Friday, April 29, 2016

CIES Attends WeEmploy Inaugural Round-Table hosted by Canadian Icon Tom Jackson

He walked slowly to the front of the room, his tall slender frame seeming to have a sense of effortlessness as he moved. For a moment, he just stood and looked across the people in front of him through his dark, almond shaped eyes. "You know me... but there is something you don’t know," he said in his deep baritone voice that instantly seemed to ring with truth.

"I love you....  I love all of you....  you saved my life."

The tall, slender man in front of us was Canadian icon Tom Jackson. The group he was addressing was a collection of key local Calgary area non profits. His love was for those people and their organizations who dedicate themselves to helping those is need. His connection was once being a 38 year old man suffering from addiction, homeless and living in a crawl space,  before discovering how helping others in fact would be the only way he could save himself. There is no doubt, the story of Tom Jackson is the stuff of legend. Born on the One Arrow Reserve in Saskatchewan to an English father and Cree mother, and raised largely in Winnipeg, Jackson has been an actor, singer, producer and activist for over 40 years, and is well known for his dedication to helping the less fortunate.

CIES was in attendance of an event hosted by Jackson and put on by WeEmploy. Jackson has put his full support behind their vision and shared his views and insights on working with not-for-profits and bringing communities together for social initiatives. 

WeEmploy is a digital platform that facilitates the matching of employers and charitable organizations with individuals who are seeking employment and volunteer positions. Backed by over 30 years of experience, WeEmploy empowers the market with knowledge and expertise in staffing and recruitment, job boards, social recruiting and voluntarism.

Seeking to break the status quo, WeEmploy leverages its intelligent applicant and network database to eliminate barriers between employers and job-seekers, at a competitive rate. Its rich, streamlined applicant database is designed to make the recruitment process efficient and cost-effective. To date, WeEmploy Inc. has provided services valued at more than $$250,000 to charitable sectors in Canada and the US, having helped 85 charities so far in our rapidly expanding network.

As a social enterprise (company with purpose and profit), WeEmploy gives back by offering charities within the WeEmploy network free use of their services to post staff and volunteer positions; access to a database of work-ready job-seekers; and the opportunity to create community awareness for their cause.

CIES is excited at the possibilities of utilizing and collaborating with WeEmploy and fully supports their vision. For More photos of the event CLICK HERE and be sure to watch the incredibly moving video below. We very much look forward to where the future takes us with this worthwhile project!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CIES to Attend Neighbourlink Event

Last year at this time, the Calgary charity NeighbourLink was on the verge of insolvency, but director of operations Nikki Golnik wasn't having any of it. After months of hard work, and voluntarism by many, former employees, NeighbourLink was resurrected. 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.Today they are again a vibrant organization making an impact in our community.

Neighbourlink would like to share their journey over the last year. They have returned to their roots; they are volunteer driven and focused on vulnerable Calgarians especially infants. You are invited to hear about the restructuring of their programs, meet some of their new partners and celebrate their amazing volunteers on May 13th. Plus, it all takes place in their new home at 3751 21 Street Northeast. CIES will be there to support them on this special day and you too are invited. You are welcome to arrive as early as noon and take a tour, mingle and/or enjoy the festivities! The program starts at 1:30 p.m. For More information please contact As a lunch is being served an RSVP is required. To do so simply CLICK HERE.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Calgary's Sudanese Community Empowers Youth

This Saturday and the Dover Community Association the Sudanese community of Calgary is empowering its youth with a day of self-discovery and connectivity.

With a practical goal and mission of building bridges across the Canadian cultures, the South Sudanese Community Association of Calgary made it their priority to embrace the identity of their new country. With the objective of nurturing the new community, the executives focus on the creation of events to signify their commitment for building bridges that leads to the integration. This was inclusive strategy has helped to bridge the gaps in building new relations with others and reduce isolations to the community members. The community embarks for strategies to embrace diversity envisioned many ways of achieving the societal mission:

For more information on this and other events call 403-903-9936.

