Innovative civil society technology collaboration signed between Immigrant Services Calgary and YMCA of Southwestern Ontario will unleash the economic, social and civic potential of newcomers

CALGARY, AB. – December 2020  Collaboration across all levels of government, civil society, and the private sector is building welcoming communities responsive to newcomers’ needs and receptive to their talents.

The YMCA of Southwestern Ontario (YMCA SWO) and Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) are pleased to announce the signing of a joint Memorandum of Understanding to beta test the technology platform, K2  Pathway to Settlement System, a settlement-tailored solution recently developed by YMCA SWO for immigrant and refugee services and assessments.

This is an important step forward in exploring standardization of needs assessments by using a first-of-its-kind planning approach towards newcomer onboarding to Canada.

YMCA SWO and ISC have been aware that not all newcomers are being served and felt the sector should reach more than 36% of newcomers. Both organizations envisioned a simpler, more efficient, system that would lead to equal or better outcomes; and they recognized the need to transform their own processes and how it could lend to the entire settlement sector to achieve this vision.

“This is an exciting development that unleashes the economic, social and civic potential of newcomers via innovative technology,” says Hyder Hassan, Chief Executive Officer, Immigrant Services Calgary. “This pandemic has been awful. It’s also created an opportunity to creatively reimagine how we work and adopt efficient, collaborative, and innovative solutions using the latest technology.”

Over the past month, the YMCA SWO has conducted various demonstrations of the innovative “K2 –Pathway to Settlement” System to partner agencies collaborating with Immigrant Services Calgary in the development of the Gateway system.

“We have had the pleasure of working with Immigrant Services Calgary over the past several months, learning from each other, and sharing excitement for the potential of using the K2 – Pathway to Settlement System in Calgary through the Gateway project,” says Hugo Vega, Regional Manager of Settlement and Integration at YMCA SWO. “We believe that we have developed a tool and a set of processes that can be of value to the Gateway project, the newcomers they serve and to the broader community of Calgary.”

“Gateway gives a newcomer landing at the airport a personalized plan to help them achieve their goals, needs, and priorities. It explains how to enroll your kids at school, where to get a driver’s license, how to seek professional accreditation, find employment, among other tips. Most importantly, it helps newcomers reach their potential in their new home quicker and more efficiently,” says Casey Kennedy, Gateway Project Manager, Immigrant Services Calgary.

Both organizations recognize the support and funding provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the YMCASWO’s development of the K2 – Pathway to Settlement System platform and for the five year Gateway project.

“Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is proud to support this groundbreaking collaboration between Immigrant Services Calgary and the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario. This initiative is a clear example of how immigrant-serving organizations are using technology creatively to build bridges that will benefit newcomers across our vast country,” said the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Hyder Hassan, Hugo Vega and Casey Kennedy are available to speak with media.


Jordan Hamilton
Director of Communications and Engagement

Immigrant Services Calgary


Hugo Vega

Regional Manager of Settlement and Integration Services

YMCA of Southwestern Ontario


Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) has over 40 years of experience offering a of wide range of client-focused settlement services to immigrants and refugees in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Immigrant Services Calgary is working with its sector peers and community partners to develop and pilot the Gateway system in an integrated sector-approach that better serves newcomersThe goal of the Gateway project is to increase awareness and access to relevant services that meet newcomers’ unique needs and improve access to these services for better settlement outcomes.

Immigrant Services Calgary was awarded funding from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage and facilitate the implementation of Gateway in collaboration with other agencies.

For more information, visit


The YMCA of Southwestern Ontario’s mission is to be dedicated to the enrichment of our communities through growth in spirit, mind, and body for people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and abilities.

The WE Value Partnership is a community driven initiative using innovation in service delivery and technology to enhance the outcomes of newcomers and to generate resources that assist stakeholders to build a stronger Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.

Through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Service Delivery Improvements (SDI) fund, the WE Value Partnership has developed a Capacity-Focused Needs and Assets Assessment and K2 – Pathway to Settlement System.

Using these tools and services, the WE Value Partnership seeks to leverage newcomer capacities, skills and abilities, connect newcomers to appropriate matched local programs and services, and provide robust data insights.

For more information, visit

To indicate your interest and learn more, reach out to us today.