The Foundation for our Future
The EMCN Embrace Campaign
EMCN is calling on you to help make a difference. We have been supporting newcomers integrate into Edmonton for more than 37 years. We want to continue making this an inclusive environment for anyone who chooses to live and work here, but we’ve outgrown our space. The time has come for us to expand to help more people access the services they need to thrive in Edmonton. To do this, we are embarking on two significant projects:
1. 82 STREET BUILDING PURCHASE
We are currently leasing three floors and will buy and renovate the whole building to expand our English Language Learning Centre. As demand for language training continues to grow exponentially, we require dedicated space to meet the needs of newcomers. Buying the building helps ensure our long-term sustainability and adds more flexibility to provide these much-needed services.
2. NEW SPACE DOWNTOWN
We are expanding and consolidating our settlement, employment, community, and volunteer programs in a new location we will be leasing in downtown Edmonton on 101 Avenue and 112 Street. The benefits of this project will extend for generations, providing families with readily accessible programming in the downtown area, near many other critical services. EMCN will also be able to collaborate with other partners and service providers more effectively.
EVERYONE HAS A STORY TO TELL
For EMCN, a newcomer is any person who has arrived in the Edmonton region within the last five years. We are committed to serving all newcomers, from international professionals relocating here for work to refugees relocating for safety to Canadians migrating from other provinces.
We had the opportunity to sit down with some of our newcomers and learn more about their journey to Canada and how EMCN has supported them.
Help share these stories on social media using the hashtag #EmbraceCampaign
A NEWCOMER'S FIRST YEAR IS CRITICAL
Let’s work together to make it easier for newcomers to learn English, find work, and settle into our communities. For Edmonton to thrive socially, culturally, and economically, we need the rich diversity newcomers from around the world offer. They introduce us to new perspectives, cultural practices, foods, and art. They fill needed roles in the workforce and volunteer for non-profit organizations. Newcomers start new businesses, hire employees, partner with organizations, and collaborate within networks. By investing in EMCN, you are investing in the whole community. Not only are you are helping newcomers call Edmonton home, but you are also supporting those who already live here.
“A new central location means greater access to a broad suite of essential programs and services all under one roof, which will help newcomers thrive in their first year and beyond. This move will also change the way staff members work together, and how EMCN can influence the way business and public institutions collaborate. We will be closer to important partners and able to create new partnerships to serve newcomers better and ultimately become a more welcoming community.”
Ricki Justice, Deputy Executive Director, EMCN
REMOVING BARRIERS TO LANGUAGE SERVICES
English language skills are critical to settling in Canada and getting a job. The language barrier is often one of the biggest problems newcomers face when they move here. Learning or strengthening speaking and writing skills helps newcomers find gainful employment, get involved in their communities, participate in events, be confident, and express themselves. EMCN offers a variety of language services that help newcomers gain the practical skills they need for everyday life, but the wait-list continues to grow. The 82 Street language school expansion means we will be able to reach more people so they can thrive and prosper, both socially and economically.
CENTRALIZED SERVICES, CENTRAL LOCATION
To be successful, newcomers often access more than one program or service. It can be daunting to settle into everyday life, learn a new language, look for work, and find childcare—all while navigating different locations in an unfamiliar city. Through the new downtown location, we can offer employment, settlement, and community development services in one convenient space that is also close to other critical essentials newcomers often access, such as family and mental health services. By providing easier access, we can help ensure newcomers access services sooner. Working near other partner agencies at a downtown location will also offer a more holistic experience for newcomer families and allow us to be better integrated and collaborate more frequently to serve more clients in more meaningful ways.
REACHING THE PEOPLE WHO NEED US THE MOST
EMCN currently works with up to 17,000 newcomers each year, from all parts of the world, out of five locations and various community locations. During the past five years, our staff has grown from 120 people to 250 people to respond to community needs. Our team represents more than 50 languages, faiths, and cultures, and many of us were newcomers who accessed these services or can personally relate to clients’ experiences.
Each year we serve:
- 1,200 students with 18 full-time teachers and 22 part-time teachers
- 17,000 clients, representing 161 countries, which we anticipate will grow to 20,000 within the next couple of years
- More than 500 children in daycare through 88 daycares
- Clients who access an average of five EMCN programs
By supporting EMCN, you are at the forefront of innovation and the creation of best practices for serving our newcomers. When you support EMCN, you will see first-hand the certain difference being made in the lives of newcomers. You can be confident that your contribution will be used where it will have the highest impact for newcomers and Edmonton.
“When strangers connect, relationships grow, friendships are made, and stereotypes fade. EMCN quietly nurtures Edmonton’s health and wellbeing each day.”
Councillor Scott McKeen
By forming relationships with other organizations, we create more resources for newcomers in Edmonton. A newcomer may have multiple barriers or needs beyond our support, so by introducing them to other service providers, we are enhancing their quality of life and are creating lasting impacts in the lives of newcomers and all Canadians. Our partners have helped us provide more supports to newcomers in areas we were unable to reach before.
“Bent Arrow is a proud partner of EMCN in the important work of helping our newest citizens make a successful transition to Edmonton and Treaty 6 territory. Our organization strongly believes that this transition is made more successful by having your feet planted in two worlds. Culture and community connections are key, and when done in a timely manner, we see newcomers quickly becoming strong, caring, and contributing community members.”
Cheryl Whiskeyjack, Executive Director, Bent Arrow
WHAT IS A NEWCOMER
For EMCN, a newcomer is any person who has arrived in the Edmonton region within the last five years. We are committed to serving all newcomers, from international professionals relocating here for work to refugees relocating for safety to Canadians migrating from other provinces. Of the 47,185 permanent residents who settled in Alberta in 2015:
- •33,410 (70.8%) came as economic immigrants
- •9,740 (20.6%) under family reunification categories
- •3,455 (7.3%) as refugees
- •580 (1.2%) in other categories