Community - Diversity 2

Diversity


Diversity in Abbotsford

“Diversity is a commitment to acknowledging, understanding, accepting, valuing, and celebrating differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual orientation, and religious practice”.

The City of Abbotsford is a diverse community. According to the 2011 Census and National Household Survey:

  • Over 50 different languages are spoken in Abbotsford
  • Punjabi is spoken in over 20% of Abbotsford households
  • A language other than English or French is spoken in 38% of all households
  • 26% of Abbotsford residents were born outside of Canada
  • 50% of the population identifies as Christian, while 20% identify as Sikh, and 27% do not have any religious affiliation    
  • Abbotsford is diverse in terms of age with 19% of the population under 15, and 15% over 65

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Abbotsford Building Connections Project

In 2010, the City of Abbotsford received a grant worth $434,596 from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to implement the Abbotsford Building Connections Project. The objectives were for the City of Abbotsford to become more culturally integrated and to increase intercultural and interfaith connections at both the community and the neighbourhood level. Partners for the three year project included Abbotsford School District, the University of the Fraser Valley and Abbotsford Community Services. The project activities included:

  • Twinning schools from east and west Abbotsford
  • Faith twinning with different communities of faith
  • Interfaith dialogues
  • Business networking series focused on diversity and your business

Read the Abbotsford Building Connections project final report

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Initiatives and projects where the City has taken a leading role include:

  • Creating multi-lingual welcome signs in all City facilities to recognize Abbotsford’s diversity.
  • The Abbotsford Indo Canadian Seniors Project, funded by the Union of BC Municipalities, in partnership with the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley.
  • Participation by the City's Parks, Recreation & Culture department in the Safe Harbour Initiative. Approximately 70 staff have been trained to provide a safe place for all. 
  • Participating on various community committees including the Fraser Valley Human Dignity Coalition.
  • Supporting community diversity events:
    • Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards
    • AbbyFest - annual multicultural festival
    • International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda on April 8, 2009
    • Dialogue on Cultural Diversity hosted by Abbotsford Community Services in November 2007

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Fraser Valley Diversity and Immigration Partnership

We connect people. Fraser Valley Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council brings different people and organizations together, providing education, resources and support to achieve common goals. To fid out more about this initiative, visit Fraser Valley Diversity

Through strategic planning and collaborative leadership, we help members create and coordinate a range of activities and events that make life better for immigrants and our communities as a whole. We also make immigration and diversity news, documents and training tools easily accessible for everyone who wants to get involved and make a difference. The Research, Policy and Practice working group in the Fraser Valley has the broad goals of improving access to local relevant research about immigration in the area, and trying to bring together research, policy and practice more effectively. We are looking to expand our group and our capacity!

We are welcoming folks who are interested in this type of work to join us. It could be a neat opportunity for staff who want to meet others from different sectors who are interested in similar issues, researchers who want to be able to reach policy-makers and front-line workers more effectively and vice versa, newcomers who want to use their experiences and knowledge to make a difference, students who want to gain some experience and build some connections, and many others.

Fact Sheet - Get to Know Abbotsford's Newcomers

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Diversity Resources

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