K W Multicultural Centre
December 1991 / January 1992
prepared by Indrani C – Program Co-Ordinator
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The K-W Multicultural Centre was founded in 1970, and is the oldest agency serving immigrants in the area. To learn more about the Centre’s work, read on! If you already know the Centre, read on anyway .. you may learn something new about our services!
Moving to K-W can be confusing for anybody: how can you explain King Street, that runs north, south, east and west ?! Or streets like King and Weber, that are sometimes parallel, and yet cross each other in two places ? For someone new to the country, adjusting to life here can be even much more confusing.
The Centre focuses on two main areas in its work. First it tries to help immigrants with whatever they need in order to participate in their new life. Second, it helps community members to adjust to its changing face.
To achieve the first goal, the Centre provides what are called settlement services to newcomers. These include helping them in areas such as looking for housing or work, filling out immigration forms, finding a lawyer or a doctor, giving information about English classes or job training possibilities. In the winter, the Centre has a supply of used clothing available to people who need this service. Every day, the Centre’s staff answer many questions and help people in these and many other areas. The Centre also has pamphlets and brochures on a wide range of subjects. The publications are available in many different languages.
The Cultural Interpreter and Translator program enables people who have not been in Canada long enough, to communicate in English at an appointment with a doctor or lawyer, for example – by providing an interpreter (usually a volunteer), who is fluent in their first language and in English to go to the appointment with them to interpret. A Translation service for documents from many different languages into English is also available.
To help the community welcome those new to the area, the Centre provides seminars and workshops for community groups, businesses, and schools.
Just in case you are getting the impression that it’s all work and no fun, let me remind you of the Multicultural Festival, which is held every year at Victoria Park during the Canada Day (July 1) weekend. For two fun-filled days, the whole family can enjoy crafts, traditional dancing and especially foods from around the world ! This event is something Kitchener-Waterloo always looks forward to.