Community

Campbell River welcoming communities program combats myths about immigrants

How are Campbell River and Barcelona, Spain alike?

The answer is revealed in Campbell River’s 2013 Welcoming Communities Program.  Welcoming newcomers is important to both communities, and Campbell River is accessing Barcelona’s anti-rumour program through its own programs, the MythBusters Action Team and MythBusters — Learning More About Newcomers.

The purpose of the project is to end stereotypes about immigrants, combat discrimination with facts about immigration and increase cross-cultural communication in Campbell River.

The campaign runs from May 2013 through March 2014.

Last year, the Immigrant Welcome Centre ran a MythBusters marketing campaign, designed to combat myths about immigration with facts, shared through newspaper and bus advertisements. The campaign was so successful it is being renewed for over 40 weeks and will continue to run until March 2014.

In addition to the marketing campaign, the Immigrant Welcome Centre is also coordinating the MythBusters Action Team, in which Campbell River residents can become MythBusters agents by using practical skills to respond to discrimination in the community. The program involves three free courses starting in June.

Course topics include anti-discrimination response training, cross-cultural communication and breaking stereotypes. In addition to receiving a certificate after completing each workshop, agents will receive a pin as recognition of their commitment. Outstanding agents will be presented an award in March 2014.

City Councillor Andy Adams, the MythBusters Action Team Ambassador, said, “The City of Barcelona was very progressive in their strategy to build a more welcoming community. With newcomers coming to Campbell River from all parts of Canada and the world, there are opportunities to grow our tourism industry and showcase businesses to investors looking to Campbell River as a place to invest, live, and add to the cultural fabric of our community. This project is an exciting step into our future.”

“The first run of the MythBusters campaign was very well received,” said Rachel Blaney, Executive Director of the Immigrant Welcome Centre. “Immigrants are an important addition to our community. Statistics tell us that the communities that immigrants move to become more innovative, and workplaces more friendly while international trade increases. Campbell River is a community looking to develop and diversify and newcomers are happy here.”

MythBusters—Learning More About Newcomers is funded by the Province of British Columbia and run in partnership with a variety of organizations, service providers and businesses, including the City of Campbell River, Volunteer Campbell River and the Campbell River Women’s Centre.

Training for the MythBusters Action Team begins on June 6.

Any Campbell River residents interested in joining the team and reducing discrimination are encouraged to register and become MythBusters agents. Additionally, residents are encouraged to come to the Immigrant Welcome Centre office to discuss myths about immigration.

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