The capital of British Columbia, Victoria is home to two universities and a large community college, ship and aircraft building and repair, high-tech research and development, global businesses, and is also home to the Royal Canadian Navy’s Pacific Fleet. Indeed, a significant percentage of the region’s population have government, diplomatic, military, business, and academic backgrounds. Bordering on the large maritime domain of the Indo-Pacific region, it is not surprising that there is a great interest in international affairs.
CIC Victoria offers its members access to some of the best, most knowledgeable speakers in the field of international relations through a number of fora including monthly luncheons. More recent talks have included: Director General Andy Chen – Taipei Office Vancouver speaking about Canada-Taiwan relations, Mr. Lou Naumovski, “On the front lines of Russia’s economy,” and The Times Correspondent in Istanbul, Hannah Lucinda Smith reporting on current security issues in Turkey and the region. The branch also holds monthly ‘Politics in the Pub’ sessions, which are informal evenings with panel discussions on various topics drawing on local expertise. In addition, we often co-sponsor speaker events with the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University on subjects of international interest that provide our members with additional opportunities to meet and discuss current events.
A large part of what we also do as a branch is student outreach and some 100 of our members are students. As the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation appropriately notes, “leaders cannot emerge from a vacuum, without networks, mentorship, training, or role models.” To this end, we have become a major sponsor of the annual University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University’s Model United Nations Conferences and often provide keynote speakers and panelists for other similar conferences and gatherings. Each year, we also hold Canadians Going Global, an event held in conjunction with the University of Victoria, which brings students, and our more experienced members together, to discuss international career opportunities. We were also excited to launch, in 2020, our new $1,000 diversity scholarship granted to a new Canadian who will be heading to either Camosun College or the University of Victoria to further their studies. Our new scholarship program, launched in partnership with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria is one that we hope to expand in the coming years and for 2021 the amount of the scholarship has been raised to $2,000. Indeed, building bridges between our more experienced members and our student and young professional members, to better prepare them for the challenges ahead, has become a key focus area for the branch. We are also a branch striving to become more diverse and inclusive – a branch where the incredible experiences of our wider membership can be shared with those new to Canada.
In closing, CIC Victoria members share a passion for global affairs, a conviction that Canada must play a significant role in the world, and a clear understanding of how that role is shaped by a vibrant civil society dialogue. With this in mind, we always welcome new members because at the end of the day there’s nothing better than sitting down to hear from someone first-hand, and then being able to discuss the issues of the day with your table, or because of current circumstances, your Zoom mates.
For more information about CIC Victoria please contact the Branch Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Cam Ross 2016-2017
Bob Horn 2015-2016
Hugh Stephens 2013-2015
Penny Bryden 2011-2013
Alan Breakspear 2009-2011
Don Macnamara 2007-2009
Derek Fraser 2005-2007
Bob McLaren 2003-2005
John Anderson 2000-2003
Alan Hall 2000-2002