WHO WE ARE

Abbotsford Local Immigration Partnership Council (ALIP) helps build welcoming communities. ALIP is a collective initiative designed to strengthen our ability to welcome immigrants and help make Abbotsford their home.  By improving integration, we’re improving the economic, social and political participation and outcomes for newcomers and our communities at large.

Our partnership, formed in 2014, is coordinated by Archway Community Services, and supported with funding by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, as a Local Immigration Partnership Initiative.

The Partnership aims to build local capacity among all stakeholders to attract, settle and integrate immigrants. Therefore, members include community leaders across different sectors such as cultural, academic, social services and economic sectors.

 

Our Council Members Represent:

Organization Website
Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce abbotsfordchamber.com
Archway Community Services archway.ca
Abbotsford Downtown Business Association downtownabbotsford.com
Abbotsford School District sd34.bc.ca
City of Abbotsford abbotsford.ca
University of the Fraser Valley ufv.ca
Fraser Health fraserhealth.ca
Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association fvicba.com
Fraser Valley Regional Library fvrl.bc.ca
Fraser Valley Packers fraservalleypackers.com
Mennonite Central Committee mcc.org
Punjabi Patrika punjabipatrika.ca

 

Manpreet Grewal

Organization/Title: Archway Community Services - Director of Multicultural Immigrant Integration Services

Position: Co-Chair

Bio: Manpreet is the Director of Multicultural and Immigrant Integration Services at Archway Community Services and has worked in the non-profit sector for 26 years. She has also worked as a freelance journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Vancouver Sun, the Province, the Abbotsford News and the Abbotsford Times. Manpreet has a Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Delhi, a diploma in print journalism from the London School of Journalism, and several credit courses from BC Institute of Technology.

 

Sue Federspiel

Organization/Title: City of Abbotsford - Community Developer

Position: Co-Chair

Bio: Sue is a lifelong resident of the Fraser Valley, and is interested in how human diversity makes a city and community stronger and wiser, by reaping the benefits of multiple perspectives and voices.  She works for the City of Abbotsford as a Community Developer, connecting with neighbourhood residents and associations, and developing partnerships to enhance the general quality of life for residents of Abbotsford.

Alison Gutrath, with 19 years of experience in the social services field, is the coordinator for Diversity Education and Resource Services at Abbotsford Community Services. Through this work she has facilitated workshops on diversity and responding to discrimination within Abbotsford schools and for local businesses/organizations. In addition, she has been the community coordinator for the gang prevention and intervention program, In It Together, for the past 5 years. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology from the University of the Fraser Valley in 2003.

Alison Gutrath

Organization/Title: Archway Community Services -  Program Coordinator/Supervisor (Diversity Education Program)

Position: Project Management

Bio: Alison Gutrath, with 19 years of experience in the social services field, is the coordinator for Diversity Education and Resource Services at Archway Community Services. Through this work she has facilitated workshops on diversity and responding to discrimination within Abbotsford schools and for local businesses/organizations. In addition, she has been the community coordinator for the gang prevention and intervention program, In It Together, for the past 5 years. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology from the University of the Fraser Valley in 2003.

Born and raised in Abbotsford, Natalia is passionate about making her community a place where all residents feel valued and accepted.  A lifelong learner, she is particularly interested in learning about the stories of the region, especially of the Stó:lō people have lived by the Fraser River for over ten thousand years, as well as newcomers  from around the world who are just beginning to call this place home.  Past experience has included working or volunteering for a number of organizations, including the music festival Jam in Jubilee, the Mission Museum, Civl Radio, the Abbotsford Arts Council, and the Atangard Community Project, along with a number of UFV student clubs and initiatives centered around mentorship and advocacy.

Natalia Deros

Organization/Title: Archway Community Services - Community Developer (Diversity Education Program)

Position: Project Management

Born and raised in Abbotsford, Natalia is passionate about making her community a place where all residents feel valued and accepted.  A lifelong learner, she is particularly interested in learning  the stories of the region, especially those of the Stó:lō people who have lived by the Fraser River for over ten thousand years, alongside those of newcomers  from around the world who are just beginning to call this place home.
Past experience has included working or volunteering for a number of organizations, including the music festival Jam in Jubilee, the Mission Museum, Civl Radio, the Abbotsford Arts Council, and the Atangard Community Project, along with a number of UFV student clubs and initiatives centered around mentorship and advocacy.

 

 

 

Katerina Anastasiadis

Organization/Title: Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce - Executive Director

Position: Member

 

 

David Loewen

Organization/Title: City of Abbotsford - Councillor

Position: Member

Bio: Born and raised in Abbotsford, Dave is a retired teacher and school administrator who has lived in the area for the majority of his life. Utilizing his languages whenever he can – English, German and some French – he’s lived two years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, two years in Australia, several months in Belgium, and three years in Manitoba.

 

Tammy Johnson

Organization/Title: Inasmuch Community Services

Position: Member

 

Kanta Naik

Organization/Title: Consultant - SWIS Liaison

Position: Member

Bio: Kanta Naik is a recently retired educator from the Abbotsford School District. Currently, she is working as an Education Consultant. She is a member of the Advisory Board at the Institute of South Asian Studies at UFV. Kanta seeks to be involved by working with city partners to help create a welcoming and inclusive community in Abbotsford.