CIES Community Investors XV - The Cinderella Gown Project

The 15th non-profit highlighted in the CIES Community Investors Series is the Cinderella Gown Project.  Graduation is every high school student’s rite of passage, a milestone in any young person’s life, and as graduation dates draw closer the Calgary Board of Education is gearing up for their annual Cinderella Gown Project.

The Cinderella Gown Project began in Calgary in 2005 as a small project by several Sir Winston Churchill High School staff & Fashion students. The goal was to collect 20 to 30 previously loved and gently used graduation and formal dresses for students from different Calgary high schools that were not financially able to attend their graduation banquets. The first year over 100 Cinderellas were in attendance and the legacy began. Now the project invites over 325 Cinderellas each year with 50 high schools participating.

The Cinderella Gown Project helps teens in need realize their dreams for high school graduation. The program is discreet, and celebrates the diversity and educational achievement of our youth. For many Cinderellas the path to high school graduation has been a difficult one that we would like to reward and honour.

The Cinderella vision is to meet the growing need for every Calgary area grade 12 female graduate to complete their high school requirements and attend their graduation celebration in the dress of their dreams, regardless of social or financial circumstance. The Cinderella Gown Project creates an environment of respect so that each participant can uphold their dignity and feel proud to participate in their graduation along with all of their peers. The organization believes, and rightfully so, that graduation is a significant educational milestone; one of the first important steps in establishing responsible citizens in the broader community.

CIES would like to extend our thanks to the Cinderella Gown Project for making a truly special day in a young person's life come to life.  For more information, along with volunteer and donation opportunities, please visit their website.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The CIES REDI Program

With wait-lists often being long and the need for refugees to improve their English being high, CIES has opened a new program to address the gap. The CIES Refugee Express Drop-In ESL & Integration Program is a fast track language training and social integration program designed for refugees to learn essential vocabulary and basic language skills and put hands on basic real life tasks in order to function in Calgary communities as soon as possible. 

The community engagement modules will cover the most basic and immediate needs in life. Community engagement activities will give students the opportunity to visit Calgary Transit Office and apply for low-income passes, to go to grocery stores to learn to pay, and so on. In addition, presenters from banks, City, Calgary Housing, Calgary Board of Education, Alberta Health Services, Calgary Police Service, and other community service providers will be invited to give workshops. Through the field trips and workshops, students will have hands-on experience on each real life tasks that will enable them to function in the Canadian society.

For a summary of the program in Arabic (with English subtitles) simply click below. 

CIES Attends CBFY Youth Conference

The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth put on their 2016 Youth Conference this past Friday and CIES was very happy to attend.

There's no question, the power youth is a recognized force in the world today. Young people always have been in fact, but today, with the advent of the internet and social media platforms, the voice of young people is being heard at levels never before reached.

It's not overstating to say the very vision of Canada lies in the hands of our youth. They are filled with tremendous and towering ambitions and the youth of today must be given an opportunity to nurture and implement their talent, creativity and ideas. Its often easy to forget that they are in fact our future and it is up to us as a community to make sure our future generations are equipped with the assets they need to thrive. Social support networks, empowerment, boundaries, self-esteem, value systems and social competencies are examples of asset building - and our youth are every nation's biggest asset. That was the foundational concept behind the conference and CIES salutes CBFY and all the supporting organizations that took part on what was a wonderful day for all involved. For more pictures of the event CLICK HERE.  

Friday, April 22, 2016

CIES Attends Syrian Refugee Settlement Update Forum

Yesterday CIES attended the latest Syrian Refugee Settlement Forum at the John Dutton Theatre, where a detailed breakdown of the numbers were shared. By all accounts the local community of Calgary is being held up as an prime example of efficient, caring, organized planning and lauded as the best handling of refugee settlement in the country.

So many organizations have worked hard to make this happen that it's hard to acknowledge all. but CIES Community parters in settlement - Centre for Newcomers, Immigrant Services Calgary, Calgary Immigrant Woman's Association, Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth and the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society - would be a good place to start. So many other organizations, from the Distress Centre and the Calgary Food Bank to Women in Need and Neighbourlink, just to name a few, have contributed to the process and of course, the Office of the Mayor has been instrumental from the beginning. Additionally, the people of our great city have volunteered thousands of hours of their time to the process and all that has been done could not have been done without them.  If there was ever a time for the city to take a step back and be proud... this is it. 

