Immigrant & Refugee Services Association PEI (IRSA PEI) officially opened a new office at 30 Greenwood Drive in the City of Summerside on May 12. Newcomer clients, former clients, and cultural leaders in Summerside and from across PEI attended the Official Opening and Open House. Executive Director of IRSA PEI, Bernadette Reynolds, together with Mayor of Summerside, Dan Kutcher, cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony. Keptin James Bernard from Lennox Island gave a beautiful blessing, and Deputy Mayor Snow, members of Summerside City Council, and City of Summerside staff such as Lori Ellis and Mike Thususka were in attendance, as well as many immigration partners including: Li Feng, Farahnaz Rezaei, and others from Prince Edward Island Government, Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce, PEI Connectors, and Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce staff.
Summerside full-time staff include Belinda Woods, Settlement Worker, Emma Nguyen with the Provincial Immigration Partnership; Lily Tran and Tammy Cassie, Youth Settlement Workers; and Eric Myers, Employment Specialist. Staff from IRSA’s Charlottetown head office also provide services in Summerside including Erin Mahar, Director of Programs; Nnena Ukwa, Intercultural Training for AIP Employers; Lisa Dollar, Cultural Inclusion Trainer; Todd MacEwen, CSAI Sport Support Program Coordinator; and Scott Hay and Teresa Zhang with Youth Settlement’s Future Readiness Program for newcomer high school students.
Over the next few months in Summerside IRSA PEI is holding PD Day Camps, International Friendship Groups for Youth, Employment Workshops, Summer Camps, Youth Circles, and DiverseCity Festival on Sunday, July 23 at the Lefurgey Cultural Centre grounds on Prince Street.
The opening of IRSA PEI’s new office signaled a clear commitment by IRSA PEI to continue to expand programming for newcomers to Canada in the Summerside region. IRSA is grateful to all who attended and who continue to support newcomers and immigration on Prince Edward Island.