Welcoming City Task Force


The purpose of the Welcoming City Task Force is to develop a Welcoming City Strategy and to provide advice and recommendations to City Council and staff.

Working with consultants, the Task Force members will draw from their own expertise and lived experience, and invite expertise and lived experience from the general public with the goal of assessing Victoria against Welcoming Standards and building a Welcoming City Strategy.  

About Welcoming Standards

Welcoming Standards are community-specific roadmaps that provide a guide with community-determined benchmarks to develop stronger, more inclusive communities and bridge the gaps between newcomers and long-time residents.

These 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

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


Thank you to everyone who applied to be involved in the City of Victoria's Welcoming City Task Force. Appointments were made by Council in late 2020. 

Eligibility - Task Force Members

The City of Victoria Welcoming City Task Force will be comprised of up to 20 members of the public appointed by Council, representing diverse perspectives and with balanced gender representation, including:

Appointed by the First Nations:

  • Songhees Nation – 1 appointee
  • Esquimalt Nation – 1 appointee

Appointed by Council:

  • Bayanihan Cultural and Housing Society – 1 appointee
  • Chinese Community Services Society – 1 appointee
  • George Jay School Parent Advisory Council – 1 appointee
  • Greater Victoria Public Library – 1 appointee
  • Here Magazine – 1 appointee
  • Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) – 1 appointee
  • La Société francophone de Victoria – 1 appointee
  • Silver Threads – 1 appointee
  • Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) – 1 appointee
  • Members at large – 4 (must include a youth member and an international student)
  • VicPD – 1 appointee
  • Downtown Victoria Business Association – 1 appointee

Mayor Lisa Helps and Councillor Sharmarke Dubow are 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.

Role and Responsibilities

Task Force meetings will be co-chaired by Mayor Helps and Councillor Dubow and conducted in accordance with procedures adopted for other City of Victoria advisory committees.

Task Force members will meet virtually online. Meetings will be scheduled by the Task Force liaisons. 

The Task Force will meet as follows:

(Due to COVID-19, the work will begin in fall 2020 and continue into 2021.)

  • Four preliminary meetings to become familiar with the City’s equity work, the Victoria 3.0 economic action plan and the Welcoming Standards, in order to provide input into the procurement needs for the consultant role, and to plan engagement workshops.
  • Three public engagement workshops to invite public input.
  • A final town hall meeting to receive input on proposed recommendations.
  • Two final meetings to integrate the feedback and prepare a presentation to Council.

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

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

Meeting Notes:
November 16, 2020 [PDF - 147 KB]
November 30, 2020 [PDF - 183 KB]
January 11, 2021 [PDF - 131 KB]