Building Bridges with Ethno-Cultural Communities


 People Passing Over Person Bridge

Building Bridges with Ethno-cultural Communities (BBEC) is a program that helps ethno-cultural communities increase effectiveness and efficiency of newcomer services. Community members are trained to become ethno-cultural Brokers who serve as a bridge between newcomers and the programs and services they need.


Program Objectives:

• To increase capacity, skills and volunteerism among ethno-cultural communities, including youth in supporting newcomer settlement services.

• To use a primary prevention approach to provide ethno-cultural communities with the skills and support required to increase resiliency and ability to address issues their communities are facing before they require direct service intervention.

• To provide ethno-cultural communities and youth greater access to services, supports and opportunities.

• To engage ethno-cultural communities and youth in creating opportunities for newcomer support and positive youth development in order to address issues impacting them.

• To engage families, communities, service agencies and schools in positive youth development.

Program Activities:

Training Resource, Information and Orientation (TRIO) Sessions

Ethno-cultural and Youth Brokers receive:

• Resource tools that provide guidelines and tips for appropriate and effective support to newcomers

• Training sessions on how to use the TRIO Toolkit

• Information sessions about the resources, programs and services available for newcomers and ethno-cultural communities

• Orientation sessions on their roles as Brokers

Broker Action and Community Engagement (ACE)

Ethno-cultural organizations identify a specific service that newcomers find difficult to understand and access. Brokers use the TRIO Toolkit as a basis for expounding on the service. Ethno-cultural organizations and service provider organizations then:

•Develop and design a workshop for newcomers and community members to discuss experiences, challenges and issues in accessing the specific service.

•Conduct a dialogue and make recommendations on how to increase accessibility and effectiveness of the service.

Field Trips

Ethno-cultural Brokers and community leaders visit various sites and offices of service providers to:

• Get acquainted with the actual location and facilities and build person-to-person connections and exchange contact information with staff

• Gain direct experience and insights on how different programs operate, how the referral processes work, and other information

•Explore steps towards possible collaboration with service providers

Cross-cultural Youth Engagement Activities (YEA)

• Youth Hub

A venue with computer, wi-fi and other facilities that encourage youth creativity and project ideas to:

• Empower youth
• Build social capital
• Build youth development assets
• Build positive youth supports including adult and youth mentors

•Youth Broker Skills Training and Planning

Higher level of training for Youth Brokers who have completed TRIO Training or other leadership training programs for youth.


Why be involved in the Building Bridges with Ethno-cultural Communities?

It’s Engaging

Ethno-cultural communities, newcomers and service providers experience enriched participation and collaboration

It’s Effective

Service provider organizations and community resources work with well-trained and well informed ethno-cultural Brokers who connect more newcomers to community services and programs.

It’s Innovative

Ethno-cultural Brokers receive a toolkit that provides information and tools to equip them with creative ways of working with newcomers.

It’s Relevant

Community members provide input and feedback on newcomers’ needs and issues around settlement, adaptation and integration.


Download the BBEC Brochure.

To learn more about BBEC, please contact:

Lovella Peñaranda
BBEC Program Coordinator
Phone: (403) 263 9900 ext. 2748




Funding provided by: