Organizations to help you get settled in Calgary
Calgary is home to community organizations, and settlement organizations who provide services and programs to help newcomers. Whether it’s finding the right school for your children, finding employment or participating in recreational programs, these organizations can help.
Settlement organizations provide information and guidance to newcomers. Staff often speak several languages and they provide services at no or low cost. We also have a list of a variety of culturally diverse organizations who can help if you’re new to Canada.
1000 Voices is a gathering place for the North of McKnight communities. It is located at the Genesis Centre.
1000 Voices is a place which can be used for community meetings, discussion groups, programs and services, cultural arts and local events. The facility also offers workplace programs and career counselling.
ActionDignity is a community-based organization that facilitates the collective voice of Calgary’s ethno-cultural communities towards full civic participation and integration through collaborative action. They also offer various youth programs for newcomers and immigrants.
Bow Valley College is a public college that offers various services for newcomers:
- Directions for Newcomers in Trades and Professional Careers. They offer career services to help newcomers get connected to the workforce and restart their career in Canada.
- The Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement helps open doors to new career opportunities including teaching English as a second language, and careers in immigrant advancement and intercultural studies.
- Assessment & Testing Services offers tests for academic entrance, employment, immigration, high-school equivalency, and certification. Testing for standard of English language proficiency (IELTS) is available on their website. You can also call 403-410-1700
The Calgary Board of Education is Calgary’s public school system. Children who are not Canadian citizens must register through the Admissions and Assessment Office at Kingsland Centre, even if they have attended school elsewhere in Canada (Elementary, Junior and High School). Interpretation and translation support is available to parents; an appointment is required for service.
The foundation provides services for immigrant and refugee youth and their families by providing appropriate information, knowledge and experience as they build a life in Canada. Their In School Settlement Program:
- Helps newly arrived immigrant families settle into new communities
- Provides information on community resources and services in Calgary
- Offers services in over 30 languages
- Provides culturally sensitive services through a diverse team of Settlement Practitioners
- Works in partnership with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), the Calgary Catholic School District board (CCSD), and the Calgary Public Library
- Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
- Hosts workshops in libraries, schools, and community centres on topics such as Employment, Healthcare, School Systems, Financial Literacy, Accessing Social Benefits, Housing, Education, and more
- Offers Functional English Conversation Classes to Newcomers looking to learn English
This organization provides settlement and integration services to newcomers and refugees in Alberta. Some of their settlement services include:
- Over 70 programs delivered through a multicultural, multilingual and multidisciplinary team of over 250 professionals, collectively speaking 60+ languages.
- Programs designed for every age group and demographic.
- Employment, language training, skills training and advocacy are a few of the areas of specialty.
The Calgary Catholic School District is the Roman Catholic separate school board in Calgary that offers separate school registration for newcomers (Elementary, Junior and Senior High School). Students who were born outside of Canada can register at the St. John Reception Centre before enrolling at a local school. They offer support to newcomer and immigrant youth and their families in adjusting and adapting to the Canadian school system and Canadian culture. They also offer interpreters to help families communicate with schools.
The Calgary Public Library system featuring various branch locations across the city. Along with various library services, they also offer services for newcomers such as:
- Special workshops and programs for children and adults
- ESL Writing Club, conversation clubs, ESL/IELTS books
- Online courses, Learn English Storytime and ELL School Success
The Centre for Newcomers is a resource centre for Calgary’s newcomers and refugees to receive settlement and integration services as well as information. Settlement and integration services include:
- Needs assessment and one-on-one counselling.
- Orientation to life in Canada.
- LGBTQ+ settlement services.
Chinook Learning Services is the Calgary Board of Education's provider of High School Upgrading, Adult English Language Learning, non-credit Continuing Education (professional development, personal development & corporate training), and Off-Campus (work experience) programs.
This organization offers language, employment, and settlement training for newly arrived newcomers and low income families. Specifically, their Welcome Resources Information Program is an information service to help guide newcomers through all the different programs and services available in Calgary such as:
- Traveling by public transit (bus or C-train),and buying a low-cost bus pass
- Joining social groups and meeting new people
- Finding a place of worship like a mosque, church, or synagogue
- Applying for documents like a Social Insurance Number or Alberta Health Card
Referral to programs for language, employment, settlement, etc.