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WRD 2013 - Events in Canada

Ceremonies for World Refugee Day




Host: Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

When: 20 June 2013, 6:00-9:00 pm

Where: John Dutton Theatre, Central Library, 616 McLeod Trail SE

Event: "A Collective Voice for Hope”: event featuring inspiring stories from former refugees, discussion on displacement and collective action, and celebration through multicultural music, dance, and cuisine. Keynote speakers include Wayne Cao (MLA) and Michael Embaie (African Community

Partners: Calgary Public Library; Canadian Red Cross; Calgary Catholic Immigration Society; YMCA of Calgary; Immigrant Services Calgary; and community members.

Contact Person: Jill Edgington Kirby, 403-290-5466, sot2@ccis-calgary.ab.ca

Website: worldrefugeedaycalgary.com

Download Calgary event poster (PDF)


Host: Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

When: 20 June 2013, 5:00pm

Where: St Mary’s Cathedral (219 - 18 Ave SW)

Event: a celebration of Refugee Sponsorship (Mass - 5:00 pm, Reception to follow)

Partners: RC Diocese of Calgary

Contact Person: Antoinette Godbout, sponsorship@ccis-calgary.ab.ca

British Columbia


Hosts: ISSofBC; Vancity; Settlement Orientation Services (S.O.S); Vancouver Public Library

When: 20 June 2013, 11:30am – 1:00pm

Where: Vancouver Central Library, 350 West Georgia St.

Event: Join in marking World Refugee Day, dedicated to protecting refugees and providing them with opportunities to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity. The event also highlights ISSofBC's plans for the new Welcome House Centre and Vancity's generous donation to the project.

Contact Person: Bahar Taheri, bahar.taheri@issbc.org; 604-684-7498 ext.1602


Host: Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society

When: 20 – 23 June 2013

Where: Greater Victoria Public Library
• Saanich Centennial Branch, June 20, 7:00-8:30 pm
• Oak Bay Branch, June 21, 11:30-1:30 pm
• Central, June 22, 11:30-1:30 pm.

Event: The 1st Victoria World Refugee Week is planned to take place over 3 days: June 20-23, 2013. This 3 day period will feature key speakers and documentaries highlighting the triumph of the human spirit, manifested in stories of refugees who survived severe challenges throughout their journey, including in their countries of first asylum and resettlement.

Partners: Victoria Coalition for Survivors of Torture; Greater Victoria Public Library; and UVic WUSC

Contact Person: Sharmarke Mohamed, sharmarke@vircs.bc.ca



St. John’s

Host: Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council

When: 14 June – 20 June 2013


Friday 14 June 2013, 10:00pm - 3:00am: salsa night at the Annexe (32 George St.) Admittance by donation

Saturday and Sunday 15 & 16 June 2013, 1:00-4:00 pm: afternoon concerts at Coffee & Company (204 Water St.)

Monday to Thursday 17-20 June 2013: open doors at our office - art gallery displaying artwork from refugees and immigrants living in the province, and information booths about National Day of Action (17 June) and World Refugee Day (20 June).

Wednesday 19 June 2013, 7:00 pm: potluck

Thursday 20 June 2013, 9:00pm: open mic at the Rose and Thistle (208 Water Street)

Contact Person: Charlotte Magnin, projects@riac.ca;

Website: http://www.riac.ca/get-involved/upcoming-events/refugeeweek



When: 21 June 2013, 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: Cross Point Christian Reformed Church, 444 Steeles Ave West

Event: World Refugee Day 2013. Hosted by the Evangelical Asian Church and the Canadian Christian Association. Government, NGOs, human rights organizations, churches and organization representatives are expected to attend the event.

Contact Person: Tim Tabassum Iqbal, 416-825-9665, tiqbals@evangelicalasianchurch.org

Download Brampton event poster (JPG)

Fort Erie

Host: Fort Erie Multicultural Centre

When: 20 June 2013, 10:00 am

Where: Peace Bridge Authority Parking Lot (corner of Queen and High Streets)

Event: Join the community as we walk from the Peace Bridge, where many refugees enter Canada, to two shelters that house refugees when they first arrive in Fort Erie, and finally to St. Michael’s Church Hall for a light luncheon and celebration of the successes and contributions of newcomers in Fort Erie.

