one evening, when suddenly one of them shouted out "that's my old volleyball coach". It turned out her former coach was an activist promoting more participation for young girls in sports, and in her spare time and hosted a once-a-month program on the benefits of sports for young women. We weren't looking for information on sports or gender issues. We watched the program because we knew the person. And we continued to watch because we learned something: not only about the subject at hand but about someone who lived in our community. That's the importance of community media: that proximity, that sense of relativity, that brings issues and people together that may very well never cross paths even though they live side by side.

Shaw TV and Hello-Bonjour Alberta Access Producer Suzanne de Courville Nicol invited CIES to talk about the work we do for the Calgary community. Hello-Bonjour Alberta hosts Ann Boiteau and Marc Lalonde introduce Francophile personalities and community leaders who share their stories in English and French. It was a pleasure for us to stop by and share our Society's mission and would like to thank both Suzanne and Shaw TV for their continuous efforts on behalf of the Calgary Community. For more pictures of the evening's shoot CLICK HERE.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

CIES: Who We Are - Part II

The biggest part of what makes CIES possible are the many clients we serve each year, more than a quarter million people since opening our doors in 1988. In part II of our original 7 part series "Who We Are" we talk to Ms. Ashorina Yalda,  former EST student at our SE Location in Forest Lawn. One of our more interesting and practical courses, the Employment Skills Training Program is run by David Wright and taught by Celia Ho and Alex Hadden at our SE location. The three month course has been successfully running four times a year for the passed six years. Deadline for registration for our latest EST program is this Friday, October 23rd! 

Congrats Blue Jays

For a country like Canada , with a deep and rich sport culture, last night was a game for the ages. With the Jays playing under protest after the Rangers scored a bizarre go-ahead run in the top of the seventh inning, Jose Bautista nearly blew the roof off the Rogers Centre by hitting a game-breaking, three-run homer that sent the already hyper-charged and aggressive crowd into a complete and total frenzy.

The Nation can take a breath now. It’s over. In a wild and emotion filled game the likes of which not only the Blue jays, but Baseball may have never seen before,  the Blue Jays won the winner-take-all series finale against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday and will now advance to the American League Championship Series. Congratulations to Canada\s team and bring on Kansas City!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Calgary Jobs, Information and Training

CIES always does 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 are a few opportunities worth checking out. Click on the provided posters for more details.

  • Cargill Meat Solutions is hiring full-time permanent Butchers and Meat Cutters.  
  • Growth 4 U is looking for individuals who suffer from mental illness to join their Supported Employment Program. Growth 4 U provides employment and personal development related workshops and paid work experience placements. 
  • Options 45 is hosting the Boomers at Work: Navigating the Modern Job Market event for Mature Job Seekers on October 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kerby Centre.  

Friday, October 9, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from CIES

Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday of October each year and is an official statutory holiday, except for PEI, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia where they do not recognize Thanksgiving as such. The original idea is to give thanks for the past harvest season, but for many Canadian families the tradition has changed over time and the focus is now on spending time with family and loved ones, around big turkey dinner. Apple cider, turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie are all traditional items on the dinner table. The first Thanksgiving holiday was held in Canada in 1872 and was actually to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales from a serious illness. After 1879 celebrations were held every year.

In the end, it's simply a holiday to remind all of us to be thankful for what we have. From all from us at CIES, Happy Thanksgiving and thank you!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The History Wrangler Visits CIES

On Thursday CIES was given a special treat in the form of a visit and presentation from the one and only History Wrangler Rob Lennard. A Historian and the Director of Education & Outreach for the Historic Ranch and Fish Creek Provincial Park, Rob is a self-proclaimed VPA (Very Proud Albertan) and this very much shines through in his entertaining and informative presentation entitled Amazing Alberta History for New Albertans.

Rob clearly exhibits passion and a genuine interest for what he does, as his energy hits the back row with full force. Also well versed and in his field, he was able to engage a room of nearly 70 CIES clients and staff throughout his presentation.  All in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the musical, theatrical and interactive show and he undoubtedly supplied a greater appreciation for Alberta history in the process. Thanks for stopping by Rob and keep on doing what you're doing, you are a great son to Alberta! For more pictures of Rob's visit CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

CIES Attends and Receives Funding at Great in Greater Forest Lawn

Great in Greater Forest Lawn is a promotion run by the International Avenue Business Revitalization ZoneThe concept is for people to pitch ways to improve and contribute to Forest Lawn with little restriction as to how. Creativity is the name of the game. The winning pitches are based on audience voting and receive funding to help get their projects up and running. The event brings the Forest Lawn community together and stresses the amount of potential the district of our city holds.

