Chatham-Kent is welcoming its newcomers.
The Chatham-Kent Local Immigration Partnership is set to celebrate the second annual Chatham-Kent Welcome Week.
Chatham-Kent Welcome Week is happening now until Sept. 18. The week provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the people, places and values that help everyone feel welcome and that they belong in their local community – no matter where they come from. The week acts as a celebration, while efforts to support and welcome new residents to Chatham-Kent continue throughout the year.
According to Peter Sulman, Project Coordinator of CK Local Immigration Partnership, it is also a chance to promote community and continue highlighting why Chatham-Kent was designated as Canada’s First Welcoming Community.
“Chatham-Kent is thrilled for the opportunity to showcase cultural diversity and inclusivity in our community through the events during Welcome Week,” said Sulman. “We look forward to shining a spotlight on immigrants and newcomers in CK and what they bring to the community.”
Communities across Canada will be celebrating Welcome Week as a national initiative by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Government of Canada. The initiative strives to bring together new and long-time residents to build strong connections and reaffirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity in Chatham-Kent.
“CK LIP consists of 40 community organizations working collectively to make our community welcoming, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to support a national initiative at a local level,” said Tracy Callaghan, Co-Chair of the Chatham- Kent Local Immigration Partnership. “Our partner organizations have planned a number of great events that will give newcomers the opportunity to meet new people in the community, including employers. Making these kinds of connections is crucial for helping people become established,” said Tristan Fehrenbach, Co-Chair of the Chatham-Kent Local Immigration Partnership.
Welcome Week has activities planned throughout the week, including the following.
On Wednesday, Sept. 14, there will be an Anti-Racism Community Conversation. The event will begin at 4 p.m. Those in attendance will hear from newcomers who have achieved success in Chatham-Kent. This event will focus on the specific challenges the presenters encountered in their integration journey and how they overcame them. The event will take place at Collège Boréal, located at 161 King St. West.
On Thursday, Sept. 15, there will be a networking fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Families are encouraged to bring friends to the drop-in event, meet newcomers, and established immigrants, and learn about organizations and services in Chatham-Kent that will make them feel welcomed. Light refreshments will be provided. The event is held at the Portuguese Canadian Social Club of Chatham.
Following the networking night, Collège Boréal is hosting a free and informal dance class at the Portuguese Canadian Social Club of Chatham! Participants will have an opportunity to learn Asian and Latin dance moves.
There are currently no events planned for Sept. 16.
There is also an International Student Welcome Event on Sept. 17; however, it is invite-only.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News