Introducing the Everyday English for Seniors: a project dedicated to support immigrant seniors over 55 years of age, both male and female!

The project focuses on enhancing English oral and written skills that enable immigrant seniors to become more confident and actively participate in their integration process in Canada. For more information, please click here.

Our office is open and we welcome all clients by appointment only. Services are offered during standard time from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. If you would like to make an appointment, please call us at 403-263-4414 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

We are observing all sanitation and physical distancing requirements to ensure everyone’s safety. Our staff will be wearing masks and gloves, and you will be asked to wear a mask as well. Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available upon your arrival. Unfortunately, at this time, walk-ins, drop-in childcare and public access computers will remain closed until further notice.

CIWA is happy to serve and support you! Our programs and services are fully open. For a full list of available services, please click here.

We thank all our funders, partners, staff and volunteers who have been part of our work. Your contributions to our capacity to create a positive change have made it possible for us to celebrate the impact we achieved.

We are pleased to present the Calgary Immigrant Women's Association 2019-2020 Annual Report. The theme of this year’s annual report, #CIWA, reflects the growing influence of technology and social media. This virtual community allows CIWA to not only empower immigrant women locally – within Calgary – but also empower immigrant women on a global scale. It highlights CIWA’s contributions, leadership and impact in the community through the effective collaboration and shared community values with funding organizations, community and corporate partners.

Click here to view CIWA's annual report. 

The Health Literacy Resources portal provides free videos to watch and resources to print. These tools help people access healthcare services by learning to navigate the healthcare system better, reducing the barriers to accessing services and improving health literacy outcomes.

Click here to access this free resource.

In partnership with Alberta Children’s Services, CIWA is coordinating a Family Resource Network for immigrant and new Canadian families living in the Calgary urban region. Through the network, immigrant and new Canadian families will have access to a continuum of prevention and early intervention services focused on supporting the wellbeing of immigrant children in our community. 

The Family Resource Network provides access to a range of services focused on increasing caregiver capacity, enhancing the development and wellbeing of immigrant children and promoting the social connections of immigrant and new Canadian families.

For more information, accessing and referral of services contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Easy Reading Business Development Tool for Women is an information portal. It is one of the ways to learn about business development in Calgary and Alberta, and is solely for the user's benefit. It is critical that you consider your own unique circumstances and use the business development options best suited to you.

Click here to access this free resource.

Award winners

Daughters Day Awards celebrates the lives, contributions, and achievements of all daughters based on an appreciation of gender equity in our society.

Do you know a girl/ young woman who:

  • Is 12-29 years old
  • Lives in Calgary at the time of nomination  

We want to hear from you!

Complete and submit a nomination by December 31, 2019. Presentations will take place as part of CIWA’s Youth Forum on February 13, 2020. Award recipients will receive $500!

Complete details and nomination forms are available here.

Financial Engagement for Immigrant Youth is a one year project funded by First Calgary Financial. The goal of the project is to enhance the financial literacy of immigrant girls. The project is a collaboration between CIWA’s Youth Program and Financial Empowerment for Immigrant Women program.

For more information, please contact: 

Fatima Narvaez, Family Services Manager

Telephone: 403-444-1759


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History of Family Violence Prevention Month

November Is Family Violence Prevention Month in Alberta. Family Violence Prevention Month started in 1986 as a local initiative in the town of Hinton where four remarkable Albertans, Katherine Kennedy, Sonja Bennett, Faye Wheeler and Glenda Carter, formed The Hinton Society for the Prevention of Family Violence and launched Alberta’s very first family violence education and prevention campaign. The Society’s goals were to draw public attention to the issue and to evoke positive change in their community. This led to expanding local supports and services for individuals and families in the areas of prevention, protection and rehabilitation. At a time when family violence was never talked about publicly, these courageous women inspired the Alberta Legislature to proclaim every November, Family Violence Prevention Month in Alberta. Today their legacy continues. Alberta government is committed to ending family violence. But, we can’t do this alone. It takes all of us working together to promote healthy relationships and safe communities in our province.