And now, as was often said at the forum, the work begins. Settlement is long term process and there is still much to do. Further still, with about 65% of the total number of refugees arriving in Calgary being under 18 years of age, ensuring the future of our youth becomes a priority for all of us. Notwithstanding, with the many passionate community investors the City of Calgary has we will be more than up for the task. 

As of March 1st, the City of Calgary has taken in 600 government sponsored refugees, 690 privately sponsored refugees and 99 who qualify as a combination of both - for a total of 1399 refugees. These 1399 refugees are residing in approximately 260 housing units of varying sizes throughout the city. On top of that, 259 children have already been registered and are attending classes in the city's public school system. For more photos of the forum and more detailed breakdown of the numbers presented CLICK HERE. And congratulations Calgary on a job well done!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Major Minor Music Project Takes On The Local Hip Hop Scene

Saturday April 30th will mark the third gig for the Major Minor Music Project. The monthly concerts promote artistic experimentation and excellence in a professional setting, leveraging industry standard technology to showcase music and arts. The events have fused with experiential learning opportunities and a volunteer-driven structure that engages young people and new Canadians in the arts, fosters inter-generational communication and gives constituents the skills necessary to pursue their creative and professional passions.

After the two previous shows were stocked heavily with a rock / punk / metal flavour, April's gig will take a hard left and head straight on to Hip Hop. Calgary is a city of 1.2 million people with the second youngest population in the country but one would be hard pressed to call the local hip hop scene very relevant nationally.  Toronto, Halifax, Edmonton and Montreal have all produced names over recent years, while Calgary has struggled to find its voice.  Without question there is talent in the city’s rap scene - Ayoo Angie, Halfcut and A.Y.E. along with the often overlooked Major Minor III headliner Dragon Fli Empire have all offered up prime work, but the marketing element has been plodding along and left behind. This also drains the interest of the city's young people and diverts its creativity towards other genres of music. 

Grass-roots all ages projects like Major Minor and its latest gig are a great way to reach and inspire the next generation of hip hop artists here in Calgary. For a compete run down (featuring Dragon Fli Empire's single Superhero) of all who will preforming on April 30th, just click below.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Join CIES and the BRZ for Earth Day Friday April 22nd @ the artBOX

Earth Day is an annual event created to  raise public awareness about pollution and celebrate the beauty of our environment. Every year on April 22 Earth Day is observed the world over with conferences, outdoor activities and projects.The idea for Earth Day was originated with former American Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin and was first celebrated in 1970. Now an internationally coordinated event Earth day is celebrated by 192 countries.This year CIES, along with our 17E neighbour International Ave's BRZ will be doing a street clean up in Forest Lawn beginning at 10:30 am. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

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.

Next week is Alberta Works Week and from Monday April 25th through Friday April 29th, there are a wide array of events and activities for to see seeking employment and training services here in Calgary. Check out the info below and see what's right for you! 

1. Connections: Taking Charge - Shifting Gears 
Explore training and get connected to over 50 agencies, in one place and at one time, that provide specialized career and employment services.
Date:  Monday, April 25
Time:  5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where:  Palomino Room, BMO Centre, Stampede Grounds
Questions?  Send email to

2. Is Self-Employment Right for You?
Guest speaker from Momentum at the Radisson Alberta Works Centre, sharing useful information on starting a business and key factors to success as an entrepreneur.
Date:  Tuesday, April 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 
           Thursday, April 28 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where:  525 28 Street S.E.

