We are an organization that strives to live our lives and mission on our own terms, focusing on the niche and the impact of the work we do.

Edmonton Multicultural Coalition Association held its 16th Annual General Meeting on June 24, 2023. It is a bit earlier than August of last year, as we have to comply with the bylaws approved last year, which state that the AGM needs to occur within six months after the fiscal year.

The beginning of the summer felt like a perfect time for us to have the AGM, an important activity of any nonprofit organization to celebrate what has taken place over the past year, conduct important business such as reports and elections, and help set the direction of the coalition moving forward.

We held the event at the gymnasium of the Edmonton Intercultural Centre. The building hummed with activity from all the organizations that hold programs here, serving Edmontontians from all other ethnocultural communities.

Councillor Keren Tang, current Edmonton City Councillor for ward Karhiio and former board president of EMCA, came and brought greetings on behalf of the city. We are overjoyed that she was able to come to visit.

Recently elected MLA Sharif Haji shared that EMCA is the first place he volunteered as an immigrant. EMCA was the first place where he worked with the Kilkenny project. This neighbourhood he served many years later coincided with where he ran for public office. It gave him the opportunity and platform to be part of the province and the city. EMCA equipped him with social capital as an immigrant, able to connect with people and community leaders.

The formal reports from the EMCA President, myself as the Executive Director, Treasurer and Auditor allowed reflection on the year’s accomplishments and important things to consider for the year ahead.

During the event, we also officially announced our partnership with GEA and EMCA. We are excited to do a joint fundraiser for the second year in a row.

Right after the formal part of the AGM, we showcased this year’s animators by giving them a chance to speak about the impact of the training they have received and their experiences at EMCA. In addition to their incredible stories and testimonies, information about the animators’ backgrounds and accomplishments was displayed on posters all over the venue. Animators are the lifeline of the Coalition. They are the lighthouse of the community. These animators have immense courage to follow their hearts and intuition, and we at EMCA provide a safe platform.

Commitment to civic engagement, capacity building, and bridge building allows people to discuss city policies and ensure that Edmotnonians stay involved every day.

Overall, this year’s AGM is a great success, and we are so happy to see everyone again so soon, right after our members meeting just over a month ago. With the new board, I look forward to working with volunteers, funders, partners, staff, and animators for the next year.

We are so proud of everyone who has joined us on our journey for many years. We have founders who continue to support us from the beginning. With great challenges come great opportunities.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napolean Hill.

We urge members to donate and support generously during our joint fundraising campaign and throughout the year. Through individual and group efforts, we can grow and make meaningful community changes.

By: Mitali Banerjee, Executive Director