Getting Started

WMN Advisory Board minutes

The WMN Advisory Board and guests met on June 26 to review and celebrate the 2017 Festival. They also heard what else the Welcome Centre is doing, and the plans for the summer and fall.

Click here for the June 2017 Minutes reporting what we talked about, and for the Balance sheet WMF 2017 showing all expenses and income, and also how much we received from sponsors and volunteers. General agreement was that this year’s Festival was very vibrant and fun. It was great to have our own food again plus so many great activities and performances. Everyone liked the new layout and we’ll plan with that in mind for next year.

The Advisory Board continues to look at formalizing the organization into a non-profit society and that will be in the agenda again at our next meeting on September 25.

If you’d like to know more about the WMN Advisory Board, come and join us on September 25 or email

A Huge Thank You!

from the Whistler Multicultural Network to all those who made the 2017 Whistler Multicultural Festival another great success… We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did…



Thanks to Our Volunteers: Addyta Alonzo Ramirez, Adriana Molina, Ayako Yamaguchi, Barbora Piatkova, Belle Menesis, Benjie Accanogan, Carla Eguez Paz, Celia Law Utley, Chantelle Shore, Dignoi Leona Suarez, Emma Becerra Salinas, Eva Wei, Evelyn Hernandez, Faye Seco, Heinz Wango, Ikuyo Takaya, Irma Gomez Ferrer, Ivan Pedro, Jennifer Stimpson, Jill Nowack-Dawson, Jinda Poosa-Ard, Karoline Madsen, Krystin Matters, Lisa Briscoe, Lorenz Paragoso, Lorenzo Paragoso, Martin Stretch, Marvin Corona, Miyuki Yamaguchi, Nobuaki Nakagawa, Paulo Aguilera, Priscilla Belanger, Ramon Espada, Randa Hiswani, Santiago Farell, Stephane Belanger, Suzie Soman, Teresa Vazquez, Therese Quilantang, Weslie Walchuk, Yoshie Nakagawa, Yuko Thibeault, Yuriko Nonaka (Koni)

Thanks to Our Performers: Aeron Pita, Angela Jeren Tangonan, Ann Beatriz Pescador, Charlize Littlelight, Christina Joy Paredes, Gerald Gabriel, Gian Kaylee Tangonan, Iris Joy Paguia, Israel de Real, James Paguia, Jenn & Benjamin Embate, Jenna Mae & The Groove Section, Kinderchoir – Jeanette Bruce & Alison Hunter, Lily Duke & Latin Dancers, Nellie Bingas & Igorot Dancers, Reign Rivera, Vernika Lyka Limsipson, Whistler Tai Chi Wushu, Xet’oclaw Community School

Thanks to Our Vendors & Exhibitors: Ajita Chaubal, Community Foundation of Whistler, Forged Axe Throwing, ISSofBC, Kia-anne Garthwaite, Lexsan Sancha, Aurae Tea, Pemberton Multicultural Network, Squamish Aikido, The Rocking Wok, Whistler Community Services, Work BC

Thanks to Our Sponsors and Funders: Aava Hotel, AWARE, Canadian Heritage, David’s Tea, Mexican Corner, Nesters, Pique Newsmagazine, Province of BC, RMOW, Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health, Watermark Inc, Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler FM, Whistler Museum and staff, Whistler Public Library and staff

Our Special Thanks to: Rob Olive and Jesse for their 3rd year managing, Nikki Best for MCing again, and Our amazing food team: Aila Sears, Chia Chia Chen, Daniel Vidal Araneda, Haruna Sears, Jessica Pena Garcia, Kona Higashi, Kyoko Sears, Miyuki Kurumada, Miyuki Maema, Oscar Araiza, Satsuki Shoji, Take Tanaka

And Very Special Thanks to Our All Stars of 2017: Chizuko Higashi, Elisa Corona Medina, Izumi Inoue, Keiko Ogawa, Michael Andre, Romina Wells, Sachi Miyachi, Yuko Murose, Yumiko Fukagawa

The Festival is You!



Bake Sale for Whistler Multicultural Festival

Share the best baking goods with Whistler residence and let them taste flavors from your homeland. Donate pastries for Whistler Multicultural Festival. How to do it?

If you want to support us, please bring your homemade baked goods for us to sell at the Festival! All food must be low risk, which means just baked goods (no meat or dairy fillings, and no jellies or pickles), and wrapped either in plastic foil or ideally in zip lock bags. We also ask you to provide the name of what you’ve baked, and any interesting details about it (where it’s from, when people eat it etc).

