History of MISA
Campbell River is home to a growing number of people from diverse cultural backgrounds. MISA was formerly known as the Inter-Cultural Association of Campbell River and Area when it was registered as a non-profit society in 1992, in response to needs expressed by newcomers, visible minorities, parents and community services providers. The founding members were Naomi Marchand Wolfe, Heather Downing and Susan Dobie.
Some of the first activities of the Association were the Multicultural Potluck and English Language Classes, which were offered in the evenings in various locations including the Sikh Temple and the Women’s Centre. In 1994 the Association rented space on St. Ann’s and undertook several projects. One of these, the Interpreter Project, involved a community inventory of the languages used in our community and service agencies that would use this service. Volunteers were recruited and trained and interpreter services were provided on a volunteer basis.
Since that time MISA has grown, and is a well respected organization, with seven employees, several contractors and many volunteers offering programs at various locations around Campbell River. MISA staff participate in numerous committees at local, regional and provincial levels to keep up-to-date about services and issues that impact immigrants and minorities, as well as to advocate for adequate services for people who face language and cultural barriers.
MISA has worked with the community to provide specific services for the immigrant community. We have the Women’s Group, Multicultural Family Place and English Conversation & Social for Immigrants 50+. These groups are focused on helping immigrants have an opportunity to support each other in living in a new culture, to increase English speaking and to learn Canadian culture.
We rely on volunteer support to help us with many of the day-to-day tasks as well as provide friendly greeting to the people who come our way. Volunteers and Board members continue to organize superb events that keep MISA in the public eye as well as providing celebrations of important occasions.
MISA is committed to helping newcomers to settle in Campbell River and adapt to life in Canada, as well as working towards a welcoming community that promotes dignity and inclusion of newcomers and people of diverse backgrounds.