Welcome to Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia
ISANS is a leading community organization that welcomes immigrants to Nova Scotia. Working in partnership, we offer services and create opportunities to help immigrants to participate fully in Canadian life.
ISANS recognizes the key role of immigrants in Canadian society. We work with newcomers to help them build a future in Canada. We provide a wide range of services to immigrants, from refugee resettlement to professional programs, from family counselling to English in the Workplace.
Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia was created by the merger of Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association (MISA) and Halifax Immigrant Learning Centre (HILC) – together we have a combined experience of over fifty years serving immigrants in Nova Scotia. We are the largest immigrant-serving agency in Atlantic Canada with over 115 staff members from more than 30 countries. We offer services in an inclusive manner, respectful of, and sensitive to, diversity. We make partnership, professionalism and accountability a priority in every aspect of our work.
Board of Directors
Catharine Penney – Chair
Colin MacLean – Vice Chair
President & CEO, Waterfront Development Corporation
Merlin Fownes – Secretary/Treasurer
Financial Controller, Retired
Diane Taylor-Gearing– Board Member
President of NSCAD University
Lilani Kumaranayake- Board Member
Exec. Director, Economic and Rural Development and Tourism
Jim Donovan – Board Member
Manager of Economic Development, Halifax Regional Municipality
Basia Dzierzandowska – Board Member
Partner, McInnis Cooper
Brenda Rowe – Board Member
Recruitment Manager, Jazz Aviation
Claudette Legault – Board Member
Director of Programs and Services, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia
Gerry Mills – Board Member
Director of Operations, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia
Alex Atiol – Board Member
Coordinator, Orientation Program, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia
ISANS was created by the merger of Halifax Immigrant Learning Centre (HILC) and Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association (MISA) on December 1, 2009. MISA was established in 1980 and HILC in 1988.
Over the years, HILC and MISA helped immigrants in settlement, EAL, employment, and business through a variety of programs. Together we assisted many different groups of people: Vietnamese refugees in the 1980s, Middle Eastern business people, former Yugoslavian professionals and Kosovars in the 1990s, Iranian and Filipino provincial nominees, and Afghan refugees in the last decade. In 2009, after many years of working closely, MISA and HILC became ISANS to create better services for clients.
We work to adapt to global, national, and provincial situations – which can change significantly. Our experience has become expertise; ISANS has a clear and strong vision for the integration of new immigrants. With this vision, we have created and designed many new services in direct response to client needs.
We receive continuing funding from many different government departments, both federal and provincial. We were the first organization in Atlantic Canada to deliver most of the current Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) settlement programs, including:
- Refugee Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP)
- Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
- Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment (CLBA)
- Enhanced Language Training (ELT).
We have also delivered programs and services funded by:
- Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
- Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)
- Health Canada
- Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI)
- Nova Scotia Economic Development
- United Way of Halifax/Dartmouth.
ISANS is a leader in the settlement sector in Nova Scotia. We have been a key member in the Immigrant Settlement Agencies of Metro Halifax and in the Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Settlement Agencies. In 2003, we proposed and coordinated the Nova Scotia Immigration Partnership Conference, and in 2005 we advised the government of Nova Scotia on its Immigration Strategy. Over many years, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia has been the acknowledged expert in settlement.
Our expertise stems from working with many partner organizations to deliver a wide variety of innovative services and programs. We have led the way in providing distance/online English as a Second Language (ESL) and pre-employment services to immigrants across Nova Scotia and around the world. We have developed new models for service delivery in small centres around Nova Scotia. These models have been recognized and presented at conferences at both the national and international level.