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WRD 2014 - Events in Canada

World Refugee Day campaign in 2014 will emphasize the impact of war on families and place individual refugee family stories at the centre of UNHCR work.

The call to action is: Join UNHCR and share your refugee story.

This call to action will allow individuals to tell stories about refugee courage and survival - as well as success stories of refugees re-starting their lives in a new country. It will allow the public to view the refugee experience through different experiences from people close to home. This aims to remind the public of the strength and courage of refugees by inviting everyone to share refugee stories and tell us if they have one of their own. Through these individual testimonials we can highlight the universal emotions each of us would share if faced with the prospect of losing everything, starting from scratch, or safeguarding our family from violence.

For more information or to tell us about your World Refugee Day event please email stanleyl@unhcr.org or nyembwe@unhcr.org

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Host: Canadian Council for Refugees

When: 16- 22 June 2014

Where: In communities across Canada

Event: Marches avec les réfugiés pour une société plus forte / Walk with refugees for a stronger Canada

From Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, join others in your community in changing the conversation about refugees and others seeking protection close to home. Find out more about significant places for refugees and others seeking protection near you. Learn more about their contributions close to home, how you can make a stronger community together and how you can put the conversation about refugees in Canada on the right path.

For more information:

English version : http://ccrweb.ca/en/refugee-walk

Version française : http://ccrweb.ca/fr/marche-refugies

Contact information: info@ccrweb.ca; (514) 277-7223


Host: Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care

When: 16 June 2014

Where: Major Canadian cities

Event: National Day of Action Against Cuts to Refugee Health Care

For a list of locations visit: http://cdrcdayofaction.com/

Contact information: Docs4refugeeHC@gmail.com


British Columbia


Host: Settlement Orientation Services (S.O.S); ISSofBC

When: 20 June 2014, 11:00am- 3:00pm

Where: Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia St.

Event: World Refugee Day will be commemorated with an interactive and engaging story-telling format, where visitors will have a chance to learn more about the experiences of refugee claimants, refugees, and those supporting refugees in their journey to safety. Participants will tell their stories in a small group setting, giving visitors a chance to ask questions and learn more about the experiences of Canada's refugees and those working with refugees. This will be followed by a speech from Dr. Stephen Toope, the 12th President and vice-chancellor of UBC and scholar of human rights, public international law, and international relations. Participating organizations will also have display tables set up during the event.

Contact Person: Kerstin Walter, kwalter_sos@vrsa.ca.

Kimberley and Cranbrook

Host: East Kootenay Friends of Burma

When: 21 June 2014

Where: Kimberley and Cranbrook, BC

Event: This year on World Refugee Day we will encourage our local residents including our local mayors from Kimberley and Cranbrook BC, (the first two cities in Canada to proclaim they are proud to Protect Refugees), to walk and talk with refugee advocates and refugees. We often combine this day with the local First Nation -the Ktunaxa nation, as they celebrate Aboriginal Day on June 21st at which they have previously welcomed new refugees to their traditional territory.

www. ekfriendsofburma.org

Contact Person: Shauna Jimenez; shauna@EKFriendsOfBurma.org


Host: Greater Victoria Public Library and Steering Committee, the Victoria Coalition for Survivors of Torture, the University of Victoria World University Service of Canada chapter, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria and Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society

When: June 21, 2014; 1:00 pm - 4:00pm

Where: Greater Victoria Public Library (Central Branch) 735 Broughton St

Event: World Refugee Day will be a free public afternoon event to highlight the plight of refugees and contributions to their new communities.

  • Lots of fun activities for all ages including social justice quilt making, button making and children's crafts
  • Live music, food vendors and entertainment
  • Community group information tables
  • Reflective time with a community labyrinth
  • Readings by authors:
  • Showcasing newcomer's youth experience

Please join us for the 2nd Annual World Refugee Day celebration in Victoria, BC, Lekwungen Territory a part of a national Walk with refugees for a stronger Canada from 16 - 22 June 2014.

Contact Person: Furaha Siki; fusiki.toka@gmail.com

Media Contact: Sharmarke Mohamed; sharmarke.h.mohamed@gmail.com

Facebook: World Refugee Day Victoria BC Twitter: @VictoriaWRD #yyjwrd


Host: DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

When: 19 June 2014; 3:30 pm- 6:00 pm

Where: Guildford Rec Centre (Gym 3) 15105 105 Ave, Surrey

Event: This year, in honour of World Refugee Day, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society in partnership with local settlement agencies and the City of Surrey is hosting a special World Refugee Day Celebration. The local refugee population and service providers are invited to attend a special celebration recognizing the journey refugees have made through art, music, and food. Service providers have an opportunity to connect with individuals in an informal setting.

Website: www.dcrs.ca

Contact: Meheret Bisrat mbisrat@dcrs.ca or 604.547.1235

Download poster for this event (PDF)



Host: World Refugee Day Calgary Committee: community volunteers, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, Immigrant Services Calgary, and Calgary Public Library

When: 20 June 2014; 4 pm - 9 pm

Where: Genesis Centre, 7556 Falconridge Blvd NE

Event: The event includes youth activities from 4 - 6 pm that features a refugee camp simulation activity.

Between 6 - 9 pm, there will be youth and children's art on display, refugees sharing stories in public kiosks, "Remembering Rwanda" video from Rwandan Canadian Society of Calgary, performances, and dance.

Michael Embaie and Joanne Mugambi will be featured as keynote speakers. Everyone is welcome to join us for this celebratory evening.

Contact Person: Jill Edgington Kirby; wrdcalgary@gmail.com or 403-290-5466



Host: Regina Open Door Society

When: 19 June 2014, 12:00 pm

Where: City Square Plaza

Event: Please help us to create a more welcoming community for newcomers to Regina by joining us on Thursday, June 19th. 2014. Newcomer Bursary Winners will also be announced!


Contact Person: Shelly Hill; (306) 352-3500

Download poster for this event


When: 20 June 2014, at 11:00 a.m.

Where: Vimy Memorial Bandshell

Event:  Walk with refugees for a stronger Canada.

Join us as we walk together to celebrate all of the ways refugee people have contributed to making Saskatoon stronger. Join us to gain a deeper understanding of fellow city residents who have found protection here, and celebrate the important contributions they are making in Saskatoon!

Contact Person: Charis Miller, 306-665-2555

Download poster for this event

Moose Jaw

Host: Multicultural Council of Moose Jaw

Where: 432 Main Street North

When: 20 June 2014

Event: There will be an "awareness both" on the sidewalk outside the office on Main Street to draw attention and inform the community about the special day. In partnership with Amnesty International, refugee cases will be highlighted and the community will be provided with the opportunity to take action.

Contact Person: Lilly Selvaraj; settlement.advisor@mjmcinc.ca



Host: UNHCR and the Refugee Network of Ottawa

When: 20 June 2014, 9:00am-2:00pm

Where: Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave W

Event: The highlights of the WRD event include a flag raising ceremony with Mayor Jim Watson and testimonies by former refugees who have successfully integrated into Canadian society. Stefan Keyes from CTV News will MC the event, and our guest speakers will be Senator Mobina Jaffer, Senator Thanh Hai Ngo, and Rwandese refugee Lilian Asiimwe. Local agencies working with refugees and immigrants including Care Canada and Carleton University will also be in attendance. A rich line up of talented artists will be performing, such as: KAPRI, David Rukundo, Bollywood For Fun, Galitcha, Venezualan Folklore Dance Group- Churun Meru, and World Folk Music Ottawa.

Partners: Catholic Immigration Centre, Matthew House Ottawa, Carty House & YMCA

Contact Person: Lauren Stanley, stanleyl@unhcr.org

Download poster for this event


Host: Coalition in Ottawa for Refugees

When: 19 June 2014, 12:00pm

Where: Human Rights Monument (Elgin St. at Lisgar)
In the event of rain location will be St. John’s Anglican Church, 154 Somerset Street West

Event: Re-Ignite Project 4000: Rally in Support of Syrian Refugees. This event will include guest speakers:

  • Feras Chamas – Originally from Syria, Rev. Chamas, arrived in Canada just 8 months ago.
  • Paul Dewar, MP – Dewar is the NDP MP for Ottawa Centre, and his party’s foreign affairs critic.
  • Don Smith – After he and his wife first sponsored a family from Laos 35 years ago, they have continued to be involved with refugees from Cambodia, Congo, Sudan, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda and Burundi. Smith is Chair of the Refugee Working Group of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa.
  • Aurelia Achor – Drawing on her experience as a refugee from South Sudan, Aurelia has personally been involved in 27 private refugee sponsorships.

Contact information: Don Smith (613) 234-1511; donaldsmith174@gmail.com

Download English poster for this event
Download French poster for this event


Host: Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ)

When: 29 May 2014, at 7:30pm

Where: Woodside Hall, Dominion Chalmers Church, 355 Cooper St., (corner of O'Connor). Parking and entrance are located on Lisgar St.

Event: CPJ's Annual General Meeting keynote address, "The State of Refugee Health: A Prognosis for Public Justice in Canada" with guest speaker Dr. Doug Gruner, a physician at the Bruyère Family Medical Centre and a leader of Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care.

Contact Person: Ashley Chapment, ashley@cpj.ca


Host: Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care

When: 16 June 2014, 11:30am-1:00pm

Where: Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Event: National Day of Action Against Cuts to Refugee Health Care

Contact information: Docs4refugeeHC@gmail.com


Host: Coalition in Ottawa for Refugees

When: 19 June 2014, 12:00pm

Where: Human Rights Monument (Elgin St. at Lisgar) In the event of rain location will be St. John’s Anglican Church, 154 Somerset Street West

Event: Re-Ignite Project 4000: Rally in Support of Syrian Refugees. This event will include guest speaker Paul Dewar.

Contact information: info@ccrweb.ca; (514) 277-7223


World Refugee Day will be celebrated with musical and dance performances at the Daniels Spectrum Artscape Lounge and Aki Studio with entertainment, food and a cash bar. Refugees will be telling their stories throughout the evening. Join us to celebrate with them and with all refugees on this special day.


When: 20 June 2014, 4:00pm – 6:00 pm; 8:00 pm- 9:30 pm*
Where: Artscape Lounge, Daniels Spectrum facility, 585 Dundas Street East
Event: Reception, Human Library/NGO Tables/6th Annual UNHCR-COSTI Refugees and Human Rights Child and Youth Poetry Contest Winners Announced
Download Event flyer (PDF 500 KB)


When: 20 June 2014, 6:00pm – 8:00pm*
Where: Aki Studio Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts centre, 585 Dundas St E
Event: Evening of Sacred Stories & Music and Dance performances

Speakers: El Farouk Khaki, Emanuel Oletho, Mahvash Alasvandi Toghyam

Music by: Afrafranto

Premiere dance piece: "Passages"

*To note that the Artscape Lounge and Aki Studio are adjacent to each other and that some events will be taking place simultaneously.

Partners: UNHCR, Amnesty International, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, Canadian Red Cross, Christie Refugee Welcome Centre, COSTI Immigrant Services, Sojourn House, Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, Centre for Refugee Studies York University

Additional Events:

  • Citizenship Ceremony in Mississauga
  • Launch of the Ready Tours in Toronto*
  • Proclamation & UNHCR-COSTI Refugees and Human Rights Child and Youth Poetry Contest Awards Ceremony
  • Flag Raising at City Hall (18-19 June)

Buildings Lit Blue:

    • Peace Bridge (Fort Erie)
    • Niagara Falls (Canadian and American)
    • CN Tower (Toronto)


*Refugee Claimant Orientation Tours! READY TOURS
In association with the UNHCR, and in celebration of World Refugee Day, the Refugee Protection Division of the IRB is launching READY TOURS for Refugee Claimants. A READY TOUR provides Refugee Claimants with a FREE opportunity to be better prepared for their hearing, see a hearing room, learn what happens at the hearing, and ask questions about the process. The READY TOURS launch is open to the public and will take place on Friday, June 20th from 1:30 - 3:00 pm, on the second floor of 74 Victoria St.in Room #49 . All are welcome!

