Catholic Centre for Immigrants – Ottawa

The Catholic Centre for Immigrants (CCI Ottawa) promotes and facilitates the reception of immigrants and refugees to Ottawa, and sensitizes the community to address newcomers’ needs and invites it to respond. CCI Ottawa assists newcomers in realizing their full potential in Canadian society.


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Carl Nicholson re-appointed to Police Services Board

Carl Nicholson re-appointed to Police Services Board

Board member Carl Nicholson, first appointed to the Police Services Board in September 2010, has been re-appointed for a further two year term by Order-in-Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. His term now expires on 14 September 2018.

Mr. Nicholson has been Executive Director of the Catholic Centre for Immigrants (CCI) since 1994 as well as Executive Director of the Catholic Immigration Centre Foundation since 1996. Carl has extensive experience on boards and other governance organizations in the Not for Profit sector generally and the Immigrant Serving sector in particular.

Carl has been recognized several times for his contributions to the community.  In 2004 he was given the ‘Investing in People Award’ by the Community Foundation of Ottawa; in 2003 he was recognized by United Way Centraide Ottawa with a ‘Community Builder Award’ as part of the partnership Local Agencies Serving Immigrants (LASI).  In 2007 he was presented with the Lignum Vitae award by the National Institute of Jamaican Canadians.  In 2008 he was recognized by the Social Planning Council of Ottawa with the Marion Dewar Defender of the Public Good award and in January 2011, he was the recipient of the Ottawa Community Leadership Award bestowed by the ‘Dreamkeepers’ in honour of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was inducted into the Order of Ottawa in 2013.

Board Chair Eli El-Chantiry stated, “All of us on the Board are delighted that we will be able to continue working with Carl.  He brings invaluable insight and wisdom to our discussions, and is a strong and dedicated contributor to the Board and the community.”

Stated Nicholson,” I am very pleased to be given this additional chance to be of service.  Another two year term will give me the opportunity to further deliver on the investment that our community and the Board have made in me.”

The Ottawa Police Services Board is the civilian body responsible for governing the Ottawa Police Service.  It is responsible for ensuring the provision of adequate and effective police services to the City of Ottawa’s residents.

For additional information, contact Wendy Fedec, Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board, at 580-2424, ext. 21618.

Former refugees, immigrants offer advice to newest Canadians

Former refugees, immigrants offer advice to newest Canadians

(CBC News,June 20, 2016) Welcoming Ottawa Week kicked off at city hall Monday morning, as people around the globe marked World Refugee Day.

CBC News asked former refugees and immigrants in attendance, as well as those who work with refugees, what advice they would give to the Canada’s newest arrivals. Here’s some of what they had to say.

Nyamulola Kambanji immigrated from Zambia a little over 10 years ago.

“My advice is to not be afraid to experience and explore other opportunities that are out there for them,” said Kambanji.

“The reality is you are not always able to do the exact same thing that you were doing in a different country … but there are always ways you can use your transferable skills to reinvent yourself.”

Read more

Community Cup Event

Community Cup Event

Around forty volunteers gathered for an orientation session with CCI Ottawa.  The orientation session included icebreakers and activities to help volunteers to get to know each other and learn about the upcoming multicultural Community Cup event that will take place at Brewer Park on Sunday June 26, 2016.

For more information on how you can get involved visit Community Cup website

UN Secretary General visits CCI Ottawa

UN Secretary General visits CCI Ottawa

“A once in a lifetime opportunity.” That’s how CCI Executive Director Carl Nicholson characterized the informal visit of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the Catholic Centre for Immigrants on Thursday, February 11.

Seven Syrian refugee families who had arrived in Ottawa in December and January were invited to participate in the special visit by His Excellency and his wife, Mrs. Ban Soon-taek. The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, and Ms. Anita Biguzs Deputy Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada were also on hand.

Handshakes and cell phone photos were the order of the day as His Excellency and his wife made their way around the circle of chairs, greeting newcomers one by one, and leaning down to touch the faces of the excited children. His Excellency then began his remarks to the families by expressing his gratitude to Mr. Nicholson and the Centre for its generous support for the refugees.  He praised the “long civilization and culture” of Syria’s people.

His Excellency Ki-Moon noted that the UN was mobilizing record amounts of resources, and “working day and night” to aid those affected by the crisis in Syria, through political negotiations and humanitarian aid.  “Do not despair, do not be frustrated,” he told the group, saying that in his childhood his own country, South Korea, “was able to be rescued by the help of the UN.”

Participants took the opportunity during the informal interaction following His Excellency’s remarks to reiterate their gratitude to the Canadian government for the support, and for the honour of the Secretary General’s personal visit. “You’ve put hope again into our lives,” commented one family member.

Prior to His Excellency’s arrival, Minister Bibeau spoke about the work CCI and other Canadian agencies are doing to settle refugees. “You make us look good,” she joked to Mr. Nicholson. “You are doing the big job.” She encouraged everyone to “work hard to learn the language, it’s the key to integration and the key to finding a job.”  Deputy Minister Anita Biguzs noted that her parents had been refugees to Canada who spoke neither English nor French, and probably never imagined that their daughter would become a Deputy Minister. She described herself as “very privileged and very humbled” to hold this office “because it has a lot of personal meaning for me.”


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