Photo by Rochelle Baker Mary Catherine Williams (left) receives the Immigrant Welcome Centre Ambassador Award from Board President

Immigrant Welcome Centre names its Ambassador Award recipient

The Immigrant Welcome Centre announced that the 2016 Immigrant Welcome Centre Ambassador Award recipient is Mary Catherine Williams.

The award recognizes a community member in the North Vancouver Island region who demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities in creating an environment that welcomes and includes all newcomers, acknowledging their diversity, humanity and value.

In presenting the award, Jim Brennan, Executive Director, noted that “it was her work with the Syrian Refugee Committee that brought Mary Catherine to our attention, but as we got to know her, we realized just how deep her compassion runs. Mary Catherine has worked quietly and tirelessly for many years to ensure Campbell River is a welcoming and supportive community for all. Her work has addressed the needs of children, youth, women, families, foster parents and first nations as well as people struggling with addictions, mental health issues and poverty.”

The award was presented at the Immigrant Welcome Centre’s Annual General Meeting where members, community partners, clients, volunteers, staff and Board gathered to celebrate the organization’s work and to kick off their fall programming and services with a potluck dinner.

“Over the past few years staff and Board Members have been working hard to create strong foundations for the Immigrant Welcome Centre and this year we really saw the results,” said Board President, Layne Marshal. “We transitioned to a new Executive Director, Jim Brennan, as well as a new federal government with new immigration policies and priorities. Throughout it all, services have remained strong and client focused and the organization has not just thrived but grown even stronger.”

Members also had the opportunity to elect the new Board of Directors for 2016-2017. The Immigrant Welcome Centre is proud to welcome new Board members, Maria Kirley, Lorraine Theron and Cathy Voth who join Layne Marshal, Lisa Blackburn and Leanne Brunt to round out a talented group of Board members.

The Immigrant Welcome Centre specializes in immigration and professional services for individuals new to Canada. Over 833 clients from 78 countries have been served in the past year. Services are offered in the Comox Valley, Campbell River and throughout the North Island. For further information about Immigrant Welcome Centre’s specialized services and programs please call 250-830-0171 (Campbell River), 250-338-6359 (Comox Valley), toll free 1-855-805-0171, email or visit