Contact: 905-871-3641 ext.24


Host: Community Coalition on Refugee and Immigrant Concerns

When: 1 June – 2 September 2013


1 June – Monday 2 September 2013: The Waterloo Region Museum presents the Exhibit “Torn from Home; My Life as a Refugee”. The exhibition provides individuals and families with an opportunity to better understand the hardships and hopes experienced by refugee children and their families worldwide.

1 June – Sunday 30 June, 2013: THEMUSEUM, 10 King St W, Kitchener.
In honour of the millions of refugees around the world THEMUSEUM, in partnership with CCORIC, is hosting an art display to share inspiring stories. Artists of refugee background as well as artwork depicting refugee experience will be showcased at THEMUSEUM. Meet the Artists Reception: June 5, 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

1 June - Sunday June 30, 2013: Waterloo Region Public Schools
YMCA School Settlement Program and the local schools working together to observe the World Refugee Day in Public Schools.

3 June, 2013 1:30 to 3:30 pm: Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road, Kitchener
This lecture will provide an overview of historic and current refugee groups including groups coming as refugees pre-second world war, post-second world war, during the Vietnam War, government sponsored refugees, privately sponsored refugees and refugee claimants.

6 June, 2013 4:00 -7:00 pm: Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road, Kitchener
The Immigration Partnership Belonging Pillar Group created Community Meet and Learn series for cultural associations, service providers and other organizations to come together to learn, engage and share community connections. In support of World Refugee Day our next event will be held at the Waterloo Region Museum to provide an opportunity for the participants to connect with the local history.

8 June, 2013 1:00 – 4:00 pm: WPL (Harper Branch), 500 Fischer Hallman Rd N, Waterloo
Engage in conversation with your book and explore the themes of Seeking and Providing Refuge in Waterloo Region. Connect with newcomers - recent and from distant past. Find out what each book’s immigration experience was like and how they found refuge. Catalogue will be posted at www.wpl.ca. This event is a partnership between Waterloo Public Library and KW Multicultural Centre MCC) through the Library Settlement Program.

9 June, 2013 12:00 – 5:00 pm: Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road, Kitchener
Celebrate nine years of saying “Welcome Home!” to newly arrived refugees. Experience the Torn From Home exhibit, enjoy some light refreshments and interact with Welcome Home.

10 June 1:30 - 3:30 pm: Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road, Kitchener
A presentation by John Norquay, an Immigration lawyer with HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario on understanding the changes to the Interim Federal Health (IFH) Program affecting immigrants and especially those living with HIV/AIDS, and a look at the IFHP chart created by Immigration Partnership detailing said changes.

15 June, 2013 3:00 – 5:00 pm: First Mennonite Church, 800 King Street E, Kitchener
Blended Visa Office Referred Refugee Sponsorship program will resettle up to 300 travel-ready refugees to Canada in 2013. With our history of protecting refugees, we will engage the group at First Mennonite and others to provide refugee to one of the 300 refugees.

17 June –Saturday 22 June, 2013: Kitchener Public Library
The Kitchener Public Library is proud to be a partner for World Refugee Day KW. Displays of KPL’s materials and resources related to refugees and the history of refugees in Waterloo Region at all KPL locations.

17 June, 2013 1:30 - 3:30 pm: Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road Kitchener
The private sponsorship program is designed for refugees with no durable solution to resettle in Canada. Understand the program and its impact. Are you ready to respond to some practical justice work?

17 June, 2013 7:00 -9:00 pm: First United Church, 16 William Street West, Waterloo
KAIROS-GRAND RIVER invites you to explore the obstacles confronted by refugees and how our community can respond to these issues.

18 June, 2013 4:00 – 8:00pm: Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road, Kitchener
Connect with our history of “seeking and providing refuge” by touring the exhibit and listening to our outstanding speakers. Enjoy refreshments from various refugee communities while listening to live music.

20 June, 2013 5:00 – 8:00 pm: Kitchener City Hall
A unique opportunity to share music and performing arts from around the world! Musicians with refugee backgrounds from Latin America, Asia and Africa, as well as local choirs and drumming groups.

