Collingwood is Sponsoring Syrian Refugees

Of course you’ve seen the news about the Syrian refugee crisis and wondered how you could help. Did you know that there is a Collingwood Syrian Sponsorship group? With Collingwood being such a charitable town with amazing people, it is no wonder that Collingwood has raised $92,000 to support Syrian families relocating here.

The Collingwood Syrian Family Sponsorship Committee is comprised of a good cross-section of the community, from residents, business owners, home developers, church representatives and radio personalities. Many businesses in the community are part of the sponsorship efforts and include:

·         All Saints Anglican Church

·         Apple Self Storage

·         Town of Collingwood

·         Corus Entertainment

·         Elephant Thoughts

·         RMD Communications

·         SummerBound

·         Society of St. Vincent de Paul

·         Telus

·         Trinity United Church

·         Cranberry Golf Resort

·         Collingwood Horticultural Society

·         Collingwood United SC

·         Play it Again Sports

The first sponsored family by the committee arrived in Canada last June and a recent update tells that the Bozan family is settling in very well. The father has found part-time work and is also busy volunteering and taking English lessons. The children are enjoying their new Canadian school and are learning English rapidly.

The second sponsored family is expected to be welcomed at some point in 2017. The Town of Collingwood is working towards getting the federal government to speed up Syrian refugee approvals, recently passing a motion asking for action.


Prior to the first family’s arrival in Canada, local volunteers spent over 300 hours sorting clothing, toys, bedding and personal hygiene items that were donated through the organization Simcoe Cares. Because of the generosity of the people in our community, some of the goods were donated to other communities in Southern Ontario who were welcoming larger numbers of Syrian families. But, help is still needed and donations, especially monetary donations, are always welcomed. Donation money goes towards:

·         Housing costs

·         Food costs

·         Transportation costs

·         Counseling

·         English tutoring

·         Pre-school or daycare costs

The refugee crisis in Syria is still ongoing and help is always needed. Welcoming refugee families to our Collingwood community is a simple way that we can help. Monetary donations over $20 will be awarded a tax receipt, but you can also donate household items and/or your time as well. Contact one of the resource leaders for more information. Alternatively, you can check out the Sharing Registry, which lists items that are still needed. Clothing donations will not be accepted until the status of the second family is known and of what they need.

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Be the Change Film Series

If you are new to Collingwood, you may not have heard of the Be the Change Film series, now in its eighth year. This documentary film series presents films with thought-provoking topics about our world in an effort to inspire and educate the Collingwood community into action. Working with the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation and the Collingwood educational store Elephant Thoughts, along with many community partners, this film series is there to provide the audience with information about what our earth is facing.

All films are being played at the Simcoe Street Theatre and the cost is $8 in advance or at the door or $5 for students. If you want to see all six films, the cost is $40. The proceeds of the films support both Elephant Thoughts and the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation.

You can make your film screening a complete night out, with a very inexpensive, local dinner for only $15. The meal is prepared by Farm to Table – Market & Kitchen and the CC Food Co-op. There will also be snacks and beverages provided by the Creemore Coffee Studio and Earthlinks, an environmental student group from Collingwood Collegiate Institute.


The Films

Koneline is an art film set in First Nations territory in Northern British Columbia and explores a beautiful and majestic area as it goes through change by modern development. This film is playing on January 18th. Musical guest Mike Reid will play between shows.

Misconception plays on February 15th and musical guest Craig Smith will play between the two shows. This film explores population growth and the misconceptions surrounding it.

Seed: The Untold Story lets us know how valuable seeds are to our survival and that the majority of seed varieties are now extinct. It will talk about our food legacy and how we can keep this treasured resource safe. It plays on March 15th and musician Jason Redman will play between shows.

After the Last River is the last film in the series, examining the Attawapiskat reserve and how the De Beers diamond mine destroyed their community.

Residents and visitors to the Collingwood area will not want to miss this film series. Not only entertaining, it will be enlightening and supports some great causes. Don’t wait to get your tickets, as past shows have sold out before the film’s viewing.

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