2017 marks Reception House’ 30th anniversary. Since 1987, we have provided welcome and shelter to over 10,000 refugees fleeing war and persecution. We marked this important milestone by hosting two celebrations. An open-house, inviting the community to view our newly renovated accommodation site at 101 David St. and a fundraiser, Not Another Gala on June 23rd.

Both events were open to the public, and invited neighbours, volunteers, supporters, community members and donors to meet our staff and clients and get a taste of the rich cultural diversity of the newcomer refugees we serve.

Our Open House, Community Celebration on May 26th featured speeches from dignitaries as well as performances by former Reception House clients, including Ekhaya band, Crossing Borders and Arada drum group. Reception House staff also contributed towards an international fashion showcase, displaying beautiful clothing from Ethiopia, Sudan, Burma (Myanmar), Algeria and South America. “The gathering was so lively” said community member and neighbor Michael Kelly Cavan. “Each item of clothing was a launching point for their stories”. The community celebration was an opportunity to experience the cultural resilience that our clients bring with them through their songs, stories and dress.

“The refugee journey is a difficult one, but many clients come with skills, talents, faith traditions and cultural pride that help them shine bright, even in the darkest times.”

Marika Galadza, Manager of Community Engagement

We are grateful for sponsorship from Libro Credit Union, Athena Software and private donors who helped make our Open-House possible.

On June 23rd, our Not Another Gala event at Victoria Park Pavilion boasted a mouthwatering array of signature dishes from local restaurants, a silent auction, performances and an awards ceremony. Award recipients were:

KW House Church Assembly –  Visionary Award

Centre for Family Medicine, Refugee Health Clinic – Outstanding Community Partner Award

The KW House Church founded Reception House as a small faith-based volunteer lead initiative, providing welcome and short-term accommodation to both refugee claimants and convention refugees. Thanks to the vision and foresight of this group, Reception House has grown into a federally funded Resettlement Centre, one of six in Ontario.

Over 160 people came out for a night of food, festivities and art. The program featured a land acknowledgement ceremony, rap, dance and a theatre performance by Indigenous, Sudanese, Central African and Syrian groups. The event raised over $14,000 towards our discretionary fund to help pay for things like dental, eyecare, mobility devices and other emergency needs not covered by OHIP.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our lead sponsor TD Bank Group as well as all of our silent auction donors and in-kind donation sponsors (listed below). We encourage you to support these businesses that are giving back to our community, and making Waterloo Region a more welcoming place for refugees.

We hope to see you next year at Not Another Gala, Round 2!