3. Taking Charge
Hosted by the Talent Pool, representatives from three industry sectors - Biotalent, Landscaping & Horticulture and Supply Chain will be sharing in-depth information on career paths and employment opportunities in their individual sectors, as well as strategies on how to transition into these industries.
Date: Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 28
Time: 8:30 a.m. to Noon
Where: (Location Update)  April 27 session at Bow Valley College.  April 28 session at John Dutton Theater, Central Library.
More information:  Talent Pool Hub

4. Fast Track to Employment
Information session on effective work search practices and resources available to get work.
Date: Wednesday, April 27 
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Where:  4th Floor, 855 8 Avenue S.W. 
Register:  Fast Track to Employment

5. Careers in Retail and Service Industry
EmployMe Calgary will be onsite at the One Executive Place Alberta Works Centre to speak to job seekers interested in careers in this sector.  
Date:  Thursday, April 28
Time:  9:00 a.m. to Noon
Where:  1816 Crowchild Trail N.W.
Questions?  send email to

6. Opportunities Knock 
Job Search Skills program can help you get back to work by increasing your job search and retention skills. Attend their Open House Info Session to learn more! 
Date: Friday, April 29
Time: 9:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. 
Location: Suite 240, 734 - 7 Ave S.W. (+15 level) 
More information: Opportunities Knock

7. Starbucks Youth Resource Fair
Hosted by the Youth Employment Centre for youth aged 15-24.  Not sure how to get a customer service job? Get a resumé review, job interview tips, insight on world class customer service and coffee education from the experts.
Date:  Friday, April 29
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where:  Youth Employment Centre, 2nd Floor, 315 10 Ave. S.E. 

CIES to Attend Social Media Breakfast

The Social Media Breakfast here in Calgary has been ongoing since November 2009. The monthly meeting of social media enthusiasts, is at a different location each month with venue sponsors providing space and speakers donating their time. Started by Scott Baird nearly 7 years ago, the event quickly grew from 20 or so participants to upwards towards 100 attendees monthly. Events continue to attract 100 + people, the steering committee has expanded to 9 members, and the brand now has 8 regular sponsors.

The 75th Social Media Breakfast will take place this Friday, April 22nd.  The University of Calgary has donated the venue for this latest incarnation of the breakfast, and U of C just happens to be turning 50 this week. It is sure to me a morning of millstones. We look forward to the event and will let you know how it goes. For more information click here.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Message From CIES Board of Directors President

As The Calgary Immigrant Educational Society moves into its 28th year of existence, our Board of Directors President M'Liss Edwards sat down to talk about the history of an organization that has helped well over 250,000 immigrants settle into the city of Calgary. Her vision for the future of CIES is the same as it has been from day one; to serve newcomers and help alleviate the effects of dislocation and trauma through English, employment, and skills-based training, all while finding the peace and safety found in being a part of Canadian culture.

Call for Vendors for Outdoor Summer Market

Thinking of opening a new business? Have a business idea but want to test the concept with potential customers first? Why not test the waters in the Greater Forest Lawn.

Sponsored by the International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone, Emerge Market is looking for entrepreneurs for an exciting new outdoor market in your local Greater Forest Lawn neighbourhood. This will be a unique market unlike any other market in the city; a fantastic opportunity and at only $35 a table for an entire weekend you cant beat the price! A summer, outdoor market. it will start the first weekend of July and continuing throughout the summer until the first weekend of September. CIES is excited for the market to start up as several of our clients will be taking up a table for a weekend and we couldn't be more supportive of yet another great community project for International Ave's BRZ.

The mission is to create a vibrant outdoor market to foster the spirit of the community and to give entrepreneurs a chance to operate in a low cost market to test their ideas.

Emerge Market is a short-term operation for the sale of items, prepared food, creative handy work, art work, and items under the direction of a designated operator. As consumers look to source locally produced and support local economies by buying product close to home, the popularity of the market continues to grow substantially. Make your hobby a business. Please call 403-248-7288 for more information and to apply to be a vendor for the market!

CIES Expansion Means Childcare Services Continue to Grow

CIES offers nearly 60 LINC classes seven days a week and our Employment Skills Training Program is now being offered at both locations. By extension, with child care services being provided for all LINC and EST clients, we have more little international citizens (a capacity of near 200) under our roofs than ever before.

To help students stay focused on their studies, CIES offers free of charge child-minding services 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 staff plans 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 also 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.