Contact Person: Rana Khan at canto@unhcr.org

Download Event poster


Host: Life Resource Center; Ministry of the Northpark Community Church

When: 21-22 June 2014

Where: Northpark Community Church, 1510 Fanshawe Park Road E.

Event: The goal of this year’s World Refugee Day celebration is to raise awareness on refugee issues.

Activities will include:

  • dinner hosted by the World Cooks (a refugee catering group that brings the world flavors)
  • the "Spoken Word” a 3 minute performance during all four church services
  • poetry reading, music, dancing
    • World CLASS APRONS AND MARKET BAGS for sale made by World Tailors which is a group of courageous women, refugees from all over the world
    • Henna artists and cultural food fest

Contact Information:
Tendayi Gwaradzimba- Community Outreach Worker: tendayig@gmail.com
David Cottrill - Director of Local Outreach: david.cottrill@northpark.ca
Ron Burdock - Program Director of Global Outreach: ron.burdock@northpark.ca


When: 19 June 2014, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Where: YMCA of Windsor and Essex County, 500 Victoria Ave, Windsor, Ontario

Event: The City of Windsor is proclaiming June 20th World Refugee Day. The event will commence at 12:00 PM with the national anthem, followed by welcoming remarks from attending dignitaries.

From 12:15 PM to 2:00 PM we will enjoy the various performances.

Windsor Public Library (Central Branch) is hosting a presentation on Refugee Mental Health on Wednesday June 18th from 12:15 - 1:15 PM in the main area.

Partners: Collège Boréal, Conseil scolaire de district des écoles catholiques du Sud-Ouest, El Salvador Association of Windsor, Language Assessment and Resource Centre, Matthew House Windsor, Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County, New Canadians’ Center of Excellence Inc., Windsor Public Library, Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women, Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc., and the YMCA of Windsor and Essex County.

Contact Person: Kamal Khaj; kkhaj@ymcawo.ca


Host: YMCA of Sudbury

When: 20 June 2014, 10:00 am to 11:30 am

Where: Newcomer Services Center at the YES offices (in the Rainbow Mall)

Event: There will be an informal presentation followed by a panel discussion. Here, at the YMCA Newcomer Services centre we have had the privilege of meeting with wonderful individuals who have experienced a refugee life at one point in their life or are still in the process of being recognized as refugees or asylum seekers here in Canada. Some of these individuals have accepted to share with us their experiences. Come one for this important information session.

Contact information: Please RSVP to kiyeon.kim@sudbury.ymca.ca or yves.kalala@subdury.ymca.ca

You are also invited to sign the petition on raising awareness about refugees.



Comité organisateur: Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugié (bureau de Montréal), Action Réfugiés Montréal, Projet Refuge

Date: Samedi le 21 juin 2014 de 15 h à 21 h

Lieu: Parc olympique
Esplanade Financière Sun Life
4141, Ave. Pierre-De Coubertin
(Métro PIE X - Sortie PIE IX Est)

Description: Événement en plein air, familial et gratuit, de 15h à 21h. Au
programme: Concerts, BBQ, activités sportives et de loisirs pour tous les âges, kiosques d'information animés par des intervenants auprès des réfugiés et demandeurs d'asile.

Renseignements: 514-496-1637

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JMR2014MTL

Download English poster for this event
Download French poster for this event


Host/Comité organisateur: PRAIDA-YMCA

When/ Date: 20 June 2014, 12:30 p.m.

Where/Adresse: 4039 Street Tupper, Metro: Atwater
Hector-Toe-Blake PARK, Corner René Lévesque Ouest and Sussex
(If it rains, it’s going to be at the Résidence du YMCA)

Au Parc Hector-Toe-Blake, Coin René Lévesque Ouest et Sussex
(Résidence du YMCA en cas de pluie)

Event/ Événement: World Refugee Day/Journée mondiale du réfugié

  • Creative activities, arts / Activités créatives
  • Sports / Sports
  • Kids activities, animations / Activités pour les enfants, animations
  • Dance, music and much more! / Danse et plus encore!

