Williams Lake IMSS will be hosting an event to say farewell as well as welcome the new local organization who will be managing them once they close their doors at the end of this month.
Susan Nelson is a language instructor.
“We will no longer be managed by Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society of Prince George and so it felt like the end of an era. So we really wanted to make an effort to make sure everyone knew where we were having our year-end event this year.”
Nelson says because they are expecting more people this year, they have booked the picnic shelter at Boitanio Park for Monday, June 26 in which Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy will also be on hand at.
Executive director Shelley Joyner says they are committed to getting services up and running up by July 1st. She says are currently negotiating a contract with Immigrant Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as well as for some provincial dollars from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills, Training.
“We currently offer those services and have for about the last 10 years in 100 Mile House. Because our non-profit society is regional and is already based out of Williams Lake we thought it was natural to negotiate the services with IRCC and they were happy to that as well because we had a current contract with them.”
Joyner says they wanted to make as little change as possible and that they will remain at the current office located on 1st Avenue North until at least March 31, 2018.
She says the staff who wish to remain will be remaining and that their immigration settlement navigator from 100 Mile House will be working out of Williams Lake.
The farewell event on Monday, June 26 will also celebrate the retirement of Sharon Taylor.
It starts at Boitanio Park at 4:30 pm with a potluck supper in which everyone is asked bring their own dishes and cutlery at around 5 pm.
“It’s also kind of a special day because at that time the Muslim families that we now have coming here will be celebrating the end of Ramadan,” Nelson adds.
“It’s usually a family party for them but they don’t have extended family in Williams Lake so we’re like their family. So we’ll be having a celebration for the end of Ramadan also.”