Shaping the future of
immigration in Canada

Land Acknowledgement

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.  

Building futures in Canada since 1972