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About Us

We provide immigrants and newcomers with the information and skills they need to adapt to life in Canada and participate in Canadian society and local life. We aim to be the principal advocate for diversity in our community, central provider of information, skills, programs and services to support immigrants, and the foundation of strong and meaningful connections between immigrants and the local communities.

Our Vision is for immigrants living and working in Whistler and Pemberton to be able to build the life they aspire to in a community where diverse skills, values, and experiences are recognized, welcomed and nurtured.

Our Mission is to support immigrants and their communities through dynamic, responsive and evolving programs, services and initiatives and to build cultural awareness, understanding and acceptance in the wider community. By supporting the successful integration of new community members and by celebrating the diversity of our community, we instill pride in our cultural mosaic for this generation and generations to come.

Our Core Values in all events, activities, projects and interactions are to:

  • Be inclusive & respectful
  • Be helpful, honest & active
  • Be open-minded and patient
  • Be positive and encouraging
  • Work together to achieve goals
  • Educate others
  • Be financially responsible

Whistler Multicultural Society (WMS) aims to

  • create opportunities for participation for immigrants and newcomers in our local communities
  • advocate for immigrants and newcomers in local social, work and civic societies
  • create greater understanding and recognition of the skills and values immigrants bring to Whistler, and
  • promote diversity through volunteer-led cultural sharing, training, and education.

Whistler Multicultural Society was incorporated in January 2020 out of a grassroots community group created in April 2012 as part of the Welcome Sea to Sky project, funded by the SMART Fund, Vancouver Coastal Health.

WMS now partners with Capilano University to deliver federally- and provincially-funded immigrant and newcomer services, language and literacy programming across the Sea to Sky and Sunshine Coast through:

  • Whistler Welcome Centre, hosted by Whistler Public Library (serves Whistler and Pemberton)
  • Squamish Newcomer Services, hosted by the Squamish Welcome Centre in partnership with Squamish Volunteer Centre Society
  • Sunshine Coast Welcoming Communities, located at Capilano University Sechelt campus 

Since September 2020, WMS has been funded as a spoke in the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network providing information, updates and access to training and workshops. Read more and check out the Resilience BC Whistler newsletter here. For anti-racism education, resources and materials, check Resources.

WMS aims to bring cultures together for positive intercultural interactions. Our programs build cross-cultural connections, develop awareness and understanding of our local diversity, and seek to grow equity and inclusion. Our signature projects and programs include the annual Whistler Multicultural Festival, a virtual event in its eighth year in 2020, Multicultural Community Kitchens and the Immigrant Community Leadership Program. A key value for the Whistler Multicultural Society is to develop the confidence and capacity for immigrants and newcomers to represent and advocate for themselves.

For more information on the Whistler Multicultural Society, check out the WMS annual report 2020-21

For more information on volunteering on the Whistler Multicultural Society board, see this WMS board member information sheet.

The Whistler Welcome Centre aims to be a safe place where immigrants and newcomers can

  • find a sense of belonging and value through sharing skills and cultural knowledge
  • get information and support, and
  • make new friends and connections within the immigrant and wider Canadian community

Our Mission is to empower immigrants living and working in our communities (Whistler and Pemberton) so they are able to navigate life in Canada independently, competently and confidently; we do this by providing support and information and by connecting them to each other and the wider community.

Pemberton Multicultural Network (PMN) was also formed in April 2012 by the Pemberton group of the Welcome Sea to Sky project, funded by the SMART Fund, Vancouver Coastal Health.

A focus for the PMN is on second generation immigrants, ensuring that our community gains from the great diversity of cultures our newcomers bring. By supporting the successful integration of new community members, and by celebrating the diversity of our community, PMN seeks to instill pride in our cultural mosaic for this generation and generations to come.

Our small team are all immigrants themselves. They understand the challenges of moving to a new country, learning a new language and building a new life.

Program Manager: Katrina Heron

Settlement Worker: Bec Tan

Multicultural Outreach Worker (Whistler): Lizet Martinez

Multicultural Outreach Worker (Pemberton): Leandra Gurzan

Regional Outreach & Capacity Building Worker: Mohammad Al Jamous

The Welcome Centre is a collaboration of key local partners:

Capilano University – coordinates and delivers funding, administration, literacy, language and other programming

Whistler Public Library – provides our central, accessible location in Whistler

Whistler Multicultural Society – provides staff, program funding and manages service delivery

Whistler Community Services – provides space for settlement services and appointments

Funding for our programs and activities come from a range of federal, provincial and local government, and other agencies.

Our funding sources and sponsors in the past year:

British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education (MAVED)

British Columbia Settlement and Integration Services (BCSIS)

BC Multiculturalism

Canadian Heritage

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW)

Vancouver Coastal Health