Waterloo Region Celebrates Welcoming Week!

This week is a time to welcome newcomers and convey Waterloo Region's hospitality through cultural and celebratory events, sports activities, or other fun events that provide opportunities for quality interactions between newcomers and long-time residents. It is an annual opportunity to recognize and celebrate the people, places and values that help everyone feel welcome and that they belong in their local community, no matter where they come from. Successful integration is a two-way street: the more welcoming communities are, the more newcomers feel at home and contribute back to building a better community for everyone.
Our Welcoming Week Partners are putting together amazing events to welcome newcomers and the community at large to the Waterloo Region!

Events and Activities

Sept 8 Welcome Week Open House, hosted by YWCA Cambridge, 6:00 - 8:00PM
Poster open house event✨ Join YWCA Cambridge at Welcome Week Open House on September 8 from 6-8 p.m. at The W, 20 Dickson St, unit 101.✨

Attendees can enjoy snacks, games, crafts, and the opportunity to learn about YWCA Cambridge's free youth and employment programs. The event will also feature the presence of the LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) Preschool Program.

Everyone is welcome!
Sept 9 Community Open House, hosted by the Forest Heights Community Centre - City of Kitchener, 1:30 - 4:30 PM
The Forest Heights Community Centre, invites everyone to join them in their Community Open House. The event will include snacks, refreshments, arts and crafts, face painting, henna art, special guest appearances, and the sharing of community information.
Sept 12 Visit to the Rohingya Centre, hosted by Immigration Partnership Belong Steering Group, 9:30 -11:00 AM

Discover the stories and rich culture of the Rohingya culture at the Rohingya Centre of Canada, established in 2022. Join us on September 12th from 9:30 to 11 a.m. 


9:30 – Arrival & walk through the pictures exhibit

10:00 – Light refreshments and networking in room #226

10:15 – Presentation about the Rohingya culture and the picture exhibit by Saifullah from The Rohingya Centre of Canada

10:45 – Wrap up


Location: 283 Duke Street W. #226, Kitchener, ON. N2H 5C2

Please check out centre@rohingya.ca & https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/waterloo-region-grants-rohingya-centre-of-canada-1.6685558

Sept 13 Tours and Community Information, hosted by the Rockway Community Centre - City of Kitchener, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Sept 13 2023 Newcomer Info Night: Technology and Employment Focus, hosted by KW Multicultural Centre, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

 Join the KW Multicultural Centre on September 13, 2023, from 6 – 8 p.m. at Kitchener Public Library Central for a FREE in-person event for newcomers, immigrants, and refugees of all statuses!
? Meet and mingle with community organizations offering local service information. Interpretation is available in #Arabic#Tigrinya#Spanish#Ukrainian, and more.

 Informational booths, interactive workshops, children's activities, free family portraits, professional headshots, light refreshments, and FREE prizes for the first 100 attendees! 

? Come, connect, and celebrate Welcoming Week with The KW Multicultural Centre!? 
Sept 14 Tours and Community Information, hosted by the Huron Community Centre - City of Kitchener, 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Sept 14 CAWA Info Night, hosted by the Canadian Arab Women's Association (CAWA) 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Poster CAWA event
Join the Canadian Arab Women's Association (CAWA) for an enlightening evening which embrace diversity and unity during #WelcomingWeek2023!

CAWA invites all Arab families to the Information Night, where they will be sharing valuable resources and build bridges of understanding in the community. Bring your family and enjoy the activities!

Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Location: Waterloo Public Library - Main Library, 35 Albert St, Waterloo, ON
Sept 15 Citizenship Ceremony, hosted by Immigration Partnership Belong Steering Group
Sept 15 Tours and Community Information, hosted by the Chandler Mowat Community Centre - City of Kitchener, 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Sept 16 Multicultural Festival of Elmira
Don't miss the first-ever Multicultural Festival of Elmira on September 16th at Gibson Park (Kate's Place) from 12:00 - 5:00 PM
This will be a true celebration of the many cultures around us, including performances from South Indian, Chinese, African, Turkish, Spanish, Ukrainian, Caribbean, Mexican and Canadian cultures!
The Waterloo Region Library will have a tent equipped with diversity and inclusion books, crafts and a reading corner

Don't miss the fun, food trucks, face painting, a magician and so much more!

