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The Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) is a non-profit organization founded in November 1989 by three former refugees. VIRCS helps immigrants, refugees and new Canadian citizens, to settle and adapt into their new lives in the Greater Victoria Region.


The multicultural staff annually serves more than 3,000 immigrants, refugees, new Canadian citizens, and visible minorities. VIRCS provides a wide range of holistic services.


Over the years, VIRCS has developed positive relationships with other organizations, service providers, the local business community, and the community at large. VIRCS gratefully acknowledges the funding support of the federal and provincial governments.


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We are Vancouver Island’s only official testing centre for CELPIP
language testing.

In collaboration with the District of Oak Bay, we provide transitional housing via two Welcome Houses for recently resettled refugees.

 We are a part of the Social Innovation Centre which is a non-profit society that owns a building housing other non-profits to share administrative supports, collaborative space, and a trauma-informed daycare.


In 2017, VIRCS won the Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Award for the innovative Vancouver Island Refugee Response Team program which helped to welcome and settle 3,000 Syrian refugees to BC from 2015 to 2016 with a made-in-BC approach, forging new partnerships, expanding cultural awareness,, and creating community capacity throughout BC for generations to come.

Heart & Hands

In 2020, following a competitive bidding process, the Province of BC selected VIRCS to serve as the provincial hub of the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network. The network operates in communities across the province, bringing people together to address racism and hate.

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