Campbell River Mirror

Health fair cancelled after province pulls funding

A woman visits the English as a Second Language for Senior’s informational booth at last year’s Diversity Health Fair which is hosted by the Immigrant Welcome Centre. This year’s event is cancelled due to a lack of funding. - Photo courtesy of the Immigrant Welcome Centre
A woman visits the English as a Second Language for Senior’s informational booth at last year’s Diversity Health Fair which is hosted by the Immigrant Welcome Centre. This year’s event is cancelled due to a lack of funding.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the Immigrant Welcome Centre

The Immigrant Welcome Centre has been forced to cancel one of its most popular events due to funding cuts.

What was supposed to be the third annual Diversity Health Fair has been cancelled because of a lack of funding.

The province had supplied the Immigrant Welcome Centre with $15,000 in each of the last two years to cover staff and other costs, but this year pulled its funding.

“Unfortunately funding cuts across the province have affected several communities and there are uncertainties as to whether this particular funding will be restored for a 2014 fair,” said Rachel Blaney, executive director of the Immigrant Welcome Centre, which provides services to immigrants to help them settle into Canada.

The provincial funding was money earmarked for diversity health fairs which are aimed at educating immigrants and diverse populations about local health care services.

Blaney said similar health fairs are held across the province but Campbell River’s was one of the newer ones, and likely at the bottom of the list for funding.

She said last year the community played a huge role in the success of the health fair, contributing $10,000 through booth rentals and sponsorships.

“The engagement of the community is very high and this health fair is a huge pull,” Blaney said. “Our goal is to get back to it in 2014 but we will have to find more sponsorship.”

At this point, funding is speculative and the Immigrant Welcome Centre is looking for sponsors and partners to lend financial support so it can offer the fair in 2014.

“We believe that the spirit of Campbell River will make this event happen,” said Jorgina Little, event manager at the Immigrant Welcome Centre, in a news release.

For more information, or to provide support for the Diversity Health Fair, contact Shannon Briggs or Little at DiversityHealthFair@gmail.com or call 250-830-0171.

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