Settlement Resources

Welcome to BC

Working in Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC


Start Your New Life in the Cowichan Valley

Resource List

Health Care
Health Care
  • BC Healthy Kids Program
    Helps low income families with the costs of basic dental care and prescription eyewear for their children. Eligible clients include dependent children under 19 years of age who receive Medical Services Plan (MSP) premium assistance through the Ministry of Health.  http://www.eia.gov.bc.ca/publicat/bcea/HealthyKids.htm
  • Cowichan District Hospital
    Emergency department/acute care hospital. 3045 Gibbins Road. 250-737-2030
  • Walk in medical clinics
    Beverly Medical Clinic #201 2763 Beverly St. 250 597-3390
    Cowichan Way Clinic (inside Superstore) 291 Cowichan Way. 778-422-3999
  • Crisis Line
    Provides telephone support and local referral information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-888-494-3888.
Language
Language
  • Cowichan Intercultural Society
    Level 1-3 morning English classes, Level 4-7 afternoon/evening classes. 250-748-3112  www.cis-iwc.org
    English Language Mentoring Program.  Free tutoring for English language learners. 250-748-3112 | www.cis-iwc.org
  • Cowichan Adult Learning Centre
    English upgrading to the grade 12 level. 756 Castle Place. 250-746-0277. www.studycowichan.ca
  • Vancouver Island University
    English upgrading to the grade 12 level as well as university courses beyond that. 2011 University Way. 250-746-3500 | www.viu.ca
  • Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC
    Directory of certified translators and interpreters. www.stibc.org
Children Under 18
Children Under 18
  • School District 79
    To register students for public school (grades K-12), contact the International Student Program at Cowichan Secondary. 2652 James St. 250 746-0744 | http://www.sd79.bc.ca/
  • Community Options Society – offer counseling to youth aged 13 to 19 and their parents. 554 Trunk Road,. 250-748-0232 | http://coscowichan.ca/ 
  • Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme Group for children 0-4 – a FREE, magical 8-10 week group experience for babies, young children (0-4 years) and their parents/caregivers. It is a well-recognized and respected oral language program that returns to tradition by using rhymes, songs and storytelling as a base for enriching parent-child lives and relationships. No toys, just parent and child having fun interacting together.  To Register please call Bonnie at Margaret Moss Health Centre. 250-709-3050 http://sd79.bc.ca/programs/early-learning/parent-child-mother-goose/
  • STRONG START – StrongStart is a free, drop-in early learning program for children 5 and under and who are accompanied by a parent, or caregiver.  Parents and caregivers attending StrongStart centres can expect to participate in organized sessions like story time, play-based activities, and in serving a healthy snack. They are likely to discover new ways to support their children’s learning at home, and may make valuable connections with other in the community who are also attending the centre. Qualified Early Childhood Educators lead learning activities such as stories, music, and art to help your child prepare for success in Kindergarten. http://sd79.bc.ca/programs/early-learning/strongstart-programs  
  • Health Beginnings – FREE – Healthy Beginnings is a relaxed drop in program for moms and dads of infants and children under 3 years of age. Come and join us for a  fun group with play, songs, friends, parent support and a friend.  We bring experts such as infant development consultants and nutritionists to the groups. Topics include car seat installation and safety, crafts and more.  Tuesday at 10:30 to 11:30 is for infants under one and their families, Friday at 1pm to 2pm is for infants and children under 3 and their families. Siblings are always welcome. http://cv.fetchbc.ca/service.html?i=413
  • Mother’s Morning Out – FREE – 9:30am-11am (weekly September-June) $2.00/week; Relaxed drop in group at the Duncan United Church with snacks, coffee/tea, and childminding for children up to 5 – find information on facebook
  • Tea with the Doulas FREE – 10am-12pm (3rd Friday of each month); Relaxed drop in group at the Cowichan Library with speakers and activities. Snacks and coffee/tea are provided. Pregnant families, infants, toddlers, kids, and their caregivers are welcome.
  • Jump Into Music – http://jumpintomusic.ca/classes   a music and movement program for parents and tots 9 months – 4 years at the Island Savings Centre Thursdays from 10 – 10:50 am – 7 sessions for $84
  • Kindergym – Island Savings Centre 1-5 year olds – Does your little one have an extreme amount of energy in the morning?  Join us for endless fun as we bring out our preschool equipment for your little ones to burn off some energy.  Mondays and Wednesdays Sep 6- Dec 20 9:30 am- 11 am; 10 visit punch card $40 or drop in $5
Adult Education
Adult Education/Training
  • Vancouver Island University – offer a variety of credit and non-credit courses. 2011 University Way. 250-746-3500 | viu.ca
  • Cowichan Adult Learning Centre – have scheduled classes and also an option for working at home with instructor support. 756 Castle Place.  250-746-0277 | studycowichan.ca
Employment/Self Employment
Employment/Self-Employment
  • International Credential Evaluation Service
    Evaluates for-credit educational programs for people who have studied outside Canada. 1-866-434-1610 | www.bcit.ca/ices
  • World Education Services
    Designated by CIC to provide Educational Credential Assessments for degrees earned outside Canada. http://www.wes.org/ca/index.asp
  • Cowichan Intercultural Society
    Settlement program offers help with all aspects of job search. Make an appointment with Michelle Redfern, our Settlement Coordinator. www.cis-iwc.org
  • Global Vocational Services/Work BC
    Offers a range of services to job seekers. 301-80 Station St., 250-748-9880 www.gvsjobs.com
  • Community Futures
    Helps those wanting to start a business: services include advice, small business training, and loans. 135 3rd St, Duncan., 250-746-1004 | www.cfcowichan.ca
  • Skills Connect – provides help with training, foreign credential recognition, and employment assistance. 250-753-6911| skillsconnect@cvims.org
  • MOSIAC Micro-Loans
    Provides low-income immigrants with access to loans to start a small business or fulfill career goals. 604-254-9626 | www.microloans@mosaicbc.com
Financial
Financial
  • Open a bank account
    If you need to open a bank account or apply for a credit card but not quite familiar with the banking system in Canada, we could help you with the communication. Please make an appointment with your bank manager and staff in CIS for it. 250-748-3112 | www.cis-iwc.org
Transportation
Transportation
  • Greyhound
    For the transportation between cities (like to Victoria or Nanaimo). Tickets could be booked on line. Bus station is at the Village Green Mall (by the London Drugs) https://www.greyhound.ca/
Community
Community Connections
  • Home Away From Home
    A community connection program offered by the Settlement Office of the Cowichan Intercultural Society. 394 Duncan Street, 250-748-3112 | http://cis-iwc.org/
  • Community Connections and Bridging program
    Long term residents of the Cowichan Valley Region connect and welcome new immigrant residents to the Valley. Local volunteer families and individuals are matched with new immigrant families or individuals in our community. Program offered by the Settlement Office of CIS. 394 Duncan Street, 250-748-3112 | http://cis-iwc.org/
  • Island Savings Centre
    The recreation centre of the town, including Library, Fuller Lake Arena, Aquatic Centre, gymnastics, Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, etc. 2687 James Street, 250-746-0440. https://www.islandsavings.ca/
Housing
Housing
Documentation/Legal
Documentation/Legal
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
    A nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. www.servicecanada.gc.ca/sin
  • Service BC
    Please feel free to contact Service BC for assistance that the provincial government offers to residents, businesses and visitors.  5785 Duncan St., 250-746-1400
  • Legal Services Society
    Provides legal information and access to legal aid for certain issues if on a low income. 1-866-577-2525 | http://www.lss.bc.ca/