The Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee (CISC) is hosting its second annual AGM this Thursday. 

The group strives to help immigrants and newcomers feel welcome and engaged in the Cochrane community and make sure they have access to community resources. 

President of CISC, Sandra Scott says the upcoming AGM will be an opportunity for interested Cochranites to learn more about the organization, its partnerships as well as have the opportunity to hear from valuable guest speakers.

"We've been part of the AUMA (Alberta Urban Municipalities Association) program and that has a consultant that's been kind of looking at Cochrane and giving us advice on how to move forward to make sure that Cochrane is really accessible and works well in providing resources to newcomers."

Participants will also hear a presentation on the Zonal Local Immigration Partnership (ZLIP) through the Calgary Immigration Society and Rocky View Immigration Services.

Scott says that Canada actually welcomed more newcomers in 2021 than any other year and she explains that immigration has actually increased over the course of the pandemic and so has the need for their services.

"We have had newcomers come into our community," explains Scott. "Life has gone on, people have moved, immigration is actually up, people having to find new places to live has not gone away because of the pandemic -- it's actually increased."

For two years the organization has had to change the way they're able to offer support to newcomers in the area, but Scott says they've been able to respond nonetheless. She says they've created welcome baskets filled with resources, held virtual meetings and have hosted COVID compliant events whenever possible.

Scott says that with the start of a new year, they are looking for new appointments for all board positions.

"All positions are up for election," explains Scott. "So we have President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary,  four Director positions, and we also have four committees and we're always looking for volunteers."

Like last year, the CISC AGM will be held virtually. It's taking place this Thursday, January 20 at 7 p.m.