Our History

Three decades of helping introduce people to life in Calgary.

We’ve been making a difference in lives of newcomers for more than 30 years. From our humble roots to our current extensive offerings of programs and services, we have always strived to help newcomers realize the full potential of their lives in Canada.

1977 A group of concerned citizens forms Calgary Immigrant Aid Society, the first incorporated settlement agency in the city, funded by Mount Royal College

1978 Agencies and governments provide additional funding for two full-time staff.

1979 In response to the influx of 50,000 refugees from Asia, CIAS organized interagency meetings with over 30 community agencies and hires two Asian settlement workers.

1981 The provincial government funds the Settlement Program.

1982 Grants from the Secretary of State allowed more public education and outreach work – for example, advocating for more ethno-cultural staff in mainstream agencies. CIAS establishes its Citizenship Program.

1984 CIAS receives the Agency of the Year award from the United Way.

1985 The Immigrant Language and Vocational Referral Centre is established (now the Immigrant Language and Vocational Assessment – Referral Centre(ILVARC))

1986 Research projects include a study of Spanish-speaking families. This sparks the beginning of preventative services offered by CIAS.

1993 CIAS moves to current offices; the Board adopts Carver model of governance.

1994 The Mosaic Family Resource Centre is established.

1997 The Immigrants of Distinction Awards (IDA) launches to celebrate CIAS’ 20th anniversary.

2002 CIAS wins the United Way’s Spirits of Gold Diversity Award.

2003 CIAS begins to focus on skills development to better assist newcomers in participating in the economy.

2005 Chief Executive Officer, Hadassah Ksienski, receives an Alberta Centennial Medal in recognition of her outstanding service to the people and province of Alberta.

2007 Calgary Immigrant Aid Society celebrates 30th anniversary and chooses a new name and logo: Immigrant Services Calgary.

2008 Din Ladak becomes the CEO of Immigrant Services Calgary.

2009 Funding from the provincial government and the City of Calgary enables the Youth Inclusive Neighborhoods and After School Programs to commence.

2012 Immigrant Services Calgary celebrates 35 years of service to the community.

2013 Krystyna Biel becomes Immigrant Services Calgary's Chief Executive Officer. Her nearly 25 years of experience with Immigrant Services Calgary is helping the agency reach new heights.

2014 -2015 ISC received a national award from CIC's - International Qualifications Network for the success of its MAPLE 2.0 - Mentorship in Action Project as well as a certificate of recognition from the Prime Minister's office commending ISC for its commitment to helping newcomers build successful lives for themselves and their families.