Follow @heartsopenforeveryone for updates on the festival, and to participate on our amazing giveaways.
Sept 16 City of Cambridge Newcomer Connections, hosted by the City of Cambridge, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Join the City of Cambridge for its 4th annual Cambridge Newcomer Connections event.

This aims to provide an inclusive platform for newcomers to Canada and ethno-cultural communities to explore and familiarize themselves with local health and wellness programs and services available to them and their families.

The event also aims to facilitate meaningful connections and social networking by encouraging newcomers to engage with one another and establish a supportive community. Interpretation, bus tickets, and accessibility accommodations can be provided.

For further information, visit: Newcomer Outreach - City of Cambridge
Register at: Cambridge Newcomer Connections Tickets, Sat, 16 Sep 2023 at 10:00 AM | Eventbrite
Sept 23 Family Fun day, hosted by the Doon Pioneer Park Community Centre - City of Kitchener, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The Doon Pioneer Park Community Centre, invites everyone to join them in their Family Fun Day. The event will include snacks, different activities, crafts, and the sharing of community information.
Sept 23 Cultures United: A Global Journey of Food, Stories and Connection, hosted the Region of Waterloo Libraries and Multicultural Festival of Elmira, 2:00 - 5:00 PM

Sept 30 Neighbourhood Cultural Festival, hosted by Greenway-Chaplin CC & Muslim Women of Cambridge, 2:00 - 5:00 PM 
Location: Avenue Road Public School (Cambridge)
Visit: https://greenwaychaplin.com/events/

Past Events and Activities

Waterloo Region Welcoming Week 2022

Making our communities more welcoming to all those who call Waterloo Region home

The Immigration Partnership and community partners, in collaboration with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), celebrate Welcoming Week 2022 from September 9 to 18.We encourage residents and new residents to save the date and join this week to celebrate diversity, inclusion and belonging in Waterloo Region. This week provides newcomers with the opportunity to connect with community services and participate in fun and informative activities to get to know their new home. Welcoming Week also provides opportunities for quality interactions between old and new residents. About Welcoming Week

Welcoming Week is an annual campaign and celebration to showcase the movement of communities striving to be more welcoming places for all, including immigrants. This year’s Welcoming Week marks the 10th anniversary of what is now a global event, Canada’s third year participating nationally and Waterloo Region's first year joining this event.

We recognize the important work of many immigrant settlement organizations, community organizations and ethno-cultural groups in welcoming immigrants through their initiatives and events. Welcoming Week is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the people, places and values that ensure everyone feels welcome and belongs in their local community, no matter where they come from.

Sept 8-18 Health & Wellness Tours for Newcomers, several dates. Hosted by YMCA of Three Rivers

From September 8-18, settlement workers and interpreters at YMCA of Three Rivers will give newcomers a tour of the Health & Wellness facility, help set up memberships, help sign up for programs and provide information on all Y programs and services.

Tour Information
YMCA Location Date Time
Stork Family YMCA Thursday, September 8th 4:00PM - 6:00PM
A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA Sunday, September 11th 11:00AM - 1:00PM
YMCA of Stratford-Perth Tuesday, September 13th 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Chaplin Family YMCA Thursday September 15th 4:00PM - 6:00PM
YMCA-YWCA of Guelph Sunday, September 18th 11:00AM - 1:00PM

Register for a tour here.