Yesterday GIG II took place once again at the artBOX on 17E and many interesting ideas were shared. CIES was rewarded for its commitment to making Forest Lawn the best it can be, with both CIES LINC teacher Graham Mackenzie along with Drop-in and Volunteer Manager Melissa McKinnon receiving funding for the proposed projects. 

Lastly, a big thank you and tip of the hat the International Ave's BRZ for this truly wonderful initiative. The organizations stated mission is to promote, improve and create a more pleasant community in which to shop and live. The extension of this is pride and an improved sense of community pride in Forest Lawn and we both applaud and fully support them in their efforts. For more pictures of the event CLICK HERE. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Canadian Workplace Culture Expert Matt Adolphe Visits CIES

CIES was paid a visit by Matt Adolphe, an internationally-experienced communication expert, to talk to our clients about workplace culture in Canada. In his book of the Canadian Workplace Culture: Mastering the Unspoken Rules, he explains why certain behaviours don’t work in Canadian workplaces and uses familiar situations to highlight what happens when you get it wrong. The rules Adolphe reveals are supplemented by quizzes that assist the reader in comprehending the main points.

The goal of the book and its self-assessment is to reduce the behaviours that will be seen as undesirable and impeding to a newcomers career, while strengthening those aspects of their personalities that lead to integration and thus more workplace success in Canada.

Our clients truly enjoyed Adolphe's presentation revealing Canadian Workplace Culture to be a reader-friendly book that will be useful for those about to enter the workforce, immigrating to or studying in Canada or who would simply like to be more successful at work. Human Resource professionals would be wise to keep this book on their desk as well. On a side note, Matt revealed to CIES a follow up book is soon on its way and he'll sit down and talk to us about it next month!

Author Matt Adolphe

Monday, October 5, 2015

Calgary Jobs, Information and Training

CIES always does 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. 


  • 1-week Clear Communication for Business for internationally educated professionals in any occupation from November 16 to 20, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  
  • EmployMe Calgary offers industry-recognized training, certification, work experience and job placement! Next program starts October 19, 2015. 
  • McBride Career Group is currently accepting application to their Residential and Commercial Installers and Services (RCIS) program.


  • Career, Education and Settlement Fair at Telus Convention Centre offers a unique and exciting environment for immigrants who are looking for information and inspiration as they look for jobs, go back to school, and settle into their new home. Free admission!
  • An information session specifically designed for mature job seekers will be held at the Kerby Centre October 20th from 9:00 am am to 2:00 pm. 


  • The Bilingual Job Fair Calgary connects hiring companies with qualified and professional bilingual candidates from the Greater Calgary and will be held at Bow Valley College on October 21 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Friday, October 2, 2015

CIES Clothing Drive

In the face of a national economic recession, it is important for all citizens to help bolster families and neighbourhoods struck by adversity. Families right here in Calgary and across the country find themselves in transition and could use your help to meet their most immediate needs. From October 1st to October 8th, CIES is holding its Fall Clothing Drive.

Take a look through your closet and pull out that shirt you haven's worn since 2009, those pants that don't fit any more, the shoes stuck way in the back that havent seen daylight in years, or those hats that just don't match your latest fashion statements and bring them on down to either of our locations - 1723 40th Street SE or 3820 32nd Street NE. All those who make a donation will have their name entered into our Thanksgiving Turkey Draw! If you have any questions, be sure to give us a call and help us help those who need it most.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

CIES Field Trip - Dinosaur Provincial Park

Students and staff from both our SE and NE locations journeyed to Drumheller this week for a memorable field trip to Alberta's Badlands. Jump back in time as much as 145 million years and much of North America was a lush subtropical habitat complete with a vast inland sea. This is where the dinosaurs roamed. Fast forward to the present and we now can stand among eroded chimneys of rock and maroon-striped canyons of Alberta'a Badlands. This ancient seabed is home to the world’s richest deposits of prehistoric fossils and dinosaur finds. Since the 19th century, many of the most important discoveries were made right here in our province.

The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology is a world class facility which houses the largest collection of cretaceous fossils on the planet, including dozens of reconstructed skeletons. The Museum is located in Dinosaur Provincial Park, which itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its bonebeds and much of the Tyrrell’s excavations take place through their field station there. For most of our clients and even some of our staff,  the sites offered in Drumheller were unimaginable and a true experience of a lifetime. For more pics of the trip CLICK HERE.