Welcome new friends,
meet people from all over the world.
The Cape Breton Welcome Network is a constellation of local volunteer-led Welcome Groups comprised of established Cape Bretoners eager to share their passion for Cape Breton – Unama’ki with all newcomers.
A Cape Breton Welcome Network volunteer is well-connected in their community with a thorough appreciation of its history and culture and passionate to share that knowledge with newcomers.
What does a local Welcome Group do?
Each Welcome Group will be unique across Cape Breton and work to best meet the needs of newcomers in its particular community.
Some examples of activities that local Welcome Groups might choose to do are:
• Make a basket of goodies and deliver it (or offer for pick up) as a “welcome to the community” gift;
• Host community events to support a spirit of welcoming (e.g. community potlucks or presentations about the community);
• Provide tours of the community – complete with hidden gems and local folklore; and
• Have fun!
*These activities will shift according to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.
Who can be involved in a Welcome Group?
Welcome Group members are community volunteers who are:
• Open-minded and respectful of diverse cultural backgrounds;
• Passionate and knowledgeable about their community;
• Well-connected in their community with a thorough appreciation of its history and culture;
• Passionate to share that knowledge with newcomers; and
• Want to help newcomers settle in and foster a sense of belonging and inclusion.
Is there a Welcome Group in my community?
Step 1: Reach out to Welcome Network Coordinator, Norma Jean MacPhee, at email@example.com 902 202-9405 to express your interest and learn more.
Step 2: If no group is already created, connect with people in your local community who may be interested in helping to form a Welcome Group. We think that a minimum of five people is a good place to start!
Step 3: Coordinate with Norma Jean to host an information session for potential Welcome Group volunteers in your community (in person or online).
Step 4: Once the Welcome Group is formed, all members must participate in a volunteer training session with the Welcome Network.
Step 5: Your group determines the welcoming activities it would like to engage in – and goes for it! This could include delivering welcome baskets, hosting community events or providing tours of the community – complete with hidden gems and local folklore. The Welcome Network Coordinator is available and will provide resources and support along the way if you need it!
Why is the Cape Breton Welcome Network important?
Communities are healthier, happier and more productive when newcomers are welcomed and can participate fully in society and in the local economy. The Cape Breton Partnership recognizes that immigration will continue to play a key role in the economic future of Cape Breton Island and that it is of the utmost importance to ensure newcomers feel welcomed and included in our communities.
The need for a Welcome Network was recognized as a direct result of research conducted in 2018 by the Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership (CBLIP). As part of the research, community members expressed a desire to be directly involved in organized, local efforts to better welcome newcomers. In rural Cape Breton, where services may not be readily available, the welcoming efforts of community members are essential to the successful settlement and retention of newcomers. The Cape Breton Welcome Network is one way that we can work together as an Island to build a prosperous future for Cape Breton.
The Welcome Network is not just about helping newcomers; it’s about enriching our communities. Learning with and about each other as we live and work together only increases the value and prosperity of Cape Breton Island – Unama’ki.
The Cape Breton Welcome Network is an initiative of the Cape Breton Partnership and supported by Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI).