About Us

Our History

Our History

For 40 years and counting, DIVERSEcity has been helping newcomers to Surrey, Langley, White Rock and Delta.

1972
The Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSofBC) is registered as a multi-ethnic organization serving all major immigrant groups arriving in BC.


1974
An ISSofBC Expansion Program funded by federal and provincial governments leads to the establishment of advisory committees in nine centres outside of Vancouver, but not Surrey.


1975
Racial disturbances in Surrey result in considerable negative publicity. The Human Resources Branch of the provincial government becomes concerned about the development of racial tensions there, as well as in Prince George, and ISSofBC is asked to undertake research and to develop a program of correctional action. Staff researcher Christian Steckler is sent to Surrey to assist in the establishment of a Surrey branch. The organization also supports the establishment of OASIS (a settlement agency that served the “Indo-Canadian” community).


1977
Programs to ease the adjustment of newcomers are being expanded but are staffed almost entirely by volunteers. Programs follow a two-directional approach: direct services provided for immigrants combined with educational and assistance programs offered for “locals,” so that they can become familiar with incoming cultures. Volunteers are drawn from both resident and  immigrant communities, providing an opportunity for understanding and cooperation to grow and for newcomers to become actively involved in Canadian and community life.


1978
In recognition of Surrey’s growing role as a landing place for immigrants, ISSofBC agrees to the launch of an independent Surrey satellite. The Surrey Delta Immigrant Services Society (SDISS) is registered under the British Columbia Societies Act.


1982
For the first time programs geared to helping newcomers settle are augmented by an employment program that aids them in finding jobs.


1992
Interpretation and translation services are launched.

The Northwood United Church site is opened.


1995
The Cultural DIVERSEcity Awards are launched to recognize businesses in Surrey, Delta and White Rock that excelled at implementing culturally diverse initiatives within their workplaces.


1998
In the 20th anniversary year of its founding, the Surrey Delta Immigrant Services Society is designated by the provincial Ministry of Children and Family Services to provide Children and Family Services in the South Fraser Region.

The Learn and Play Preschool opens.


2003
The Society is recognized by the City of Surrey’s Social Planning Awards.

The Society achieves accreditation with the Council on Accreditation, affirming it as an organization that meets or exceeds international standards of practice in all of its operations.


2007
The organization is rebranded as DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, to reflect the diverse community that Surrey is becoming and to help foster inclusivity during a time of dramatic growth for the young city.


2008
During its 30th Anniversary year, in partnership with the Fraser Health Authority, DIVERSEcity opens the Surrey New Canadian Clinic, located on Society premises at 7337 137th Street, Surrey.

First Steps Early Years Refugee Program is launched.

The provincial Skills Connect Program taps DIVERSEcity as a provider.

DIVERSEcity is awarded the Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award, presented by the province-wide AMSSA in recognition of innovative programming.


2009
DIVERSEcity’s Hazelnut Meadows Community Garden is opened in partnership with the City of Surrey.

The Get In the Know website and resource bank is launched.


2010
DIVERSEcity’s South Asian Seniors Project wins the Scotiabank and United Way of Lower Mainland`s Community Spirit Awards in the Celebration of Community Category.


2011
The Child & Youth Empowerment Camp wins the Soma Ganesan Spirit of Hope Award.

DIVERSEcity’s Community Garden program is nominated for the Civic Beautification Award by the City of Surrey.


2012
DIVERSEcity wins its second Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award, presented by the province-wide AMSSA in recognition of innovative programming.


2013
On its 35th anniversary, DIVERSEcity Receives the Premier’s Award for its First Steps program, which promotes innovation and excellence in the category of partnerships.

The Sports and Me children’s program is a recipient of the BC Recreation and Parks Association Award for program excellence.


2015
Grand opening of DIVERScity’s Community Campus at 13453 76 Ave. in Surrey.


2016
DIVERSEcity is awarded the Provincial Government Refugee Response Team contract to support the coordinated response to Operation Syrian Refugee for seven communities in the Fraser Valley.

The organization wins its third Riasat Ali Khan Diversity Award, presented by the province-wide AMSSA in recognition of innovative programming.

DIVERSEcity is the recipient of the Wellness Fits Extra Mile Award by the BC Cancer Agency and Healthy Families BC for providing workplace wellness for employees.


2017
Our lead work on the Refugee Readiness Fund initiative wins a Premier’s Award for Innovation in the Partnership category


2018
On it’s 40th anniversary, DIVERSEcity celebrated with a Community Gala and was recognized by the City of Surrey for its contributions as the first settlement organization in the city. DIVERSEcity launched its partnership with the Fraser Health Authority through the opening of the Roshni Clinic for substance use addictions and counselling.  The Get in the Know website and Guidebook is rebranded and launched.


2019
DIVERSEcity opens its City Centre (North Surrey) site.