The Tofield and area “Welcoming and Inclusive Committee” was formed in 2015. This passionate group of people have been exploring ways to recognize and celebrate the rich diversity and culture that exists in and around Tofield.
Tofield’s strong community spirit is reflected in the number of organizations devoted to creating opportunities and contributing to the success of this initiative. As this committee has evolved, strong partnerships have emerged. The community-driven group is composed of the business and service industry, Ministerial, Town Council and individual community members.
The purpose and vision of this group is to create an engaged and inclusive community that recognizes newcomers and people of various ethnicities as vital members of our community.
The committee wanted to understand how it felt to be in the shoes of a newcomer. They wanted to identify issues and needs newcomers may have getting settled in. In order to engage new residents in the life of the community, a Welcome Package was developed which contains accurate resources about agencies and supports in the community, hints for what to do in the community, a Coupon Book to explore what businesses have to offer and an abundance of “arrival survival” selected items that are customized for each family. The intent of this package is to help newcomers navigate, feel welcomed and learn everything they need to know about Tofield in a one-stop-shop format.
The key ingredient when promoting a welcoming and inclusive community is food, fun and people. Taking this motto into consideration, the committee hosted a Culture Days event - the perfect venue to educate different groups, and the larger community about what cultures exist in and around Tofield. It was an amazing opportunity to share stories, experience ethnic food and learn about culture through local storytelling, music and dance.
The Committee also hosted a Teddy Bear Clinic for youth and families at the Health Centre. Staff set-up experiential work-stations for participants to learn about the different health services available in Tofield as many families were unaware of the full range of services available to them without having to leave their community.
The media as well as key stakeholders on this committee have been vital in letting the public know about the group’s successes, even the smaller ones. Knowing how to build connections and understand diversity, help make Tofield a stronger and more vibrant town where people want to live work and play.