All of of us here at CIES love our little united nations running around and count it as both a privilege and joy to help them through an important part of the lives and always look forward to seeing the faces that most brighten our day. For more details about our Childcare for newcomer Children Program please visit our website or call us any time!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Community Investors XIV - Calgary Bridge Foundation For Youth

The 14th non-profit highlighted in the CIES Community Investors Series is the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth. Since 1990 the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth (CBFY) engages immigrant youth and families to fulfil their potential in Canadian Society bridging the Journey to Canadian Life

Their programs focus on building knowledge of Canada and Calgary’s culture; active participation and integration within the local community; improved English language skills; development of personal, social and leadership skills; and successful graduation from school. Their staff is culturally sensitive to the needs of individuals from varying cultures and communities. The CBFY also tailors their support to youth and their families based on their background, experience, and level of need. Every interaction is meant to ease the journey to Canadian life for newcomers and immigrants.

CBFY perceives education, information, and family support to be essential to the successful development of immigrant youth and are committed to the application of sound educational principles, to the improvement of communication among cultural communities, to collaboration, cooperation, and coordination with other agencies and institutions of similar or related purpose, and to programming that is practical and contextually relevant to youth.

CIES extends its thanks for the invaluable contribution the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth has been making to our community for more than 25 years. The youth of any community is always its greatest resource and we congratulate them on the outstanding work they do for the city of Calgary. For more information, along with volunteer and donation opportunities, please visit their website.

Monday, April 11, 2016

CIES Celebrates National Volunteer Week

Volunteers are the backbone of Calgary Immigrant Educational Society. Their commitment and contribution allow us to provide more comprehensive services to our clients. Their generosity and commitment help adult immigrants acquire and polish their English language skills, familiarize with Canadian culture, and integrate into Canadian society smoothly. Besides helping in ESL programs such as Drop-In ESL, Literacy and Basic English and LINC as volunteer tutors or teachers’ assistants, there are individuals who assisted in areas such as maintaining computers, helping in computer classes or providing administrative assistance. Moreover, we have volunteers who prepare tax returns for economically challenged members and seniors in our communities in March and April every year.

Our previous fiscal year, our Board of Directors, our staff and 110 volunteers contributed a total of 10,828 hours to our Society. We are fortunate to have a group of dedicated volunteers for all of our programs, especially our ESL volunteer tutors who play a vital role in the success of Drop-In ESL program. Without their commitment, we would not be able to offer and run the program at all. Their dedication and commitment have a tremendous impact on the adult immigrants who come to our Society not only for learning English language, but also understanding Canadian culture. The more positive interactions new Canadians have with other Calgarians, the easier it would be for them to find a sense of belonging in Canada.

Therefore, each of our volunteers’ support is significant and collectively becomes the most valuable asset of CIES. Thanks to each and ever one of you. CIES could not be the organization it is today without you! 

CIES Continued Expansion Means Employment Skills Training Now Available at Both Locations

The Employment Skills Training program (EST) launched in 2009 has now about to complete its 8th year of helping financially challenged newcomers in Calgary find suitable employment. This year however, the EST program, which has always only been offered at our SE location in Forest Lawn, is now also available at our NE Location in Whitehorn.

With an average 75% success rate the program has been very successful. Over 600 students have now completed the program, with EST students improving their workplace knowledge, their marketable skills, increasing their self-esteem and confidence levels, and securing suitable employment. The best part is that the EST program is a free, full-time program for permanent residents and refugees that have been in Calgary for less than 5 years.

This 310 hour (3 Month) program includes computer training in Microsoft Office, hardware and
software training, business communications training including Canadian Business Culture, and
job finding strategies as well as targeted cover letters, resumes and interview skills.Numerous guest speakers from different economic sectors present to the EST students about Canadian Business Culture, soft skills, interview techniques and how to secure a suitable job in Canada. There is also an optional one month voluntary job practicum at the programs end. For a both a testimonial as well as a full summary of the program simply click the below.

