The movement for active, safe and sustainable transportation options for children and youth got a big boost in Toronto recently, with the announcement that the Bike to School Project has received a three-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario.
Led by CultureLink Settlement and Community Services, in collaboration with Cycle Toronto and the Toronto Cycling Think and Do Tank, the Bike to School Project aims to provide cycling education programs to 22,000 Toronto students. Other strategies for inspiring youth to travel and explore their communities by bicycle include:
- After-school bike clubs in high schools
- The Bike to School Week campaign (May 30 – June 3, 2016) celebrated throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area with the support of Smart Commute, a program of Metrolinx
- The Bike to School Leadership Camp, which inspires youth to bike and to get involved in the global movement for active, safe and sustainable transportation.
CultureLink is seeking candidates for two full-time positions to carry out this project, which begins April 1, 2016. Deadline to apply is February 15, 2016. Seasonal work will be available in future.
For more information visit us online at Bike to School Project.
The day we landed in Toronto, it was minus 20 Celsius. I have lived my whole life in a country which is 30 C all year round! Despite the cold, it was refreshing to be breathing in constant fresh air. Being totally foreign to this place, I learn to see things brand new, like a baby, and adapt to a whole new world.
After 6 months, my husband was not getting anywhere close to finding a job, so I decided to join the bandwagon of job seekers and try my luck. I registered with CultureLink’s Career Mentorship Program and was assigned a volunteer mentor for the next few months. My mentor, Mr. Cass Simmons, with his knowledge and guidance, was very helpful as I began my job search.
I also started attending CultureLink events held in collaboration with various corporations within the financial services industry. I found these quick face-to-face meetings with individual employees representing different divisions of their organisations an excellent opportunity to network and understand what Canadian employers are essentially looking for. It was also a chance to market ourselves in this highly competitive job market.
Last October, CultureLink and CIBC co-organised a resume workshop and mentoring event. Hidden behind this mentoring event was a recruitment drive for CIBC’s retail banking of GTA West. It was through this event that I was introduced to their recruiters and after subsequent interviews that I successfully landed a job in the bank. All within a span of 3 months from my first meeting with them. And to top it off, I am currently assigned for training at the branch closest to me, which happens to be in the same building where I currently reside.
I am utterly thankful for this opportunity and to CultureLink for delivering such great initiatives for newcomers. You guys make a difference!!
by Tingpei L.
Newcomer families were thrilled to be a part of the 2nd Soulpepper-CultureLink Welcome Event. It took place on January 2, 2016 at Soulpepper’s Young Centre for the Performing Arts Theatre in the heart of the Distillery District. The Soulpepper artists and technicians put on a fabulous day of entertainment and mingling, just for CultureLink. Fifteen newcomer families joined the festivities for the first time and eight families were welcomed back from the first Event held in May 2015.
With light snacks and coffee to start the day, the families were matched with their Soulpepper mentors and friends and began the day with introductions and socializing. After a warm welcome from, Albert Schultz, Soulpepper’s community-building and visionary Artistic Director, the matches soon were off exploring and the various venues in Youngspace. They enjoyed wonderful performances including: Virtuosic Toronto– live dance and music with film projections; Wee Concert – a sing-along for the whole family; and Bedtime Stories – songs and poems. The very popular ‘Bubble Wrap’ room saw children and parents alike enjoying the satisfying sounds of popping bubbles as they wandered down the bubble wrap trail. Other interactive features included a Theatre Play Room and The Canopy of Connection where participants could label their home country on a map with a paper streamer and then connect it with their new home in Toronto on another map across the room.
As part of the New Canadian Welcome Program, Soulpepper provides free access to their theatre shows for a full year. With the likes of “Alligator Pie”, “Kim’s Convenience” ,“Parfumerie” and many more entertaining and culturally rich productions, newcomer participants are sure to be pleased. One of our past participants remarked, “I feel like I have won the lottery!”
Viktoriia, a newcomer from Kyrgyzstan with a young family reflected, “Many new Canadians … do not attend cultural events because they are worried about their level of English. When I got a call from the CultureLink and [was] asked whether I have an interest to be a participant of this program, I had doubts. I asked myself, and if I [will] understand the performances in English. I have basic English. But when I came to the theater everything was so well organized and thought out, I stopped doubting. I attended 4 performances. Everything was fine. I realized that I understand English better than before. I even forgot that I do not understand some words. Live emotions оn the stage of your theatre are admirable.”
- by Lisa Randall, Program Manager, Settlement Workers in School Program