Welcoming City Task Force

Strong communities connect and actively include people of all backgrounds. A Welcoming City can meet its highest civic and economic potential by unleashing the power of its biggest asset – its people. 


The City of Victoria is creating a Welcoming City Strategy that will serve as a roadmap to guide Victoria towards becoming a stronger, more inclusive community where everyone, including newcomers, immigrants and refugees, is accepted, respected and feel like they belong. 

The Welcoming City Strategy is intended to remove barriers to City services and foster a compassionate and neighbourly community where all residents, including immigrants and refugees, are accepted, respected, and encouraged to participate in civic life. 

The Welcoming City Strategy will include recommended short, medium and long-term actions, measures of success, as well as an accountability framework.  

Next Step

Thank you to all those who participated in engagement phases 1 and 2 (see below). Your feedback will help inform the short, mid and long-term actions in the draft Welcoming City Strategy that will be presented to City Council for consideration in the fall

Have Your Say

Phase 2 of Engagement
Based on what we heard during Phase 1 of engagement, we invited the community to provide feedback on potential ideas for the Welcoming City Strategy by completing an online survey by July 11. Thank you to all those who participated in the survey. Learn more.

Phase 1 of Engagement 
Thank you to all those who shared their ideas, stories and lived experiences in Phase 1 of our public engagement.

Whether you are newcomer, immigrant or refugee or a long-time resident, we asked you to share your ideas on how to make Victoria more welcoming to all.

We also invited your stories and lived experiences: Do you feel a sense of welcome and belonging? What would make you feel more like you belong here? Stories could be about experiences of inclusion or exclusion, participating in community/civic life, and whether you feel diversity is welcomed.

Role of Welcoming City Task Force 

In 2020, Council appointed a Welcoming City Task Force comprised of community experts with a diversity of perspectives and lived experiences to develop a Welcoming City Strategy. 

The Task Force is leading this work with the assistance of consultants and City staff. Sharing their own expertise and lived experience, Task Force members are reaching out to other community stakeholders through a series of virtual workshops to gather input to inform the Welcoming City Strategy.

The Task Force is assessing Victoria against an international Welcoming Standard, which helps cities become more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs. 

About Welcoming Standards

The Welcoming Standard provides a guide to developing a community-specific roadmap for creating a stronger, more inclusive community that bridges the gaps between newcomers and long-time residents. 

The Welcoming Standards, drawn from Welcoming America, are organized according to the following framework categories:

  • Government Leadership
  • Civic Engagement
  • Equitable Access
  • Education
  • Connected Communities
  • Economic Development
  • Safe Communities

Welcoming Standards help communities imagine the possibilities of what they could look like while also providing a framework of accountability to measure progress. In order to be effective, strategies around four key sectors must be in place:

  • Engage long-term residents
  • Set goals, monitor impact and adjust strategies as needed
  • Design for equity and inclusion
  • Implement in partnership

Task Force Members

The City of Victoria has appointed the following members of the public to the Task Force.



Member at Large

Daniela dos Santos Pinto

Member at Large

Jibril Mohamed

Bayanihan Community Centre

Agnes Myhre

Victoria Immigrant & Refugee Centre Society

David Lau

Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria

Florentien Verhage

Chinese Community Services Society

Nora Butz

International student

Jefus Godwin-Enwere

Greater Victoria Public Library

Maureen Sawa

George Jay School PAC

Sandra Hough

Victoria Silver Threads

Tracy Ryan

Songhees Nation

Garry Sam

Esquimalt Nation

Jerome Thomas

Societé Francophone

Annie Djiotsa

Here in Canada magazine

Kareece Whittle-Brown


Chief Del Manak 

Mayor Lisa Helps and Councillor Sharmarke Dubow have been appointed to serve as non-voting liaisons to the Task Force and will co-chair meetings.

City staff will act as a resource to the Task Force as appropriate and at the direction of the City Manager.

Specialists from partner organizations may also act as resources to the Task Force, at the discretion of the co-chairs.

Task Force members meet virtually online. 

The Welcoming City Task Force in partnership with consultants and City staff will submit a Welcoming City Strategy for Council's consideration in fall 2021. 

Read the Terms of Reference. [PDF - 70 KB]

Meeting Notes:

November 16, 2020 [PDF - 147 KB]
November 30, 2020 [PDF - 183 KB]
anuary 11, 2021 [PDF - 131 KB]
January 25, 2021 [PDF - 231 KB]
February 22, 2021 [PDF - 180 KB]
March 8, 2021  [PDF - 183 KB]
March 22, 2021 [PDF - 128 KB]
April 12, 2021 [PDF - 152 KB]
April 26, 2021 [PDF - 165 KB]
May 17, 2021 [PDF - 136 KB]
May 31, 2021 [PDF - 584 KB]