Read more in the flyer, if you have any questions contact Barbora – call 6049672422 or email

Test your Multicultural Knowledge

Learn about different cultures and customs at the Whistler Multicultural Festival – see displays and demonstrations, try out some crafts, have some food… and find the answers to these and other questions… Join us on June 9 at the Whistler Public Library and Florence Petersen Park – from 4 to 8pm…

What is in the centre of the Mexican flag, and what is the meaning?

    What is celebrated in Russia on March 8 every year?

Why would somebody give me a Pizho and a Penda in Bulgaria on the first day of March? And what would I do with them? What’s the Blarney Stone, and why would you kiss it?
What day of the year do Chinese people watch the moon? And why?


When you make a cup of tea in England, which should you put in first – the tea or the milk?

Who can tell us what this machine is called and what it does?

If you’re getting ‘screeched’ – what’s happening? And what do you have to do?

Snowy, Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus, Thompson and Thompson are all characters from which Belgian comic books? And who wrote them?  
  In which country to they eat spinach and cabbage on Green Thursday and hit girls with willow branches decorated with ribbons on Red Monday?


If you visit Thailand in April, why should you be ready to get wet?


Why is zongzi the traditional food at the Dragon Boat Festival, and what is it?
Who throws and who catches a grushy? And when? What is a balikbayan box? And what should you put in one?

In which country do students attend high school for around 16 hours a day?

Where did the piñata originate?
  In which country would eyebrows raised mean ‘yes’ and pouting lips in the direction of something mean ‘over there’?
In which country do people eat pancakes at a funeral? And why? What is St Jean Baptiste Day? Where and how is it celebrated?

WMN Spring Newsletter 2017

Finally real spring is here and the Welcome Centre has so much to offer. Come and share some delicious food during our spring potluck, take a photography class and be part of our photo contest, or help to clean the Earth during Pitch In Day…

Spring Calendar

  • Pitch in Day – On May 6 you can volunteer and help clean up Whistler after winter.
  • Show Us Your Whistler: Photography workshop May 7,Ÿ Submit your photos by May  22
  • Spring Potluck – Celebrate spring on May 7
  • Multicultural Community Kitchen – the real taste of Taiwan – May 16
  • Whistler Multicultural Festival – the festival for locals is here – June 9

This spring, Monday settlement drop-in for any questions or information needs, and Friday drop-ins with skills training, cultural sharing and other activities continue each week. There’ll be more multicultural community kitchens and ESL groups continue. If you are interested in any of our programs or events please contact us by phone (604.698.5960) or email


We had lots of programs over the season including the highly successful Tax Clinics. We also had several info sessions – Tod from Licence to Drive came to talk about how to successfully get your driver’s licence, Priscilla and Andrea visited from Work BC, and Mika from Sakura Bookkeeping gave us some tips on tax deductions and filing our taxes. We celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day and the Sakura festival. On April 10, we launched the Show Us Your Whistler photo challenge and we’re now full on planning for the Whistler Multicultural Festival.

For a full list of upcoming events and activities visit our website at

Show Us Your Whistler photo challenge celebrates Canada’s 150th anniversary

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and our great community, the WMN in partnership with the Library, is organizing the ‘Show us Your Whistler’ photo challenge.  We are inviting all community members to take a photo showing how they ‘belong’ to Whistler, in the categories: My home, My culture, My town, My work, My family.

Winners in each category will be announced, and the See Your Whistler  photo display will be launched, at the Whistler Multicultural Festival at the Library on June 9 at 6pm. Visit the See Your Whistler display from June 9 to September 6 at the Whistler Public Library.

FREE! photo workshops

As part of the photo challenge, we are organizing 2 free workshops at the Whistler Public Library on April 21 (10am to 12pm) and/or May 7 (6 to 8pm). Local photographer, Toshi Kawano, will teach the basics; composition, exposure, settings; and focus on photographing people (portrait and candid). Bring your camera, or just your phone, to learn more. To register, or for questions, email


Citizenship Test

Since IRCC brought in changes to the Citizenship application process, they also introduced changes to the Citizenship Test, making it more difficult to pass. If you are preparing for your Citizenship Test, be sure to study the latest materials available on the CIC website

Pitch in Day

Next up – the WMN is participating in Pitch In Day this spring! You can volunteer and help clean the beautiful place we live in. We meet on May 6 at 9 AM in parking lot 4 by the staircase. Everyone will get free gloves, garbage bags and a t-shirt. After cleaning we will enjoy an amazing BBQ at the Fire Hall!!

