UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi on World Refugee Day 2017

Given the right environment our experience is that, refugees bring solutions, not problems. Inclusion requires opening our minds, hearts and communities to refugees.

 Each year on June 20th the United Nations, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and countless civic groups around the world host World Refugee Day events in order to draw the public's attention to the millions of refugees and Internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution.

The annual commemoration is marked by a variety of events in more than 100 countries, involving government officials, humanitarian aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced themselves.

In a world where violence forces hundreds of families to flee each day, the UN Refugee Agency believes now is the time to show world leaders that the global public stands with refugees, and it will launch its #WithRefugees petition on June 20th to send a message to governments that they must work together and do their fair share for refugees.

Learn more

Government of Canada World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day 2017 Events in British Columbia

Vancouver Public Library World Refugee Day Panel

Hear the first-hand experience of a recently arrived refugee, front-line case workers and a resettlement leader. Panellists include Kathy Sherell, Associate Director of Settlement Services, Mohammed Alsaleh, a RAP case worker, Bayron Figueroa, case manager (SOS) and Raid Abazeed.
Date and Time: Tuesday June 20, 2017, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Location: 350 West Georgia St, Vancouver (Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level)

Vancouver Public Library World Refugee Day Film Screening: The Crossing

In The Crossing director George Kurian follows a group of Syrian refugees as they flee their war-torn country. Journalists, engineers, a musician and a psychologist make a harrowing eight day journey on a small crowded fishing vessel. When they reach the shores of Europe, they realize the most difficult part of their journey still lies ahead. In Arabic with English subtitles.

Time & Date: Tuesday June 20, 2017, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Location: 350 West Georgia St, Vancouver  (Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level)

World Refugee Day Event - Burnaby Public Library

Learn about current issues facing refugees that have resettled to Canada from a panel of speakers including former refugees, Leila Behbani and James Grunau.

Time & Date: Tuesday June 20, 2017, 7:00pm-8:30pm
Location: 6100 Willingdon Avenue

Mennonite Central Committee World Refugee Day Event - Abbotsford

On World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20, we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of refugees. Refugees continue to seek spaces of safety in many places and for many reasons. MCC has been integrally involved in providing emergency assistance to thousands of internally displaced families and refugees in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe, as well as facilitating the sponsorship of their resettlement in Canada for almost 40 years. Join us for an afternoon of music, dance and stories of hope from around the world to mark this special day. Bring a blanket and a picnic, and come celebrate World Refugee Day alongside refugee families, sponsoring groups, and your community at this free event.

Time & Date: Saturday June 20, 2017, 2:00pm-4:00pm
Location: Mill Lake Park - 32997 Bevan Avenue, Abbotsford. Free parking is available at the Bevan Ave. entrance.

In the Footsteps of our Immigrants - Victoria, BC

Honouring World Refugee Day at City Hall in partnership with the Victoria Immigrant & Refugee Centre Society and the Applied Theatre Department at the University of Victoria: This interactive play will explore newcomers, immigrants and refugees’ narratives of relocation, resilience, settlement, and integration. The play was created by actors and youth from various ethnic and culturally diverse backgrounds who will share their stories of their lived and living experiences in the worlds of immigration, migration and settlement.  Admission by donation. All ages welcome.
Time & Date: Tuesday, June 20th, 2:30-4:00pm
Location: Victoria City Hall, 1 Centennial Square, Victoria, BC - Antechamber Room

World Refugee Day Film Screening and Panel Discussion - Victoria, BC

Warehoused sheds light on the seemingly insurmountable challenges facing refugees across the globe through an intimate glimpse into daily life at Dadaab, Kenya -- the world’s largest refugee camp. Featuring commentary by the UN Refugee Agency workers who courageously provide desperately needed aid during the protracted crisis. Film will be followed by a panel discussion with the local refugee and refugee advocacy community. All seats: $4.75.

Time & Date: Tuesday, June 20th, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Cinecenta - UVIC, Student Union Bldg, 3800 Finnerty Rd, Victoria, BC

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

Join author Margriet Ruurs and translator Falah Raheem on World Refugee Day for a conversation about their children’s book, Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey, featuring the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr. The book, presented in English and Arabic, recounts the story of a young girl and her family, forced to leave their once-peaceful home and escape to freedom. This event is presented in partnership with Victoria Children's Literature Roundtable. Books will be available for purchase with partial proceeds supporting refugees in Canada. The book has already raised more than $30,000. Register at or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.

Time & Date: Tuesday, June 20th, 10:30-11:30am and 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Greater Victoria Public Library- Saanich Centennial Branch, 3110 Tillicum Rd., Pearkes Arena Complex, Victoria, BC

World Refugee Day United Nations Flag Raising at Victoria City Hall

Join in for a ceremony at the Victoria City Hall on World Refugee Day to raise the UNHCR flag in honour of those in our community and around the world who are or have been refugees.

Time & Date: Tuesday, June 20th, 12:00-1:00pm
Location: Victoria City Hall, Pandora Street Entrance


In honor of World Refugee Day we have put together 10 facts about refugees that are important to know.

Download facts here


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