The Drayton Valley Multicultural Association has approached town council for help in finding a permanent location for their activities.

Von Eric Tandoc, the vice president of the DVMA, approached council at the September 6 meeting with a vision. “Imagine moving to a new place,” said Tandoc. “But you don’t know anyone, you don’t know the language, and you don’t know where to go.”

He says the goal of the DVMA is to ensure anyone who moves to the community, whether they are a new immigrant or moving from another town, feels welcome. 

“We are looking for a space to make a welcome centre,” says Tandoc. 

Currently, the group meets in different locations. Tandoc says they’ve met in people’s homes, basement churches, and once at the Lions Park across from the Ricochet Aquatic Centre.

He says the constant moving makes it difficult for anyone to point newcomers toward them. 

Tandoc asked the Town if they could help the DVMA find a central location in the community. He says the space would only be used three times a week from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. And ideally, the rental would be at a minimal cost.

The centre would be used to facilitate events, such as training on how to apply for a Social Insurance Number or learning about managing finances. He says if it were a permanent location, other residents would know exactly where they could send newcomers.

“We could tell them about the restaurants in town or maybe provide them with a map,” says Tandoc.

Over the years, the DVMA has been involved with community events, including volunteering for the Family Day Dinner in 2023, participating in the Fire and Ice Festival in 2022, and helping provide food for firefighters during the Tomahawk Fire.

As a non-profit organization, the group relies on fundraising, membership fees, and donations for their programs. 

Mayor Nancy Dodds suggested that Tandoc reach out to the Drayton Valley Chamber of Commerce which has a welcome program in place as well. Council suggested that Tandoc look at the Beehive or the Rotary House for space, as they often have rooms for rent.

Tandoc says anyone wishing to donate to help cover the rent costs of a new space can email them at dvmca1@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page for more information.

By Amanda Jeffery, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Sep 14, 2023 at 12:47

This item reprinted with permission from   Free Press   Drayton Valley, Alberta

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