BVIP + Humans of the Bow Valley = #MeetTheLocals
In October 2015, the Bow Valley Immigration Partnership (BVIP) teamed up with Humans of the Bow Valley to launch #MeetTheLocals, a call to Bow Valley residents to learn more about one another and to celebrate our diverse stories.
People have been relocating to the Bow Valley for a long time, but in recent years, the diversity of our community has increased. Today, people from across Canada and over 50 countries make their home in Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore, the MD of Bighorn, or Kananaskis. #MeetTheLocals celebrates the diversity of everyone living in and contributing to this vibrant community. Learn more about diversity in the Bow Valley.
Building a Welcoming Community
BVIP is dedicated to ensuring the Bow Valley is a welcoming community: a place where everyone can fully participate and contribute in the economic, social, and civic life of our community. To succeed, both immigrants and non-immigrants need to learn about and adapt to one another.
Welcoming communities are not just vibrant and pleasant to live in. They can be stronger, more resilient, and more prosperous. For example, the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) at the University of Southern California found that "...in regions where immigrant integration is fostered, immigrants perform better and the entire region also thrives."
Part of a Plan
In 2014, the Bow Valley Immigration Partnership researched immigrant integration in 17 areas of community life and found that one barrier to integration is the existence of misconceptions and stereotypes. The #meetthelocals project was launched to challenge the assumptions we make about one another through the stories of real locals.
#MeetTheLocals is part of a larger, multi-agency plan to ensure the Bow Valley is a place with both the desire and the capacity to help immigrants integrate . To learn more about our three year strategy, please visit the BVIP website.
You Can Help
We hope #MeetTheLocals will foster increased understanding between locals from different backgrounds and inspire residents to extend a warm welcome to newcomers. If you're inspired to strike up a conversation with somebody new to town, somebody different than you, or just somebody whose story you'd like to share, here are some questions to get you started.
Humans of the Bow Valley is a celebration of the people of the Bow Valley, inspired by Humans of New York and created by Javan Attila, an Azerbaijani-born Canmore local with passion for meeting his neighbours. Discover Javan's story.
The Bow Valley Immigration Partnership (BVIP) is a collaborative community initiative dedicated to improving immigrant integration from Lake Louise to Kananaskis. BVIP partners include the Town of Banff, Town of Canmore, Bow Valley College, Canadian Rockies Public Schools, Banff Lake Louise Hospitality Association, Settlement Services in the Bow Valley, the Job Resource Centre, Alberta Health Services, Banff Ministerial Association, Alberta Parks, Canmore Hotel and Lodging Association and more. We are funded by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada to support a welcoming community and promote the participation of immigrants in the economic, social, and civic life of our community.