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A Closer look
What are your mission and vision?
The Prince Albert Multicultural Council (PAMC) exists to create awareness, understanding, appreciation, respect, and acceptance of the various cultures that compose Canada by means of public relations, personal interaction, festivals and workshops. We are also a refugee and immigrant serving agency that assists newcomers to adapt and fit comfortably into Canadian society.
What are the programs and services offered by your organization?
1) Settlement Services: The PAMC offers assistance and advice to newcomers who are adjusting to life in Canada. This is done through informal counselling and referrals in order to connect people to the resources available in the community. This includes services such as, but not limited to, translation/interpretation, help understanding and filling out paperwork and applications for various necessities in Canada, connecting clients with educational and employment opportunities, and working with partner organizations and various levels of government to better serve newcomer clients and the community of Prince Albert and area.
2) English Language Classes and Resources: Access to English language instruction plays a key role in the success of newcomers during their settlement and life in Canada. We have a number of resources at our center that give newcomers the opportunity to improve their language skills; including ESL classes, customized tutoring, computers, and resources, such as Rosetta Stone, books, CDs and more. One of our core programs is our “English for the Workplace” program, a part-time, flexible English class, with a curriculum that is intended to boost students’ English level, as well as to prepare newcomers with a better understanding of Saskatchewan’s workplace culture.
3) Activities and Events to Promote Multiculturalism and Integration: The main goals of the activities held both at the center and within the community are to promote integration and understanding between cultures. What follows is a list of many of the events and activities that the PAMC organizes and promotes throughout the year:
- UN March 21st: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- Canada Day Celebration at Kinsmen Park
- Tapestrama Cultural Festival
- Christmas at City Hall
- Discovering Diversity in Language Classes (Spanish, Cree Class)
- Multicultural Potlucks
- PAMC Concert Series
- Multicultural Minute Page in partnership with the PA Shopper
Whom do you serve/target with your programs and services?
PAMC primarily serves newcomers to the community, but also provides services to Prince Albert and area.
What are you working on right now (project, fundraiser, special event, etc.)?
- Canada Day 2014 Celebration at Kinsmen Park on July 1st.
- Tapestrama 2014 Cultural Festival at EA Rawlinson Centre on September 27-28.
Do you have a call for volunteers, fundraising, employees, resources, and/or submissions?
PAMC greatly appreciates participation and contribution from our volunteers. You are welcome to join us. Call us at 306-922-0400 or visit us in our office, open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. You can find out more information at www.pamcsk.com/volunteer-opportunity.html.
What is one thing people may not know about your organization?
PAMC organizes Canada Day Celebrations in Prince Albert annually. We have been doing this for decades and we always work hard to make Canada Day festivities bigger and brighter every year. The Canada Day celebration is an event accessible to all families, individuals and community members of the city and surrounding area. Music, entertainment, children’s activities, food booths, opening and closing ceremonies and fireworks are always part of the celebration at no cost to the public.
At the PAMC, we feel strongly that it is an important part of our mission to bring together and make links between various ethnic, religious and cultural communities in the city with events such as this. In a province as diverse as Saskatchewan, we wish to celebrate diversity and multiculturalism, which are so quintessential to Canada and being Canadian.
Please share a story that illustrates your organization’s impact in the community.
PAMC welcomes and supports immigrants and newcomers to our community. Our office is set up to assist newcomers in seeking employment and educational opportunities in Prince Albert and area, as well as accessing important services, such as health, interpretation, or counseling services. Given the economic importance that the current Government of Saskatchewan has placed on immigration (i.e. Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program) and the need to find skilled labour from abroad to support our growing economy, this function of the PAMC will be increasingly important for the community in the years to come. Many of the referrals the PAMC deals with link newcomers directly with local organizations and businesses.
PAMC also offers an ESL option for clients, which enables individuals to improve their English skills, access better employment opportunities, and make strong contributions to the community. One of our core programs, English for the Workplace (funded by Government of Saskatchewan – Ministry of the Economy), is especially important not only in improving English levels, but also teaching a curriculum that includes important Canadian workplace topics, such as Occupational Health and Safety, Workers Compensation and Saskatchewan labour law.
And lastly, PAMC is heavily involved in promoting cultural events within the community. Two examples that stand out are the annual Canada Day Celebrations for Prince Albert and area, as well as Tapestrama Cultural Festival. Both events involve important community partnerships, and also contribute to tourism in Prince Albert and area.
What types of challenges does your organization face?
A rapidly changing demographic in the community means that the PAMC needs to constantly be changing, adapting, creative and dynamic, in order to serve our newcomer clients and our community.