21 June, 2013 12:00 – 3:00 pm: Reception House Waterloo Region, 101 David Street, Kitchener
Take a tour of our office and find out what we do for our government-sponsored refugees, from the day they arrive in Canada. Enjoy live music as you look through a display of our youth’s art work, and informative picture & video slide shows.

22 June, 2013 1:00 – 3:00 pm: 60 Paulander Drive, Kitchener
Come celebrate our community’s diversity: halal bbq, children’s activities, and unveiling of the art project created by women from the Paulander neighbourhood, facilitated by local artist Pamela Rojas (a partnership between Focus for Ethnic Women & Mosaic).

24 June, 2013 1:30 - 3:30 pm: 10 Huron Road, Kitchener
Understand the circumstances that make people flee. Speakers from Colombian, Rohingya, Roma and Syrian communities will present their community stories of uprooting and resettlement.

26 June, 2013 12:30 - 6:30 pm: The Registry Theatre, 122 Frederick Street, Kitchener
The Kitchener-Waterloo Arab Canadian Theatre/KW-ACT presents this comedy about new refugees in Canada. It exaggerates, criticizes and makes fun of certain behaviours in order to deliver a message of integration and acceptance. Presented in Arabic with English subtitles. Two shows: first show at 12:30pm and second show at 6:30pm. Delicious Middle Eastern snacks available for purchase. Tickets: $10. Tickets available through Centre in the Square – call 519-578-1570 or visit centre-square.com or email info@worldrefugeedaykw.ca

Contact Person: Fauzia Mazhar 519-745-4404 x 209


Host: North Park Community Church

When: 20 – 22 June 2013

Where: North Park Community Church, 1510 Fanshawe Park Road E, London, ON N5X 4A3


Thursday 20 June – 7:00 pm: *God Grew Tired of Us*
God Grew Tired of Us is the award-winning Sundance Film Festival documentary about three of the "Lost Boys of Sudan," a group of some 25,000 young men who have fled the wars in Sudan since the 1980's, and their experiences as they move to North America.

Saturday 22 June – 5:30 to 6:30 pm: *The World's Fare*
The World Cooks are becoming famous for their unique blend of African and Asian foods. Join us as they put on their best global fare, and be surprised by the beauty of food from around the world.

Saturday 22 June – 7:30 to 9:30 pm: *The Main Event*
Snacks, crafts, dancing and singing from around the world; the event also features friends from the Mosaic Intercultural Church and stories of their global neighbours.

16-22 June: Book display at the local Beacock Library

Contact Person: Pastor Ron Burdock: ronburdock@gmail.com or Tendayi Gwaradzimba: tendayig@gmail.com

Download London event poster (PDF)


When: 18 June 2013, 10:00am - Noon

Where: Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street

Event: World Refugee Day (WRD) AwardCeremony to recognize a refugee who has integrated successfully in Ottawa, plus recognition to an outstanding business that has provided employment opportunities to refugees. Live performances from various artists.

Partners: Catholic Centre for Immigrants; Conseil Économique et Social d’Ottawa-Carleton; Somali Centre for Family Services; and Immigrant Women Services Ottawa

Contact Person: Gisele Nyembwe, nyembwe@unhcr.org


Host: Ottawa Refugee Network

When: 20 June 2013; 11:00am – 2:00pm

Where: Human Rights Monument (Elgin and Lisgar) and Parliament Hill (Wellington and Metcalfe)

Event: Proud to Protect Refugees - educational information and activities on site.

Contact Person: Lena McFarlane 613-700-2320 cartyhouse@rogers.com

Download Ottawa event poster (PDF)


When: 20 June 2013, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Where: Yonge-Dundas Square

Events: Walk a Mile in a Refugee's Shoes starting at Nathan Phillips Square City Hall (ramp and location of UNHCR flag) at 11:00 am.

Concert at Yonge Dundas Square: African Guitar Summit, Robi Botos, Allyson Morris, award winning author Dr. Vincent Lam (Headmaster's Wager and Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures).
Award ceremony for the UNHCR-COSTI Refugees and Human Rights Child and Youth Poetry Contest.
Community exhibits and information booths from agencies working with refugees and asylum seekers.
Details at http://www.worldrefugeedayto.ca

At night, the following places will be lit in blue in honour of WRD:

-Niagara Falls
-CN Tower
-Peace Bridge
-Toronto City Hall

From 18 to 20 June, the UNHCR flag will be raised at Toronto City Hall.