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program – another year finished!

In total, between 9 volunteers and 4 tax clinics, we helped 83 individuals file their tax return. Thank you to all the volunteers who participated. Despite some technical hiccups, we managed to run each clinic smoothly and worked together as a team to solve problems. The WMN is heppy to work with the Whistler Public Library, Whistler Community Services, and Revenue Canada, to deliver this community service.

Parenting Across Cultures (PAC)

Hoping to have our funding confirmed shortly, Andrea has started spreading the word about PAC, and receiving lots of positive feedback and interest. We have invited Lana Lutke, a local certified counsellor who specialises in culture shock and adjustment, to facilitate the program. Lana is excited to be involved as she already helps clients with these issues in her practice as a counsellor. Carole and Andrea met with Jackie at WCSS, who run a comparable program called Birth, Baby & Beyond (BBB). They are planning to run 5 BBB sessions per year, as they find it difficult to keep up with the demand, and are welcoming PAC as an additional community resource.

Multicultural Community Kitchens – taste all the flavours of the world

Would you like to show everyone how to cook your favourite food? We would love to hear from you!

Contact us for more information about cooking at the Multicultural Community Kitchen at 604.388.5511 or email

The popular Multicultural Community Kitchen program is back. We kick off the new season with Taiwanese food. Chia Chia will teach us how to cook and enjoy a traditional meal. For other kitchens, we will keep you posted with an updated calendar.  Get your taste buds ready for an amazing journey around the world.


We’re happy to report that we’ve received funding for the Festival from Heritage Canada and Welcome BC this year. We’re also hoping to have more local sponsors so that the event can become more sustainable for the WMN to continue delivering.

Recruitment for performers, activity leaders and general volunteers is now open. The food team is busy planning what we’ll be selling this year, and spaces are open for the multicultural marketplace again.

If you’d like to participate in any way or have ideas for activities, performances, food, or other offerings, then contact the Welcome Centre by calling 604-698-5960 or emailing

April Advisory Board Minutes

Whistler Multicultural Network

Advisory Board Meeting – Minutes

April 24, 2017 at Whistler Welcome Centre


Meeting called to order at 5.30pm



Andrea Dunne, Carla Eguez Paz, Carole Stretch, Chizuko Higashi, Karolina Cadova, Karoline Madsen, Maria Romero, Priscilla Belanger,

Regrets: Belle Menesis, Masumi Yamazaki, Barbora Vanickova, Ghazal Tohidi





Monthly report      

Attendees were encouraged to read report prior to meeting. News: Parenting Across Cultures received funding approval from the CFOW and Multicultural Community Kitchens received funding approval from RMOW.


Whistler Multicultural Festival 


Marie is going connect with Joy about returning as dancers.

Andrea is working on maybe a salsa dancer and Carmen the Zumba teacher. Karolina will connect a Greek Musician with Andrea.

** Any performance inquiries pass on to Andrea**

Suggestion: kids to learn their cultural dances


Pinatas, Dreamcatchers, Calligraphy, Photo Booth? Do it differently – have 1 or 2 costumes, show how to wear it and then take a photo.

Henna Tattoos – Andrea to connect with Ajita about her friend to do them as a fundraiser (by donation).

**Any activities inquiries pass on to Barbora or Andrea or Carole**

Food vendors

Commercial Kitchen almost secured at the CABN (Aava Hotel)

Nesters has pledged $500 of food, PC maybe the same.

**Any food inquiries pass on to Barbora**

Multicultural Market

** Any market inquiries pass on to Andrea**

Ajita’s stall – Indian Chutneys and spreads.


Funding has been approved by Heritage Canada and BC Gaming

Logistics & Promotion

Florence Petersen Park has now been booked

Plaza to hold market, karaoke and axe throwing.

Confirmed everything Rob Olive will be able to provide as Event Manager.


Pitch – in Day                     

Priscilla has had 8 inquiries, 4 confirmations of volunteers.

Andrea to re-post the flyer on the group on Tuesday and then the page later this week.

Location – Day lots along with the Village Host group, meet at the Library, meeting 9am.



Communication Items        

Please see sheet. Please talk to people in your network about these items


Core Funding          

Funding comes from IRCC, SMART Fund, BCSIS. Funding has been cut this year and will continue to be cut over the next 2 years making it challenging to cover Welcome Centre staffing costs (3 part-time staff members). WMN has been asked for some money to be made available to the Welcome Centre to help cover staffing costs if needed, in order to maintain staffing levels and/or operational costs.

AB discussed how much $ and what to allocate it to. AB to think about this proposal over the next month.


WMN process to non-profit incorporation:        

WMN currently a community group. Challenges with this include funding applications have to be made with a partner.

Choices we have – stay as we are, become a society. Carole   to circulate the presentation about how to become a society, next meeting will discuss the possibilities.


Announcements & New Business    

Chizuko had a great idea to develop a Multicultural Summer  Camp in Whistler – lots of possibilities, can even apply for funding to run it and perhaps then create some revenue for the WMN – to be discussed.


Adjournment        Meeting adjourned at 7pm.

Next Board Meeting: Monday May 29, 5.30pm

Location: Whistler Welcome Centre


Prepared by Andrea Dunne

It’s that time again… April Advisory Board Meeting!



Join us on Monday, April 24, 5.30-7pm for this month’s Advisory Board Meeting, especially if you are interested in the following topics;

Becoming an official non-profit organisation

Whistler Multicultural Festival planning


For the first time, the Advisory Board will also be discussing the Whistler Multicultural Network’s possible capacity to support the Welcome Centre financially. The Welcome Centre has just entered a new year of funding and due to government cut backs, it will need support to be able to operate our minimum levels of service over the next year and longer. If this service is important to you and your community, get involved and join the discussion! All ideas and discussion will be welcomed.

We look forward to seeing you there!

March Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

Whistler Multicultural Network
Advisory Board Meeting – Minutes
March 27, 2017 at Whistler Welcome Centre
Meeting called to order at 5.30pm

Attendance Andrea Dunne, Barbora Vanickova, Carole Stretch, Karolina Cadova, Izumi Inoue, Maria Romero, Priscilla Belanger, Mariana Teneva, Masumi Yamazaki
Regrets: Chizuko Higashi, Belle Menesis, Carla Paz Eguez, Madiha Hassan

Agenda Agreed

Monthly report Members discussed fact that currently non-citizens are unable to vote, or to sign a petition to the government. In some regions of Canada, permanent residents have gained the right to vote in local elections. AB felt that is something permanent residents in Whistler want to be able to do. Staff to identify what process would be needed to gain the vote for PRs in Whistler with possible intention of lobbying for that.

Whistler Performances
Multicultural Current confirmed performances reviewed and possible
Festival others discussed. Suggestions included: salsa, Russian dancing (Lana), Punjabi dancing or other (invite Squamish Welcome Centre), Syrian aoud, Japanese dance (Izumi checking it out and possible Japanese children’s group), Kendo, didgeridoo, martial arts group, Pemberton karate club, Vancouver Slovenian Society.
Some concerns about soap carving using so much soap. Discussed possibility of easier activity for younger children. Suggestion to mark what ages activities are suitable for on tables – where possible include an activity for younger and also older age groups.
Food vendors
Harajaku and Rocking Wok confirmed so far. AB agreed vendors can go up to $10 in order to make the event more financially viable for them. Target $5 for WMN food sales.

Pitch – in Day Priscilla and Barbora working on poster and announcement for WMN team. Poster copy reviewed and agreed by AB. Promotion/recruitment to start shortly. This will be two-stage process. Gaining interest, and then sign up through follow up to those marking their interest on Facebook. Suggestion to encourage people to bring their own gloves – in the second stage we will let them know. WMN now planning pot luck on Sunday 7 May, the day after Pitch In Day.
WMN process to Item deferred till next meeting due to time constraints.

Adjournment Meeting adjourned at 7pm.
Next Board Meeting: Monday April 24, 5.30pm
Location: Whistler Welcome Centre

Prepared by Barbora Vanickova and Carole Stretch

Whistler Multicultural Festival 2017 – Sign Up!

The Whistler Multicultural Festival is happening again on Friday June 9, 4-8pm at Florence Petersen Park!

We are always interested to hear from community members about new and different performances.

Do you know a fun song, dance, martial art or story that is unique to your culture? We would love for you to perform it for the local community at the festival.

