ISSofBC - 50 Years of New Beginnings

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: Welcome Centre at Victoria Drive opens to newcomers and the community and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit.

2017 – 2022

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. 

Building futures in Canada since 1972