This year’s theme, #WhereToTurn, encourages you to learn what resources are available in your community to support those affected by family violence.

Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association stands up with Alberta communities and thousands of individuals who are actively involved in preventing family violence by providing public education and services through #WhereToTurn campaign led by Alberta government.  All Albertans - women and men, girls and boys – are showing their support by hosting a #GoPurpleAB event in their communities, at work or at school during the month of November.

Show your support! #GoPurpleAB in November! 

Innovative Approach to Supporting Early Learning of Immigrant Children

Project Description

The goal of the project is to support the early learning of immigrant children between the ages of 19 and 36 months through learning together activities.

Program Details

  • Hands on learning activities for both parents and children between 19-36 months
  • 20-week program that involves immigrant parents and children for 3 hours, 2 times a week
  • Parent workshops

Eligible Clients

The program is available to low income immigrant mothers with children between the ages of 19 and 36 months. 

Additional Program Information

The program:

  • Identifies the needs and challenges related to the early learning of immigrant children
  • Provides skill building workshops for parents
  • Supports and enables immigrant children meet the age appropriate developmental mile stones
  • Provides referrals to other CIWA programs to help participants access additional support services
  • Provides access to childcare for siblings between the ages of 6 months and 6 years
  • Provides first language support

For more information please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Funded by:

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Langauge Venture at CIWA 

Language Venture at CIWA offers certified interpretation and professional translation services to the community and businesses.

We have 199 CIWA graduates, of which 187 are CILISAT certificate holders who are available as freelancers to provide interpretation and translation services in 61 languages.

Read More

Office Administration Program for Immigrant Women

Program Description 

The program helps immigrant women gain the skills, information and experience needed to enter the Canadian workplace.

Project Description 

This full-time program offers certified training in Community Interpreting for CIWA volunteers.

On June 22, 2019 at the Westin Hotel in Calgary, Noha Elhakim was the proud recipient of the 2019 Arab Women of Excellence Awards - Community Services in North America. The award ceremony is the 1st initiative of its kind in North America to recognize, honor, award, and celebrate the achievements of 50 Arab Women in 10 different categories, namely: Art & Media, Academia, Research, Community Service, Politics & Government, Inspiration, Business & Entrepreneurs , Sports, Youth Achievements & Talents, and Motherhood. This award will inspire all Arab women across the world as well as Arab youth, but also, sends a clear strong international message about the abilities and capabilities of Arab Women.

Cecilia Awoyemi and Maria Ana Corazon Espiritu were awarded the 2019 University of Calgary Continuing Education Scholarship on June 12th.

Cecilia Awoyemi moved to Canada with her family in 2018. She is a professional administrator with 7+ years’ experience in providing administrative and customer service support including 4 years as an HR professional specializing in recruitment. Cecilia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos Akoka, Nigeria, and a Master of Arts degree in HR Management from the De Montfort University Leicester, UK. She is a participant of the Bridge to Success for Professional Immigrant Women program and has secured an HR practicum placement with Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP Law Firm. As part of her 5 year career plan, Cecilia would like to take the Human Resource Management Certificate at the University of Calgary.

Maria Ana Corazon Espiritu is a Filipino immigrant who arrived in Canada in June 2018. Prior to her arrival in Canada, Maria Ana graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor’s degree in Library and Information Science and worked as a college librarian at the University of the Philippines for five years. She recently finished the Labour Market Bridging for Volunteers: Interpretation and Translation program and is currently a certified Tagalog community interpreter for the Filipino community in Calgary. Maria Ana is an active volunteer in the community and a lifelong learner in her own right. Her personal and professional interest is focused on social services, family reunification and adult education.

Karma Youdon and Mary Althea Valenzuela were the recipients of this year’s Gerda R. Bloemraad Educational Scholarship. Gerda R. Bloemraad Educational Scholarship aims to provide monetary assistance to CIWA clients or volunteers who wish to further their education or commence a course at an accredited institution in a subject of their choice.

