The Edmonton Multicultural Coalition Association (EMCA) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2007 that recently became charitable in July 2021. Since its inception, EMCA has worked with community leaders and organizations from ethno-cultural communities, members, the voluntary sector, and public institutions. As a result, individuals and groups from communities experience equitable access to resources and opportunities to improve their quality of life and hasten their integration into their new homeland. In addition, we have developed strong relationships with emerging immigrant and refugee community organizations through our capacity building and community animation model on activities to address racism, isolation, civic engagement, social inclusion, and equitable social integration.

We support leaders and individuals from ethno-cultural communities in strengthening the capacities of individuals, organizations, and more broadly, their ethno-cultural communities. The coalition also fosters collaborations between ethno-cultural communities and explores working opportunities with Indigenous and mainstream/dominant communities. This approach highlights equitable social integration among diverse community members and mutual positive transformation through building a respectful relationship.

The coalition is guided by the principles of inclusion, participatory learning, intercultural relationship-building, and community capacity building.


The project aimed at developing civic space and engagement for ethno-cultural communities in the City of Edmonton. Initially funded by Health Canada through the Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI), more than 120 community members participated in 36 policy education workshops in which four issues were identified as major determinants of holistic ethno-cultural communities’ health.

  • Unequal access to suitable employment opportunities for foreign-trained professionals and workers;

  • Limited access to educational opportunities for newcomers and under funding of English as a Second Language (ESL) support programs;

  • Inability to access affordable and culturally appropriate health services and;

  • Isolation and exclusion of ethno-cultural communities from civic and political participation in Canadian society.

Consequently, participants of this consultation process decided to form a multicultural coalition to articulate and advocate a policy agenda for health and well-being addressing the identified four priority issues in collaboration with government and community organizations. With that Edmonton`s Multicultural Coalition.Dr. Lucenia Ortis Coordinated the formation of the Coalition initiated and led by 10 various ethno-cultural communities in Edmonton who shared a vision of inclusive and equitable society.

Although the Coalition was an initiative of Multicultural Health Brokers Coop (established 1995) and continues to partner with the Coop, it has grown in leaps and bounds to acquire a life of its own. During our 9th Annual General Meeting on October 29 2011, members voted to change the name to Edmonton Multicultural Coalition. To broaden the range and scope of its activities to reflect changing times, the board recommended and members approved to seek registration as a fully-fledged charity.

Dr. Lucenia