As part of the town of Oliver’s “Light Up Festival,” SOICS opens its doors to the families enjoying the event in the cold November evening. In 2014, visitors, volunteers and clients were engaged in creating pictures on cloth panels with the theme, “What does Canada mean to me?” We chose this topic because it is widely appealing to all ages and backgrounds.
The completed panels were hung on rope lines that stretched across the ceiling, so that everyone who came in could appreciate the work. The MLA, town councilors and the mayor all stopped by to visit and were invited to participate. Snacks were purchased from newcomer local businesses. Local media was brought in to share the project with the rest of the town.
Many people who entered our office had not been in before. Many were unaware of what an immigrant services centre offers to its clients and the community. During the event, staff and volunteers took the opportunity to tell visitors about our activities and services. Visitors were able to connect faces to an organization.