Originally from India, Karma Youdon arrived in Canada in February 2015. She joined CIWA as a mentee with the Youth Mentorship Program and continued on in a volunteer mentor capacity with multiple programs through CIWA’s Youth Collaborative. After graduating from high school in 2017, Karma has been working hard to save money for her college education as she is committed to pursuing her Social Work Diploma through Bow Valley College. The Gerda R. Bloemraad Scholarship will enable Karma to make her dream become reality by becoming a registered social worker while being an inspiration for her younger twin brothers. 

Currently a volunteer with CIWA’s Youth Mentorship Program, Mary Althea Valenzuela has at one point been a youth participant and mentee in the same program. As a newcomer from the Philippines, Mary dedicates herself to the pursuit of supporting the vulnerable and is fully committed to pursuing a career in social services. She is currently enrolled in Mount Royal University’s Bachelor of Arts program. Mary hopes to apply the Gerda R. Bloemraad Scholarship funds towards her education and getting her closer to achieving her dream of becoming a registered social worker.   

 On Saturday, June 15th, HIPPY ( Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) program celebrated the graduation for their 10th intake! 91 people attended the event at the Bow Valley Christian Church. HIPPY mothers and children were presented with certificates for their efforts and commitment to the program. 29 Age 5 children graduated the program and are on their way to a successful school career, while their parents now have the tools to continue to support their children’s education. Congratulations HIPPY participants!


On January 30, 2019, The City of Calgary announced $3 million funding for Mental Health and Addictions Programs.

For the third year in a row, CIWA partnered with The Shoe Project to provide immigrant women the opportunity to share their immigration stories. The Shoe Project was founded by Katherine Govier eight years ago in Toronto to provide a platform where immigrant and refugee women can share their stories of their arrival in Canada – through a pair of shoes.  The women are coached by Canadian writers and theatre professionals. As of today, The Shoe Project holds performances in Halifax, Toronto, Calgary, Canmore, and Vancouver. 

Youth Forum and Daughters Day Awards 2020

Daughters Day AwardFrom left to right: Alice Lam Daughters Day Jury Chair; Award Winner Charvi ShahAward Winner Eliana SamaraAward Winner May ElsayedAward Winner Ayah AldeebAward Sponsor and former CIWA Board Chair Gerda R. Bloemraad

On February 13, 2020, CIWA celebrated its eighth annual Youth Forum event in collaboration with The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth at the Calgary Marlborough Community Association. This year’s event theme was “Confident Daughters, Dynamic Leaders.” Youth Forum provides a platform for Youth Mentorship Program participants to promote diversity and cross-cultural understanding and share their perspective on multiculturalism, tolerance and citizenship. During the event, four exceptional young daughters were presented with a 2020 Daughters Day Award. This award celebrates the lives, contributions and achievements of daughters based on an appreciation of gender equality in our society. Recipients were selected by a jury comprised of five CIWA Board Directors Shairoze Damji, Alice Lam, Elena Kim, Ranju Shergill and two CIWA Board Committee Volunteers Jade Duong and  Vanessa Ferlaino. The awards were generously sponsored by Gerda R. Bloemraad, former CIWA Board Chair and Shirley Turnbull, former CIWA Board Director. Youth Forum was attended by over seven hundred community members including children, youth and parents.


CIWA is pleased to announce a new project! Supporting the Economic Security of Unpaid Caregivers is a project that focuses on supporting immigrant women who are providing informal/unpaid care for a family member (child, spouse, aging parent or grandparent, etc.).

CIWA is pleased to announce a new project! Employment Security Alliance for Vulnerable Immigrant Women is a project that plans to increase the economic security of immigrant and refugee women who are fleeing domestic abuse.

Bridge to Success for Professional Immigrant Women

Program Description

Bridge to Success for Professional Immigrant Women is a full-time 24-week employment training program. This program helps women with educational and professional backgrounds in administration, sales, marketing, community and social services, and other related professions to attain professional experience in their field of expertise by helping to connect them to the labour market.

Fast Track Employment Training for Immigrant Women

Program Description

The program helps immigrant women gain the skills and knowledge needed to enter the Canadian workplace in various roles.

Food Service Training

Program Description

This program equips immigrant and refugee women with the tools and knowledge to work in the Food Service sector. 


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