Our Beginnings

The beginning of the North Bay Newcomer Network

The beginning of the North Bay Newcomer Network

It all started when…

The North Bay Newcomer Network (NNN) was originally developed out of the City of North Bay's Mayor's Office of Economic Development in 2005. As part of the City of North Bay's immigration initiative, NNN was originally focused on creating economic vitality in North Bay via the attraction and retention of newcomers. However, the NNN initiative quickly grew to encompass a number of related areas and is now a multifaceted collaborative community project housed at the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre.

In April 2006, NNN hosted an Immigration Strategy Symposium to explore ideas for attracting and retaining new immigrants to the area. With more than 80 participants, most of them newcomers, the symposium generated many recommendations, including the overwhelming consensus that a central location for support services was necessary to help newcomers adjust to North Bay and feel welcome here.

In December 2006, funding was provided by FedNor to Young People's Press, a social justice organization represented on NNN, to hire a researcher to develop and implement a study of the needs and experiences of newcomers in the area. The year-long study gathered much needed information about the specific settlement issues and needs that face newcomers throughout the region and facilitated the development of programming to meet those needs.

In May 2007, NNN organized a series of meetings with representatives from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (now Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, IRCC) to discuss funding opportunities for settlement services in North Bay. These talks were very successful and in the summer of 2007, IRCC issued three separate calls for proposals for the delivery of settlement services in North Bay. Funding was awarded to Young People's Press, and the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre officially opened its doors in February 2008. It was subsequently incorporated under that name.

Originally a project of the North Bay's Mayor's Office of Economic Development, in 2007 NNN took on the role as Local Immigration Partnership with funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Since achieving its major goals of completing an immigration study and opening a settlement agency, NNN created a committee structure and has been moving ahead on new objectives. 

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In July of 2010 the North Bay Newcomer Network was the recipient of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration's Newcomer Champion Award. The Newcomer Champion Awards recognize Ontarians who promote a greater understanding of Ontario's cultures and who support newcomers in successfully settling and integrating, socially and economically. The previous year a staff member from the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre earned the same award.

NNN is a volunteer council open to community stakeholders with an interest in its goals. If you are interested in getting involved contact LIP coordinator Meg Ramore at 705-495-8931 or megramore@nbdmc.ca.