For more information, contact or call 604 698 5960

We will see you on June 9!

Welcome Centre and WMN update

Great to see some old and some new faces on Monday at the WMN advisory board meeting…. Some good discussion – and cake! after we issued the WMN Bulletin January 2017 with updates on staff, new programs, upcoming events, and our plans for spring.

Here’s what we talked about:

Whistler Welcome Centre

We have now put everything under one name, one contact place and hope this will be easier for everyone to fund out about the services and programs they are interested in. We have one-stop for information, contact and registration. You can now contact the Welcome Centre:

  • Face-to-face at a drop-in: Monday afternoon 3-6pm and Friday morning 9.30-12.
  • By telephone on: 604.698.5960
  • By email at:
  • On Facebook at: Whistler Welcome Centre, where you can find important information about settlement and immigration changes and updates
  • On the web at

The Whistler Multicultural Network is still a key partner in the Welcome Centre with the Whistler Public Library, Capilano University, and Sea to Sky Community Services. The Welcome Centre also provides partners and other organizations with a way/place to offer welcoming and educational programming. Recently, we have added the FACES program to Welcome Centre programming – a family literacy program where parents and children ‘do it together, learn it together’. And we are now able to offer more one-to-one tutors for ESL and other learning/language needs with new funding to train more tutors.

This change will allow the WMN to focus on the annual Festival and to develop and find funding for other activities/programs that can then be delivered through the Welcome Centre. Our website is now merged with the PMN and we have simplified the content to make it easier to get around. WMN is still the organization people will come to for information about life in Whistler – the Welcome Centre website is the WMN website! And now the WMN facebook group can be more focused on our local members and keeping them in touch, while the Welcome Centre page is there for more official information and support.

Check out the full details of what we offer through the Welcome Centre.

2017 Multicultural Festival

In 2016, we received funds from multiple places to fund the Festival: from Immigration Canada, and the Resort Municipality of Whistler supported our first year of offering our own multicultural food. In 2017, while the WMN has enough money in the bank to cover the cost of a Festival this year, we need to learn how to generate enough income from one Festival to cover the next year’s costs. This may be through funding applications, sponsorship and/or revenue from food at the Festival.

For the 2017 Festival we have currently two applications for money we are waiting to hear about:

Canadian Heritage: we have applied for  $5750 to cover

  • an internship for an immigrant to support the Festival management
  • management and technical support on the day
  • supplies for performers and activities
  • sound system and equipment rental
  • volunteer materials
  • food supplies and equipment

Welcome BC funds applied for  $5000 to cover

  • additional staffing costs pre- and during the event and some volunteer honoraria
  • commercial kitchen rental and food costs for multicultural food offering
  • photographer and supplies to generate an ongoing cultural display in the Welcome Centre in the library

We agreed that we should meet again to talk about

  • how we can create a more sustainable funding model for the Festival
  • developing local sponsorships
  • 2017 Festival planning

Building the WMN voice in Whistler, and our finances

  • Funding is being reduced for settlement services by the federal government – less money every year.
  • Festival funding is changing – it may become more difficult for us to apply for money from the federal government and other organizations if we remain a non-incorporated community group. Right now, we have to find a partner who will support our application if it is to an organization who requires a charity. This is how we were able to get funding from the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Community Foundation of Whistler for the multicultural community kitchens last year.
  • If we don’t continue to apply for funding as the WMN in partnership with these partners, we will not have the money to continue developing programs (e.g. community kitchens)
  • With core funding going down, it is important – if we want to keep the Welcome Centre programs going – that the WMN develops its ability to apply for our own funding for programs – so we don’t rely too much on partners (who are making their own applications)
  • The WMN can afford to run the  Multicultural Festival without grants but only for two years at current rate. But if we use the money we have in the bank, we cannot support any other programs.
  • Finding sponsors may be important for the future.
  • More ideas for programming means we can request more grants.

The group discussed whether there is interest in developing the Whistler Multicultural Network into a more formal non-profit organization so that we can be more directly qualified to apply for, and access, more money. All agreed that we should start having more regular meetings of the Advisory Board again, and through those explore how we want to develop the Whistler Multicultural Network and the Festival.

Monday afternoon from 5.30-7pm was agreed as a good time for these meetings. The next meeting will be on Monday February 27 at 5.30 – in the Welcome Centre at the library. We’ll send round a reminder, but why not mark the date now!