Contact information/Renseignements: 514-932-5353 Ext. 2005 or 2008

Download English poster for this event
Download French poster for this event


Comité organisateur: Le Centre social d’aide aux immigrants (CSAI)

Date: Vendredi 20 juin 2014, de 11h à 15h

Adresse: Devant l’Église Coeur-Immaculé-de-Marie, 6300 rue Laurendeau (En cas de pluie, la fête se tiendra au CSAI)

Événement: Venez fêter avec nous la Journée mondiale du réfugié!

  • BBQ gratuit
  • Kiosque d’information
  • Bienvenue aux enfants

Renseignements: SVP réservez avant le 16 juin auprès de: Ahmed au 514-362-0177

Download event poster


Comité organisateur: L'Association des femmes immigrantes de l'Outaouais (afio), Conseil de la communauté noire de Gatineau, Accueil-Parrainage Outaouais, Immigration Diversité et Inclusion Québec, Ville de Gatineau

Date: Vendredi 20 juin 2014, de 17 h à 20 h

Lieu: Parc de la Maison Fairview, 100, Rue Gamelin

Description: Barbecue gratuit, spectacles, danse, animation pour enfants et témoignages

Renseignements:  819 777–2960

Download poster for this event


Comité organisateur: Service d'accueil des nouveaux arrivants de Trois-Rivières

Date: le 20 juin 2014, 16 00 h

Adresse: 919 Boul. du Saint-Maurice, Trois-Rivières

Événement : marche de solidarité et spectacle aux rythmes du monde. Le rassemblement se fera au 919 Boul. du Saint-Maurice à 16h00, suivi d’une marche sur les rues Laviolette, Royale et Des Forges, pour se terminer au Parc portuaire où se tiendra le spectacle. Une exposition de photographies et des témoignages de réfugiés permettront aussi de sensibiliser la population à la réalité que doivent affronter ceux-ci partout dans le monde.

Renseignements: Alain Dionne; alain.intervenant@sanatrois-rivieres.qc.ca 819-375-2196


Nova Scotia


Host: Immigrant Settlement & Integration Services (ISIS)

When: 20 June 2014, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: 1841 Argyle St. Halifax City Hall

Event: Booklet Launch: Resilience and Resettlement - Stories of Refugees in Nova Scotia and Halifax Walk with Refugees. Following the book launch, the walk will begin at Halifax City Hall at 4:30, then proceed down George Street to the waterfront and along the boardwalk to Pier 21. The expected arrival time is approximately 5:30 p.m.

Contact information: Nabiha Atallah; natallah@isisns.ca



St. John’s

Host: The Association for New Canadians

When: June 19th 12-1 PM

Where: St. John’s, Newfoundland

Event: Soup’s On – A fundraiser to support refugees worldwide. Come join us at the Association for New Canadians’ ESL Training Centre for homemade soup – just $2 a bowl! 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to support refugees worldwide.

For more information:

English version : www.ancnl.ca

Version française : www.ancnl.ca

Contact information: ancvolunteer@nfld.net, (709) 722-0921


WRD 2014

World Refugee Day 2014 Canadians came together to celebrate the successes and contributions of refugees throughout our country. Click the link below to see the events that were held.

Download WRD 2014 Events


About World Refugee Day

WRD logoOften classified unfairly with economic migrants, refugees flee their country not for economic gain but to escape persecution, the threat of imprisonment and even threats to their lives. They need a safe haven where they can recover from mental and physical trauma and rebuild their hopes for a better future.

The intolerance that is often at the root of internal displacement and refugee flows is also present in some of the countries that refugees flee to. Instead of finding empathy and understanding, they are often met with mistrust or scorn.

On World Refugee Day, let's not forget that some day in the future any one of us could be knocking at a stranger's door hoping to find a safe and friendly shelter. We should extend refugees the same kind of welcome we would like to receive if we were in their position.

While most refugees want to go home, some cannot safely return. But wherever they are, refugees will always strive to pick up the pieces and start over. The courage and determination demonstrated during their darkest hours will serve them well in rebuilding a new life. On World Refugee Day, let us honour them for these qualities and recognise the richness and diversity they bring to our societies.