CIES Takes in The Whale

Classes from both of our locations recently went to the Cineplex Odeon at Eau Claire Market to see the Canadian documentary film, “The Whale.”  This film tells the real life story of a young orca that gets separated from its pod in Nootka Sound, (a fjord on the west side of Vancouver Island), and about the subsequent debate about what level of human interaction with this seemingly lonely, curious, and “friendly” killer whale was simultaneously viewed as either necessary, harmful, or somewhere in between based upon a variety of perspectives. The perspectives come from numerous groups including: local residents, biologists, a local aboriginal group, and representatives from the federal government’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

For those of us who were able to stay after the movie, Dr. Peter Ewins,  a World Wildlife Fund zoologist, was on hand to answer students’ questions, engage in interactive activities with the attending students, and showcase whale teeth and baleen from various whales that can be found off the coasts of Canada.

The free screening of this film was made possible through the support of Bow Valley College, and the non profit organization Reel Canada which “celebrates Canada through film,”  and has a program entitled, “Our Films in our Schools,” which we were able to participate in. This program has a stated goal of “[ing] teachers and students across Canada organize festivals of Canadian film in their schools, and integrate Canadian film into the classroom.”

Friday, April 8, 2016

Next Major Minor Show April 30th @ the artBOX

CIES' very own Graham Mackenzie, (fresh off his Pho Down Grant) working in association with International Avenue's Business Revitalization Zone, has been spearheading an absolutely great project right here in Forest Lawn. The Major Minor Music Project is an all-ages volunteer-fuelled music and arts event organization. By engaging participants at all levels of music production and community organizing, Major Minor fulfils its mission to foster a participatory creative culture through popular music concerts, arts programs, experiential learning and volunteer opportunities for all ages, especially young people. Major Minor’s programs are always all ages, with a focus on young people ages 14 to 24 and new Canadians.

The latest Major Minor gig  at the artBOX will take a shift to the always colourful and culturally rich Hip-Hop / Rap genre, and will take place on April 30th. More Details in the poster below and hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Earth Day is Coming - What on Earth Will You do For Earth Day?

We sometimes forget just how wondrous, how awe inspiring, and how breath takingly beautiful our planet truly is. The video message below, put together by CIES productions, will no doubt remind you - a message to remind all of us that Friday, April 22nd is Earth Day. 

Earth Day is an annual event created to  raise public awareness about pollution and celebrate the beauty of our environment. Every year on April 22 Earth Day is observed the world over with conferences, outdoor activities and projects. The idea for Earth Day was originated with former American Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin and was first celebrated in 1970. Now an internationally coordinated event Earth day is celebrated by 192 countries.

Earth Day started out as a small grass roots movement and garnered public support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They have contributed to the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act and several other environmental laws.

This year CIES, along with our 17E neighbour International Ave's BRZ will be doing a street clean up in Forest Lawn. Other activities to be announced next week but for now click below to take in the beauty of our world. 

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.

  • The Warehouse & Logistic Skills Training program, offered by Centric Health Life Mark, is starting on April 26.  
  • Heavy Duty Mechanics Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program at Momentum starts May 2. 
  • The Making Changes program starts May 2 to June 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (every Monday for 7 weeks) at the Salvation Army Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre. 


  • Join Immigrant Services Calgary for an Information Session on April 21 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on how to advance your language, education, and career goals.  


  • Postmedia is hosting a Job Fair on April 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Edmonton.   


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

CIES Continued Expansion Means Several Career Opportunities Now Available

With nearly 30 years of experience, the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society has a long history of supporting new Canadians and is a cornerstone of our city's immigration sector. Aside from our proven track record, with more than 50 countries represented under our roof very day, we are which with culture and global perspective, If you are interested in becoming part of our team, our continued expansion and growth has resulted in several career opportunities. To apply for any position you see below simply visit our website. 

