Immigrant Advisory Council

In addition to BIPT members, the work of this Local Immigration Partnership is supported by an Immigrant Advisory Council. The Council provides feedback on the BIPT and its work, shares and promotes promising practices and research, serves as a resource for community service providers and reaches out to ethno-specific communities to share committee information and encourage participation in its work.

The council is comprised of immigrants who live and/or work in Burnaby. Members are selected by the BIPT membership for two-year terms and represent a range of countries of origin, length of time in Canada, occupational backgrounds, age and gender. They also have experience, knowledge, abilities, or skills related to immigrant integration and are non-partisan.

The Advisory currently has eight members, representing eight countries of origin.

Description of Council structure

The Council has two co-chairs selected by the membership and its work is guided and supported by the BIPT’s Project Coordinators and the Executive Assistant. The Council meets every two months.

Click on the drop-down menu to read about our Immigrant Advisory Council.

Country of origin: China

Length of time in Burnaby: Five months

Languages spoken besides English: Cantonese, Mandarin

I am a project manager with a Master’s Degree in Human Resource & Knowledge Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Culture. I have worked in many different countries, including China, New Zealand, the UK and US. But I had dreamt about living in Canada since I was a little kid.

I thought there was no better place to live in Canada than British Columbia. And I decided to start my new life in Burnaby because of its perfect location, affordable cost of living, natural beauty and, most importantly, its welcoming culture. Having benefited so much from settling in Burnaby, I want to give back to the local community and help make Burnaby a better city for both Canadians and immigrants.

Country of origin: India

Length of time in Burnaby: 3.5 years

Languages spoken besides English: Hindi, Punjabi

I have a doctorate in English literature and a background in administration and teaching at various universities in India.

Currently, I am working as an employment counsellor for the Skills Connect for Immigrants Program at MOSAIC, which is an employment program for skilled immigrants. It is very rewarding to be able to assist newcomers and help them settle in Canada. I have also been doing freelance editing and proofreading for research papers and academic journals.

Initially it was my family’s decision to move and I gave into the decision. However, in retrospect, it was the best decision I could have ever made. Canada not only embraces you for what you are, but reincarnates you as a person and a professional.

My vision is to make Burnaby as diverse and yet as inclusive as possible so that it enriches the lives of not only immigrants and refugees but also future generations who learn to celebrate this diversity. I envision all immigrants contributing to this process in whatever capacity they can.

Country of origin: India

Length of time in Burnaby: Three years

Languages spoken besides English: Hindi, Marathi and also basic German and Gujarati

I came to Burnaby two years ago and have since embraced the vibrant, multicultural community life by participating in local cultural and community events with my family.

Having lived and worked in the UK, India and Germany prior to moving to Canada, I have a firm grasp of the challenges and opportunities related to diversity and integration. I have an MBA and a professional background in strategic analysis, management and problem solving.

Burnaby has a large and diverse immigrant population. As a resident, I desire to live amidst an engaged, caring, committed community that takes ownership of its city. I sincerely wish to help address the challenges faced by immigrants to create a richer and livelier Burnaby.

Country of origin: South Korea

Length of time in Burnaby: Five years

Languages spoken besides English: Korean

It is a great privilege to be a member of the Immigrant Advisory Council for BIPT. I am an anti-oppressive social work practitioner with a strong commitment to community development. I am currently working at a non-profit agency serving immigrants, refugees and newcomers to Canada.

As a young immigrant in my early 20’s, I struggled to figure out where I belonged. I have always had questions about community, belonging and identity.

A decade later, I still have these questions. They are something for everyone to consider because all of us make up the community.

I want Burnaby to be a home for everyone – a home where people feel comfortable, safe, cared for, supported and appreciated.

Country of origin: Afghanistan

Length of time in Burnaby: Four months

Languages spoken besides English: Dari

I hold a diploma in Business Administration and did my bachelor’s in Linguistics. I completed my master’s degree in Public Policy at Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt in Germany in 2012. I have been involved in the implementation of public sector reform and development projects in my country since 2003. My area of expertise lies in program development, research, planning and implementation.

I came to Canada to live in one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. During my residence in Burnaby, I have noticed the immense potential of the city to embrace the values of tolerance, respect and harmony. While the city already provides a snapshot of Canada as a land of hospitality and opportunity, I envision this city as a place for social and economic inclusion and a home for all, where no one feels homesick. I am optimistic about Burnaby’s future and am excited to play an active role in the Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table’s work.

Country of origin: Scotland

Length of time in Burnaby: 10 months

Languages spoken besides English: Spanish

As a former ESL instructor now working in the settlement sector, I work extensively in my professional capacity to promote immigrant integration, active citizenship and an understanding of diversity. However, I have come to realize that I want to take a much more active stand in building an inclusive community.

My Chilean husband and I moved to Burnaby, based on affordability and proximity to things we love (e.g. mountains and green spaces), but also because of the chance to lay down some roots and really start to feel at home. We’ve been adapting slowly and are still trying to identify who and what makes up Burnaby. I hope I can raise my kids here to see Burnaby as a microcosm of the world and as exemplary of how diverse communities can function and thrive through a framework of inclusion.

Country of origin: Taiwan

Length of time in Burnaby: 12 years

Languages spoken besides English: Mandarin, Taiwanese

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Taiwan, a Diploma in Hotel Management from Switzerland, and an MBA from the University of Victoria.

For the past eight years I have worked for TELUS Communications in both marketing and customer solutions and currently lead a team of customer service representatives in the Burnaby call centre. Prior to this, I was the director of sales and marketing at a five-star hotel in Taipei.

Canada is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms touched me deeply when I first considered immigrating, due to the inclusiveness of all peoples who call Canada home.

I chose Burnaby as my home, as it is centrally located within Metro Vancouver, with easy access to neighbouring cities.

Burnaby is a very welcoming and inclusive community for everyone to live in. My vision for the city is that it is inclusive for all, not only immigrants and refugees.

Country of origin: Mexico

Length of time in Burnaby: 20 months

Languages spoken besides English: Spanish and conversational French

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in the Science of Education from the Jesuit University in Mexico. I have worked as a professor of religious and social education. I also specialize in event planning, fundraising and implementing educational programs and social services for seniors, single mothers, and children with disabilities and cancer.

Since arriving in Burnaby, I have participated in three civic engagement projects. Two of the projects involved providing immigrant women makeovers to aid in boosting their self-confidence and prepare them for job interviews. The third involved facilitating an arts engagement event for community members.

My vision for the City of Burnaby is to build a multicultural community where we can learn from the wealth of different cultures and build a healthy community for children and families.