An inaugral fundraiser planned to support area immigrants has been halted by area wildfires.
The Vernon and District Immigrant and Community Services Society (VDICSS) has decided to postpone the Global Gala, scheduled to take place Sept. 16
Several of the event vendors, entertainers, and attendees have been affected by the current wildfire situation in the region and they anticipate many more could also be impacted.
“The province is still in a state of emergency and with that comes a responsibility from organizations like ours to prioritize the safety of our clients and community members, so we have chosen to step back from celebrations to focus on relief support,” said VDICSS executive director Amelia Sirianni.
“VDICSS is all about promoting inclusivity, and since many of our neighbours are not able to participate because of the wildfires, we are waiting until a time when all who are wanting to attend can do so. But this does not mean that this is the end for the Global Gala.
“We can’t wait to highlight the amazing contributions, culture, foods, and wares of the diverse people from all over the world who make up our community, but at a later, safer date,” said Sirianni.
Since its establishment in 1989, VDICSS has been a pillar of connection for immigrants in the Vernon community. Through a range of integral programs encompassing settlement, employment, language, community connections, and childcare support, VDICSS has worked to bridge the gap between newcomers and the broader community.
In line with their mission, funds raised from this year’s event were intended to go towards supporting and expanding childcare services to offer a safe and culturally inclusive environment for immigrant and refugee families and their Canadian counterparts.
Sirianni encourages those who have already purchased tickets to the event or were planning on attending to consider donating the funds to the new VDICSS childcare centre.
“The new childcare centre allows us to help even more families with an ever-growing need. When new immigrant parents are able to access affordable care for their young family, they can contribute to and participate fully in the community, which is a win for everyone involved: children, parents, and the community at large.
“Now is a time to focus local, and in the coming months we will celebrate global!”
Guests of the event can leave their ticket purchase with the organization to be used toward the daycare centre, or they can receive a refund on their tickets by visiting ticketseller.ca.
To learn more about VDICSS and its services, and to donate to programming, visit: vdicss.org.