Bharati Sandhu

Organization/Title: Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association - President

Position: Member

Bio: Bharathi, a seasoned financial advisor, is President of the Fraser Valley Indo Canadian Business Association, serves on the board of the prestigious Dasmesh Punjabi School, and is a member of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and the Business and Professional Women’s Club.  Her volunteer work has included 10 years of coaching Jawani Bhangra, a competitive girls’ Bhangra dance team, which she started during her own university days.

Andy Sidhu

Organization/Title: Punjabi Patrika - Owner & Publisher

Position: Member

Stephen Piper

Organization/Title: University of the Fraser Valley - Associate Professor, Social, Cultural and Media Studies & Global Development Studies

Position: Member

Bio: Stephen immigrated to Canada as a child, and has lived in Abbotsford for the last 20 years. He teaches Sociology, Global Development Studies and Latin American Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley and is relatively fluent in English and Spanish.

 

Nicola Mooney

Organization/Title: University of the Fraser Valley - Associate Professor, Social, Cultural, & Media Studies

Position: Member

Bio: Nicola Mooney is an Associate Professor in the University of the Fraser Valley’s department of Social, Cultural, and Media Studies, and a Senior Associate of its South Asian Studies Institute. She has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Toronto, where she completed the collaborative doctoral program in Ethnic, Immigration, and Pluralism Studies. Nicola’s research interests include identity, gender, caste, religion, modernity, postcoloniality, migration, citizenship, cultural poetics, and popular culture, and she has published in several of these areas, in addition to her ethnography, Rural Nostalgias and Transnational Dreams: Identity and Modernity among Jat Sikhs (2011), which broadly concerns ethnicity, culture, and belonging amid the multiple contexts of the Punjabi diaspora. Nicola has been a member of ALIP’s Research, Policy, and Practice group since 2016.

Ghizlane Laghzaoui

Organization/Title: UFV Modern Languages Institute - Assistant professor

Position: Member

Bio: Ghizlane is a professor of French at the University of the Fraser Valley. She immigrated to Canada in 2000, and taught French language at SFU from 2001 to 2011. Born and raised in Morocco, she has also taught French in a private school ofbBusiness, l’Ecole Supérieure de Gestion, which is a Moroccan branch of the Parisian school. She has a PhD in French language and Literature, and recently finished an Ed.D. in education.

John Potts

Organization/Title: University of the Fraser Valley International Education  - Partnership Manager

Position: Member

Bio: As the Partnerships Manager in the International Education Department at the University of the Fraser Valley, John invites potential partner universities, colleges and private/public agencies to collaborate in all areas of education and development.

 

Harpreet Singh

Organization/Title: Abbotsford Community Services - Essential Skills Worker - SACRO

Position: Member

Camilla Boisvert

Organization/Title: Fraser Health - Community Health Specialist

Position: Member

Bio: Camilla is compassionate and committed to social justice values. She works as Community Health Specialist with Population and Public Health,  Fraser Health in Abbotsford. Her knowledge of health as a more holistic concept (e.g., social determinants), stems from a background in a wide range of contexts related to adult health education and community development. Camilla ‘s origins are Acadian from New Brunswick.  She has lived in BC since 1990, and has worked and  lived in Abbotsford since 2016.

Hillary Russell

Organization/Title: Clearbrook Library, FVRL - Manager, Abbotsford Libraries

Position: Member

Bio: Hilary has worked as a Librarian and a Manager for over 20 years in the Abbotsford Libraries, member libraries of FVRL. She is delighted to work with the dedicated community partners at ALIP who do the critical work of making sure that Abbotsford continues to be an inclusive and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds.

Balbir Singh Gill

Organization/Title: Clearbrook Public Library, FVRL - Supervisor

Position: Member

Balbir has been living in Abbotsford since 1991 when he immigrated to Canada.  Since 1994, he has worked in various libraries and positions of the FVRL (Fraser Valley Regional Library).  In 2000, he was hired as a multi-lingual librarian and is now working as a Community Librarian at the Clearbrook Library of FVRL.  Since 2000, Balbir has been involved with various Abbotsford Community Services programs such as: Diwali, Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards, and Abbotsford Local Immigrant Partnership.  Balbir is a member of the Advisory Board of the South Asian Studies Institute of UFV.  Balbir is passionate about making difference in people’s lives.

 

Melissa Giles

Organization/Title: Mennonite Central Committee - Director of Programs

Position: Member

 

Sharon Crowley

Organization/Title: Literacy Matters- Literacy Outreach Coordinator

Position: Member

Sharon Crowley has a background in literacy as a volunteer in her home community of Langley. As a representative of Literacy Matters Abbotsford, she has been Abbotsford's Literacy Outreach Coordinator since 2011. During this time she has worked to mobilize and educate service providers and organizations regarding literacy. Her main role is to implement the goals of Abbotsford's community literacy plan, and promote family and adult literacy with emphasis on Aboriginal literacy. Sharon’s other area of focus is early childhood education and this has expanded her understanding of learning and the importance of the early years.

 

Michael Spuls

Organization/Title: Vancity - Community Branch Manager

Position: Member

 

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