Language Instruction For Newcomers To Canada (LINC) Department
  • LINC Program Instructor
  • NEW ​LINC (Part-Time Evening) Program Instructor
  • LINC Coordinator (Full-Time) - Temporary
  • LINC Substitute Instructor
Care For Newcomer Children Department
  • Part-Time CNC Educator (LINC)
  • CNC: Substitute Educator
  • NEW Part-Time CNC Educator (REDI)

Calgary Zoo Now Offers Free Membership to All Refugees

The Calgary Zoo has made a wonderful offer to any refugees here in Calgary - free year long memberships for the entire family. The individuals who qualify for this free membership are Government Assisted Refugees, Privately Sponsored Refugees, Blended Visa Office Referred Refugees, BVOR and BSR.

You can activate your complimentary 12-month refugee memberships by applying in person at the zoo's North Gate Guest Relations counters. Proper documentation is necessary for all who apply, so please bring that documentation with you when you arrive. Details of the document are:

The document is titled Confirmation of Permanent Residence, and is provided by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It will show us the date of entry into Canada, the names of the individuals (both adults and children) and the category of immigration.

For the individuals that are eligible (refugees only) the code is CRS for Privately Sponsored Refugees, the code CR1 is for the Government Assisted Refugees. All refugees must request their memberships within one year of the date they arrive in the country and the complimentary membership will be valid for one year from the date issued.

CIES would like to send out our thanks to the Calgary Zoo on behalf of the many refuges we serve as well as all those throughout our city! 

CIES' Graham Mackenzie Receives $10,000 Grant from Calgary Economic Development's Soul in the City - Its Pho Down Time!

CIES attended the Soul of the City Neighbour Grant Pitch Night last night at the Glenbow Museum theatre in support of the remarkable event itself, all ten finalists who presented ideas on how to bring our community together and our very own Graham Mackenzie, pitching for the first ever of its kind Guinness Book of World Record making Pho Down.

Of the ten finalists, 5 received grants of $10,000 to help put into action their idea to improve, enhance, or revitalize their community or neighbourhood.  The projects are small-scale and focused on getting people involved in their neighbourhoods and communities. Project ideas included, but were not limited to, building community gardens or other neighbourhood spaces, hosting street festivals and community events, and bringing local people together to design and create neighbourhood art projects.

Hilariously hosted by award winning local actor and comedian Andrew Phung, with  Calgary Stampeder legend Jon Cornish making the keynote address, the evening was filled with energy and fun from start to finish. At night's end, A soccer club initiative, a seniors and youth program, a high school calm zone and wellness centre, a community mural revitalization and Mr Pho Down himself all received 10,000 for their ideas. Now we get to sit back and watch them come to life.

CIES couldn't be happier to attend such a worthwhile community building event and couldn't be more proud of Graham and the many CIES students involved for their passion and hard work put into this project that has months of work behind it. International Avenues' BRZ Great in Greater Forest Lawn's initial recognition of this great idea and the seed money to get it going also deserves a big tip of the hat. Waiting for the July 9th Pho Down is gonna be tough! To learn more about the Soul in the City Initiative and to see former project winners watch the video below. For more photos of the last night's event CLICK HERE.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Now Biggest LINC Provider in Calgary CIES Continues Expansion

Back in February CIES added 6 additional weekday Language Instruction for Newcomer Classes (LINC), along with four more weekend classes to our our NE Whitehorn Location. This was followed by our new Refugee Express Drop-In ESL & Integration Program,  a fast track language training and social integration program, and as March came to a close 11 more LINC classes were added to our roster. Additionally, our Employment Skills Training (EST), formerly offered at only our SE location in Forest Lawn, is now being offered in our NE Location in Whitehorn as well. On top of this, a University of Calgary grant has allowed us to launch our Reading Room Program, a pre-literacy, one-on-one program for those below level one literacy levels.

CIES now offers a combination of 56 different LINC classes in two locations across the city, with scheduling running 7 days week.  No one else in Calgary can offer the same type of flexibility and numbers. We are proud to serve our community and thank those who have and continue to support our mission, a mission that has remained the same since first opening our doors all the way back in 1988 - to provide immigrants and economically challenged individuals the tools to be successful and active participants in the community. For a peek inside our LINC Classes, as well as our EST Program, simply take a look below.