The following is a message from CCI Executive Director Carl Nicholson that appeared in our 2017-2018 annual report.

By its definition, an annual report is a snapshot of the work we have done over the course of a year. That’s what you’ll find in this year’s edition.

But there is an element to our work that is not so easy to measure. The work I’m referring to is building a more welcoming community.

We can only do this work with you. It’s a two-way street. So how do we build a more welcoming community?

We engage with every day Canadians like yourself and introduce you to newcomers. Perhaps you are a volunteer who is helping a newcomer learn a language. Perhaps you are an employer who has provided a newcomer with her first Canadian work experience. Or maybe you are part of a church group that has sponsored and helped settle a refugee family.

All of the work you do with newcomers helps them settle and integrate into Canada and helps build a more welcoming community.

How do we know if we are having success? We know because you are sharing with us heartwarming stories about how newcomers and Canadians are coming together.

I have met with many of you and you have told me about how fulfilling it is to work with newcomers. You have talked about the deep friendships, the widened horizons and the pride in knowing more about people from around the world.

Canada has a proud history of helping those less fortunate. It has welcomed millions of immigrants to this country over the years. If our country is to continue thriving, we must not lose that momentum. More than ever, we need to continue to build a more welcoming community that celebrates diversity as its strength.

Building a more welcoming community is more than a slogan.

It’s you, me and newcomers living and working together, forging deep bonds, creating long lasting friendships and appreciating our diversity. It’s building a community in which we are all active, productive members.

Carl Nicholson