WRD Committee: UNHCR, Sojourn House, Canadian Red Cross, COSTI Immigrant Services, Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, Amnesty International Canada, Christie Refugee Welcome Centre, Local Immigration Partnership.

Contact Person: Rana Khan at khanr@unhcr.org,Vanessa Dullabh at dullabh@unhcr.org

Website: http://www.worldrefugeedayto.ca

Download Toronto event poster (PDF)

Download Toronto event flyer (PDF)

Download Toronto even brochure (PDF)


When: 20 June 2013: 12:00 – 2:30 pm

Where: Windsor Public Library, 850 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor, ON

Event: The opening event at the Windsor Public Library will commence at 12:00 p.m. with our national anthem, followed by welcoming remarks from attending dignitaries. Attendees at the local event will be exposed to moving, heartfelt and inspirational expressions from refugees, through storytelling, poetry, dance, and music. By gathering together to share commonalities and celebrate differences, the event serves to foster respect, understanding, and community.

Contact Person: Kamal Khaj 519 256 7330 ext 233

Download Windsor event poster (English) (PDF)

Download Windsor event poster (French) (PDF)




Organisateur : Service d'accueil des nouveaux arrivants (SANA) de Trois-Rivières

Date : 20 juin 2013 de 17 h à 20 h

Lieu : Place de la Francophonie (1, rue Wellington, Gatineau)

Évènement : Journée mondiale du réfugié

Vous êtes invités à un barbecue animé pour souligner la Journée mondiale du réfugié à Gatineau. Des spectacles interculturels dynamiques de musique et de danse, ainsi que des activités d'animation et de maquillage pour enfants sauront tous vous divertir. Soyez de la fête! L'entrée est gratuite. Rafraichissement et nourriture gratuits (jusqu'à épuisement des stocks)

Renseignements : Accueil - Parrainage Outaouais, 819 777-2960

Présenté par Accueil - Parrainage Outaouais.
En collaboration avec la Ville de Gatineau, Service Intégration
Outaouais, l'Association des femmes immigrantes et le Carrefour Jeunesse
Emploi Outaouais.

Download Gatineau event poster (PDF)


When: 20 June 2013, 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Where: Auditorium du Centre d’archives de Montréal, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Édifice Gilles-Hocquart, 535, av. Viger Est (métro Berri-UQAM)

Event: After screening short videos made by resourceful young people on their refugee experience, the audience will have the chance to meet with three youth to hear first-hand how forced migration has impacted their lives and their families, as well as how they have successfully integrated into the fabric of Montreal.

Partners: The Mapping Memories Project of Concordia University

Contact Person: Tania Ghanem, ghanemt@unhcr.org

Download Montreal event poster (English) (PDF)

Download Montreal event poster (French) (PDF)


Organisateur : Service d'accueil des nouveaux arrivants (SANA) de Trois-Rivières

Date : le 20 juin 2013, 16:00

Lieu : Rassemblement 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.

Évènement :
- Marche de solidarité, suivi d’un spectacle et de témoignages.
- Exposition de photographies et des témoignages de réfugiés

Renseignements : Maude Fontaine, maude.intervenante@sanatrois-rivieres.qc.ca




Host: Regina Open Door Society

When: 19 June 2013, 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Where: Scarth Street Mall - Main Stage (Downtown)

Event: Event highlights include guest speaker, Getachew Woldeyesus, a former refugee client and employee of RODS, followed by the Newcomer Bursary presentation and other entertainment. Information will be provided on World Refugee Day, the plight of refugees, and their contributions to Regina.

Contact Person: Shelly Hill, Executive Coordinator, shellyh@rods.sk.ca

Download Regina event poster (PDF)


Host: Saskatoon Refugee Coalition

When: Thursday, June 20, 12 p.m. noon - 12:45 p.m

Where: Civic Square Saskatoon City Hall

Event: World Refugee Day. Join with the Saskatoon Refugee Coalition to celebrate the achievements of refugees in our community!

Contact Person: Helen Smith-McIntyre 306-717-5110 or Klaus Gruber 306-292-6901

Download Saskatoon event poster (PDF)










WRD logo

Often 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.