Shaping the future of
immigration in Canada
ISSofBC’s offices are situated on the unceded and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱w˙7mesh (Squamish), Səl Ìlwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), Qw’o:ntl’an (Kwantlen), q̓ ic̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓ əm (Kwikwetlem), QiqÈyt (Qayqayt), θenasc̓əwaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsawwassen), Lheidli T’enneh, Qat’muk (Ktunaxa) and sngaytskstx tum-ula7xw (Sinixt) Nations.
1968 – 1979
Our founding mission
1968: Volunteers come together to support newcomers to BC
1972: ISSofBC fully incorporated with Eleanor Strong as the first Executive Director.
ISSofBC offers programming throughout BC that evolve into separate immigrant serving agencies.
1980 – 2000
Expanding our programs and expertise
1980s: ISSofBC expands to include occupational skills training programs, refugee-volunteer matching and opens Welcome House for Government Assisted Refugees, the third house to open in Canada.
1992: Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) classes are launched.
1995: The ISS Language and Career College (LCC) of BC opens, offering English and career diplomas.
2001 – 2013
Growth and evolution
2001-2013: ISSofBC establishes new facilities in Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey, Maple Ridge, Langley and Squamish.
2014 – 2016
A fresh welcome to newcomers
2014-2016: ISSofBC welcomes over 2,000 Syrian refugees to BC.
2016: In a world-first in innovative refugee support, Welcome Centre at Victoria Drive opens to newcomers and the community and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit.
2017 – 2023
Facing new challenges together
2017: Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants starts.
2022: ISSofBC celebrates 50th year since incorporation.
ISSofBC takes lead roles in both the Afghan Special Initiative and displaced Ukrainian humanitarian movements.
2023: The launch of the new Strategic Plan for 2022-2025, focused on expanding the support offered to all newcomers in BC, and enhancing our work in diversity, equity and inclusion as well as Truth and Reconciliation.