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Building Welcoming and Inclusive Neighbourhoods

A Diverse Community

The Building Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (BWIN) program has been offered through Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House since 2009 with the goal to help newcomers feel connected with each other, their neighbours and community members and become fully engaged and participate in their community life.

We believe that in welcoming and inclusive neighbourhood, all community members:

  • understand and appreciate the value of diversity
  • actively work to eliminate all forms of discrimination
  • are provided with equal access to information and resources
  • fully participates in the social, cultural and economic life of the community, and
  • feel respected, valued, and engaged in the decision-making processes that affect their lives.


Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood HouseLearn all about BWIN in their July 2013 Newsletter. Download the PDF here (967mb).

The Building Welcoming and Inclusive Communities program is funded by the Immigrant Integration and Multiculturalism Branch, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. It is delivered by 14 Neighbourhood Houses (NH) throughout the Lower Mainland  with the support of the Association of Neighbourhood Houses.

To learn more about our BWIN programs and/or register please email to Olga Shcherbyna, BWIN Coordinator at oshcherbyna@cedarcottage.org or phone us at 604-874-4231.




Current Affairs Conversation Club
bwin conversation clubThree Saturdays a month, 10:30am – 11:45am
Cedar Cottage invites new and long term residents to join Cultural Affairs Conversation Club. Come to practice your conversational skills while learning about our city, other countries and discussing latest political, economic and cultural news. One a month, we discuss current food-related topics and discussions are co-facilitated by Cedar Cottage Food Network’s Coordinator. Coffee/tea and light refreshments are provided. You can register via email at oshcherbyna@cedarcottage.org or through our meet-up group where you can also view all the scheduled discussion topics and dates.

Learn all about Converstation Club and see the calendar of events. Download the PDF here (2.9mb).


Cultural Ambassadors Outreach
In August 2013 two active volunteers from Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House along with our staff made a presentation to and connected with the Montagnard people living in KCC area. During this cultural learning exchange session, our Cultural Ambassadors, Asha and Quardia, not only shared their experiences participating in the programs and volunteering at Cedar Cottage but also learnt about settlement and integration challenges of the Montagnard group.
The cultural learning exchange session was hosted by Eka Cooperative, a non-profit organization that assists and advocates for the Montagnard group.


  • Asha is a youth leader who was born in Canada and who has been volunteering with Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House for the last three years.
  • Quardia, is a parent of two children and an active participant and volunteer. Last year, Quardia went through the Parent Connector training and she is now actively welcomes newcomer families in the community.


Cedar Cottage Community Flashmob
As a part of our Building Welcome and Inclusive Neigbourhoods program, the Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House is organizing a series of cultural celebration events to connect local residents, cultural, community and dance groups. Art is the best way to bring people together and, this year, we decided to use “Dance” as a cultural learning tool that connects people using universal language of movement and music. Tentatively we are planning on putting together an Inter-cultural Community Flashmob that will engage several choreographers, local dance groups, youth, residents and community members from the Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood.


Cedar Cottage Welcomes Newcomers
In collaboration with community partners, CCNH organizes learning exchange sessions for newcomers about resources and job and volunteer opportunities at local community agencies located in Kensington Cedar Cottage neighbourhood. Additionally, new residents will have an opportunity to share their experiences settling in KCC neighbourhood. Out of five, three sessions will take place in 2013:

September 26 2013, 6pm-7:30pm at Kensington Library
October 24 2013, 6-7:30pm at Trout Lake Community Centre
November, Date and Time TBA, at local health community clinic (VCH)

Opportunities to volunteer:

  • Cultural Ambassadors: Become a Cultural Ambassador of your Neighbourhood House and help us build a more welcoming and inclusive neighbourhood by doing outreach to local immigrant and refugee communities. Training will be provided.
  • Conversation Club Facilitators: if you are interested in enhancing your facilitation skills, this is a great opportunity to do so.
  • KCC Newsletter: Become involved in KCC Newsletter as a volunteer writer or on the editing committee. KCC is our community newsletter which is printed four times a year and over 15,000 local residents receive


Other programs at CCNH for newcomer/immigrant parents Fall 2013:

Warming Up in English
Thursdays, 1:15pm – 2:30pm
A great opportunity for parents and grandparents to enhance their English vocabulary and improve their conversation skills for playing with children.

Let’s Cook
Fridays, 1:00pm - 2:30pm
A great opportunity for parents whose kids attend preschool on Friday afternoons to connect with their neighbours and learn to cook healthy and yummy meals together.



  • ESL Conversation Club – summer of 2013: An innovative community development activity for parents whose kids were attending our summer Reading Rules program. While kids were learning to read, parents were offered an opportunity to improve their vocabulary and English speaking skills.
  • Youth Digital Storytelling Project: The Youth Digital Storytelling Project engaged newcomers, hosts, youth, and mentors to create and exchange personal and cultural stories with the intent of building new understanding, creating meaningful connections, and breaking down the barriers. Insert Video of Digital Project
  • Multicultural Family Night: Multicultural Family Night events brought together residents from different cultures to meet, learn, and share cultures and served as a vehicle for CCNH to engage population groups who were not yet participating at neighbourhood house. Insert pictures from multicultural events
  • Organizational Capacity Building: A number of Staff Dialogues and training workshops were held to build staff and volunteer skills on welcoming and inclusion strategies. Staff and volunteers explored the following topics: diversity and inclusion within each departmental team; exploring the challenges in working in diverse teams; examining the strategies to facilitate and support welcoming and inclusive community.
  • Outreach activities: A number of outreach activities were conducted to reach out to newcomer seniors, youth and parents to participate in existing community gatherings / family programs.