YMCA of Greater Saint John celebrates Welcoming Week!

Saint John, NB — The YMCA of Greater Saint John is celebrating Welcoming Week through a series of events from September 9 to 18. These events will not only foster a sense of belonging in newcomers in our community but our region.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating Welcoming Week as new Saint Johners are a vital part of our community—bringing fresh perspectives and new ideas, starting businesses, and contributing to the vibrant diversity that we all value,” said Shilo Boucher, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Saint John. “By working together, we can achieve greater prosperity and make Saint John the kind of place where people from around the world feel valued and create a sense of belonging.”

YMCA of Greater Saint John will host the following events during Welcoming Week:

Coffee House on September 9: YMCA of Greater Saint John will launch the celebration at the Saint John Regional Y on Friday evening, 6 PM onwards, and this is the night for everyone to share their cultures by sharing tea, coffee, and snacks with everyone while enjoying some musical talent from our community.

Community Connections Fair on September 14: Newcomers have an opportunity to meet more than 30 organizations, associations and other members of the community at Market Square from 11 AM to 1 PM and learn about community resources available to them.

Canoo App Information Session on September 15: New Permanent Residents and Citizens can enjoy free access for one year to over 1400 attractions and destinations around Canada using the Canoo App. We are conducting an online information session to spread awareness about it to help newcomers belong to this community. This session is available in 3 time slots spread around the day to allow everyone to access it at a convenient time.

Canadian Workplace Expectations Workshop on September 15: YMCA Newcomer Connections is jointly organizing a workshop with the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) to help newcomers build a connection with their employers and have a better work life. Additionally, our Family Enhancement and Crisis Worker will talk about work-life balance, understand the importance of mental health, and provide some tools to help stay productive at work. This event will take place at the Irving Oil Field House from 4 PM to 6 PM.

Learn to Camp at Fundy National Park on September 17 and 18: For the grand finale, newcomers have the chance to learn how to camp with park rangers and get used to this truly Canadian experience. Participants can stay with the whole family or a group of friends in a tent or an oTENTik for a small fee, and camping gear, breakfast and snacks will be provided. Additionally, transportation options from the Saint John Regional Y are available.

Welcoming Week is an annual opportunity to recognize and celebrate the people, places, and values that help everyone feel welcome and that they belong in their local community, no matter where they come from.

“The Y is dedicated to strengthening the foundation of communities. I invite everyone to come together to build communities where everyone has the opportunity to feel a sense of belonging and connection,” said Boucher.

About Welcoming Week

Welcoming Week is an annual campaign and celebration to showcase the movement of communities striving to be more welcoming places for all, including immigrants. This year’s Welcoming Week marks the 10th anniversary of what is now a global event, and Canada’s third year participating nationally.

The Welcoming International Alliance is an initiative that consists of peer national networks supporting local actors to advance immigrant inclusion at the community level across the world, local-to-local learning exchanges, and technical assistance to national institutions on welcoming standards and strategies. Learn more at welcominginternational.org.

About YMCA of Greater Saint John and Newcomer Connections

The YMCA is a charity serving the Greater Saint John Community for over 167 years. Our role is to build healthy, diverse and growing communities.  For more than 25 years, YMCA Newcomer Connections has welcomed immigrants and refugees, assisting with their settlement needs and facilitating their integration and participation in the community. This includes offering a diverse range of programs and services, such as English language classes, employment readiness programs, Canadian cultural orientation, immigrant settlement and refugee resettlement assistance, and school readiness programs. With a multilingual team of more than 80 staff representing 20 countries, we make every effort to provide services in a client-centric manner that is inclusive and respectful of the rights, dignity, and diversity of all newcomers to Canada.