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Community Connections

Community Connections brings together newcomers to Canada and established community residents for sharing and learning.

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Program Information

Community Connections brings together newcomers to Canada and established community residents for sharing and learning. Newcomers learn about living in Canada, practice speaking English and make connections in their new community while volunteers act as guides to life in the community. In the process, they learn about other cultures and gain a better understanding of what immigrants contribute to Canada.

Services We Offer
  • Language and cultural mentoring opportunities (both individual and in a group setting)
  • Assistance with Volunteer Placements in the community
  • Opportunities for multi-way interaction and cross-cultural awareness
  • Conversation Circles supporting informal language practice
  • Group activities/sessions supporting knowledge transfer and cross-cultural awareness
  • Programming for newcomer seniors: digital literacy, craft groups, recreational activities
  • Art Hub - Newcomer artists/musicians, volunteers and Community Connections staff meet for group practice and lessons
Eligibility Requirements

Community Connections participants are recently-arrived newcomers or those newcomers who still need help adapting to their new life in Canada.

  • Permanent Resident
  • Convention Refugee
  • Live-in Caregiver

Non-eligible clients interested in participating in events and activities (i.e. refugee claimants, international students and Canadian citizens) are welcome to get involved as program volunteers.

To become a Community Connections volunteer, you should be knowledgeable about your community, open to learning about other cultures, and willing to share your own cultural background and your appreciation of Canadian society.

Locations / Hours

St. Catharines

85 Church St. St. Catharines, ON, L2R 3C7
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm
905-685-6589 Ext. 228

Niagara Falls

St. Ann Adult Education Centre
5895 North St, Niagara Falls, ON, L2G 1J7
289-407-1793

Welland

Father Fogarty Adult Learning Centre
269 Thorold Road, ON, L3C 3W1
289-241-6289

Due to COVID-19, we are currently offering services virtually.

Virtual Art Hub

Newcomer artists/musicians, volunteers and Community Connections staff meet on:


- The first Wednesday of the month for a music session (mandatory group lesson for guitarists, ukulele players and drummers with volunteer instructors)

- The third Thursday of the month for a music drop-in (optional group practice for guitarists, ukulele players and drummers with fellow newcomer musicians) and

- The last Wednesday of the month for an art session (group activity for registered newcomer artists with volunteer facilitators)


Explore our Virtual Gallery

If you are 13 years of age or older and are interested in joining “The Art Hub,” please contact Community Connections staff.

If you are interested in volunteering with “The Art Hub” as an art facilitator/music instructor, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator.

Interested in this program?

Please contact a team member for more information.

Team - Community Connections
Register

Resources

A Newcomers Guide to Volunteering in Niagara

A Newcomer’s (Quick) Guide to Volunteering in Niagara.

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How to find a mentor in Canada: Tips for newcomers

For many newcomers in Canada, finding a job and getting back in their field of work feels like an uphill task. While it does take effort (and patience) to find meaningful employment, there are various resources and tools available that you, as a newcomer, can leverage to ease your job search journey. One such incredibly valuable resource is a mentor.

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INCommunities

Connecting People with Services – Niagara Community Information Database. INCommunities is the new visual brand for Information Niagara which has been in the business of connecting people and community services for more than 40 years.

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Initiative to End Gender-Based Violence

Initiative to End Gender-Based Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities

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St. Catharines Public Library

Find out what is happening at the library and what programs are offered for children and adults.

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50+ Program

Any immigrant to Canada, newcomer or oldcomer is welcome to join the 50+ Group.

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Care For Newcomer Children

Prepares newcomer children with English language and other school readiness skills. Runs concurrent with the centre’s English day classes.

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Community Connections

Community Connections brings together newcomers to Canada and established community residents for sharing and learning.

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Employment Services

As a newcomer to Canada, you may have questions about job searching and what you can do to find the job of your choice. The Job Search Workshop Program is available on-line and in-person; our team of specialists understand the job search needs of people new to Canada. We succeed when you succeed!‍

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English as a Second Language Classes

Our centre offers full time Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) and English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction for adults of varying levels of language ability. Our LINC/ESL program facilitates students’ social, cultural and occupational integration into Canadian life.

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Mental Health

Our Bridging Barriers to Newcomer Mental Health program provides mental health support to newcomers in Niagara who are experiencing language and other social barriers to accessing mainstream mental health services.

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Mentorship Program

Immigrant professionals who participate in the Mentorship Program will be connected to career mentors in their field through one-on-one and group sessions.

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Settlement Services

The Settlement Department assists newcomers to meet their immediate and longer-term settlement needs, including information and orientation to the community, referrals to community and social services, solution-focussed counselling and assistance with settlement plans.

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Skills Training Programs

Enhance your knowledge and upgrade your skills in a variety of topics including Workplace Health and Safety, Small Business Basics, Customer Service and more.

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Youth Services

The youth program offers several opportunities for newcomer youth age 13 to 24 to get connected to the community.

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Our Mission

We celebrate and promote cultural, social and economic inclusion and well-being of all immigrants and newcomers.

Our Vision

We are a gateway to equitable, respectful and welcoming communities for immigrants and newcomers in Niagara.

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