For more information, visit Upcoming Events - YMCA of Three Rivers Waterloo Region (ymcacambridgekw.ca)

Sept 10 Newcomer Picnic, 12-3pm. Hosted by Cambridge Newcomer Outreach Program

Newcomer Picnic

Sept 10-11 Virtual Art Show and Colouring Contest, several dates. Hosted by Muslim Women of Cambridge and Greenway-Chaplin Community Centre

  • Newcomer Virtual Art Show; Saturday, September 10
  • Colouring Contest (for ages 5-12); Sunday, September 11

Email info@mwcambridge.net for more details!

Poster 1  Poster 2

Sept 10 & 24 Invitation to Belonging, several dates. Hosted by Volunteer Waterloo Region

For more information and registration, click here.


Sept 11-13 Welcome Week Tour and Practice Your English Events, several dates. Hosted by Idea Exchange

  • Welcoming Week Tour of the Old Post Office; Sunday, September 11, 2:00-3:00pm
  • Practice Your English drop in at the Hespeler location; Tuesday, September 13 from 6:30-8:00pm

 Sept 13  Territorial Acknowledgements: From Awareness to Practice, 5-6:30pm. Hosted by Immigration Partnership

Immigration Partnership is creating space for meaningful reconciliation between Immigrants, non-Indigenous people, and Indigenous Nation by providing a safe space to discuss what a territorial acknowledgment is and why it is important. It is a virtual event.

We aim to build connections, capacity, and civic engagement to increase social connectedness.

Guest speaker - Clarence Cachagee, founder of Crow Sheild Lodge, a helper, visionary, and author. Clarence originates from Chapleau Cree First Nation and calls Cambridge his home. Clarence has an undeniable spirit for change, he is known to engage with his community through land-based teaching and healing as an Indigenous Community Educator, public speaker, and group facilitator to encourage healing - https://www.crowshieldlodge.com

Please register here - Territorial-Acknowledgement tickets. Please come prepared to share and participate in the discussion. 

WR Multicultural Connections 2022

 Sept 14  Newcomer Info Night, 6-8pm. Hosted by K-W Multicultural Centre and Kitchener Public Library Newcomer Info Night

This event is for newcomers, refugees, and volunteers who support them! Registration is not required. Meet, mingle and learn about services available to you in Waterloo Region.

There will be:

  • Community organizations will host booths with information about local services 
  • Free family portraits and professional headshots by local photographer
  • An activity for families
  • Grand River Transit bus tour 
  • Free prizes for first 100 attendees 

Interpretation in Arabic, Tigrinya, Spanish, Ukrainian and other languages will be available. 

Presented in partnership with the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre and the Immigration Partnership.

 Sept 14  "GRT Ride a Bus" Program, 6-8pm

Kitchener Public Library Central, 85 Queen Street North, Kitchener

GRT will host a booth and the Ride a Bus Program will be parked outside KPL. KPL staff will offer language support and they will do short tours. No registration required. 

Get to know Grand River Transit (GRT)!

Learn how to ride Waterloo Region’s transit system. A bus will be on-site for basic orientation and GRT Travel Training experts can answer questions about how to plan a trip, pay your fare and how to ride.

Sept 14 Toyota: Culture Day

Toyota holds an annual Our Culture Day for its employees.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Many Faces, Many Stories… ONE TOYOTA.” The idea is that we are recognizing our diverse intersectional experiences and spotlighting how unique each of us are, and why that’s something to be celebrated and leveraged for continued future success. We’re also exploring a broader definition of Culture through different lenses from gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, age, etc. So similarly to Welcoming Week, we want to show that EVERYONE is welcome, embraced, and valued here at TMMC – not despite their differences, but because of them. 

Sept 18Potluck Picnic, 12-4pm. Hosted by MWC and GCCC

Potluck Picnic


As part of the WelcomingWeek2022 initiative, MWC and GCCC is hosting a potluck picnic for newcomers to share cultural foods and make friends!


If you are bringing food to share, please write down the ingredient list on a piece of paper. Please bring food enough for 15 people.

Please bring your own chairs.

There will be games and prizes and all ages are welcomed!

Don't forget to register!