Each year, the Immigration Partnership hosts community forums. The aim is to inform about our progress, highlight issues, convene crucial conversations, gather input and act as a catalyst for change in Waterloo Region. Each forum is different, depending on local conditions and needs in the community.

Waterloo Region Immigration Forum 2023 - Immigration: The Way Forward, March 2023, Concordia Club, Kitchener

We had an incredible morning at our Immigration Forum on March 22, 2023, bringing together community leaders to discuss important topics related to how the Region of Waterloo is preparing for future regional population growth and increased immigration.

We had some outstanding speakers, including Karen Redman, Chair of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, who strongly believes that immigration has been and will continue to be a key driver of the Region of Waterloo and its success. She spoke about the steps we are taking as a region to put us in a stronger position to continue to thrive.

We also had a panel discussion focused on a key issue for the community and immigrants: health care. Tony LaMantia, President and CEO of Waterloo EDC, and Ron Gagnon, President and CEO of Grand River Hospital spoke about the roadmap for improving the healthcare infrastructure, its impact on the community and the economy.

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Greater KW Chamber, our speakers and guests who helped make the event a resounding success.

This was part one of this two-part series, with part two coming soon in May. Stay tuned!

Photo Gallery: IP Forum 2023 will appear here on the public site.

Waterloo Region Immigration Forum, March 2018, Holiday Inn Kitchener

This forum brought together over 160 community leaders and other stakeholders to explore and share input on how Waterloo Region can fully leverage the contributions and skills of immigrants and refugees. Debbie Douglas from the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Refugees delivered a keynote address, followed by a community leader reflection panel featuring City of Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky, Dr Jenna Hennebry from the International Migration Research Centre, immigrant business leader Roberto Villamar, and Workforce Planning Board Waterloo Wellington Dufferin CEO Carol Simpson. Participants had the opportunity to look at immigration trends and explore together the approach to immigrant attraction and retention in Waterloo Region, with a focus on holistic and collaborative approaches aimed at both meeting the basic needs of immigrants and refugees and creating the conditions for them to thrive in Waterloo Region. Click here for a summary what was shared.

Photo Gallery: Forum 2018 will appear here on the public site.

Waterloo Region Faith, Settlement & Syrian Resettlement Research Forum, September 2017, Balsillie School of International Affairs

Hosted by the Centre for Community Based Research, the International Migration Research Centre and the Immigration Partnership, this forum shared the results of six studies on immigration and refugee resettlement involving many Waterloo Region community stakeholders since 2016.  The studies explored faith and settlement partnerships and numerous aspects of Syrian refugee resettlement. The forum provided participants the opportunity to meet researchers, reflect on results and discuss future research, practice and policy implications of the findings. Click on the PPT images below to access the presentations.

Photo Gallery: Research Forum 2017 will appear here on the public site.

Waterloo Region Welcomes Refugees, March 2017, Kitchener City Hall

This forum affirmed the welcoming of the over 1,800 refugees who made Waterloo Region their home since late 2015 and encouraged the ongoing engagement of individual and organization support for refugee resettlement.

Photo Gallery: Forum 2017 will appear here on the public site.

Collective Evolution: Harnessing community engagement and successes for strong newcomer outcomes, June 2016, CIGI campus

Community leaders shared successes and learnings of Waterloo Region when it comes to the settling, working and belonging of immigrants and refugees. Participants were invited to share input about the state of the community and newcomer settlement and integration priorities to shape robust pathways forward.

Photo Gallery: Forum 2016 will appear here on the public site.

Immigration Matters Community Forum, March 2015, The Tannery

Featuring a keynote address by University of Waterloo President Dr Feridun Hamdullahpur, this forum invited participants to discuss the growing importance of immigration and explore community actions to improve immigration experiences locally.

Photo Gallery: Forum 2015 will appear here on the public site.