Immigrants choose Nova Scotia for the opportunities and our welcoming Maritime spirit to prosper and grow as new Canadians. From newcomer to lifetime Nova Scotian, ISANS charts a path so all can belong and grow.

ISANS is the leading immigrant settlement service agency in Atlantic Canada, serving 9,000+ clients annually in 104 communities across Nova Scotia. We extend a diversity of services—language, settlement, community integration, business development and employment—both in person and online.

Through our staff, ISANS brings varied languages, different experiences and unique perspectives that inform our client-centered programming. Many of our services are provided in both Canada’s official languages—English and French—and in 30+ languages spoken by our clients. We seek to empower our clients and staff to collaborate, learn and grow together—both personally and professionally—through partnership, professionalism and accountability.

This year, the ISANS Board of Directors worked to ensure Jennifer Watts, the new CEO of ISANS, is fully supported and effectively transitioning into her role. This included the development of short and long-term goals for the CEO in coordination with the Board of Directors.

To ensure the sustainability of the organization, the Board of Directors continued to work with the CEO to establish the long-term direction of ISANS through overseeing progress on the strategic plan, risk analysis, providing insights on strategic facilities planning, financial monitoring and oversight, and managing Board of Directors succession and recruitment. These are critical functions to ensure the sustainability and continued growth of the organization. Beyond this strategic and oversight work, the Board of Directors champions the organization in the community and at key ISANS events.

The Board of Directors takes a great level of pride serving ISANS. This year, we extend gratitude to Amanda Whitewood, Dianne Taylor-Gearing and Christine Yang who completed their terms on the Board of Directors. We are grateful for their commitment and insights.

In our 39th year of operation, we look towards celebrating our 40th anniversary serving newcomers right here in Nova Scotia. From humble beginnings, with a strong sense of purpose and focus on innovative programming, ISANS grew to become the organization it is today, a leader in settlement programs and services, not only here in Halifax, but nationally and internationally as well.

As the front door to many of Nova Scotia’s immigrants, ISANS seeks to create a community where all can belong and grow, building a stronger Nova Scotia and Canada for all.

Catherine Woodman
Chair, ISANS Board of Directors

Creating Pathways, Changing Narratives.

2018 was a year of possibility at ISANS.

From a slate of new programs and services, ISANS continued to grow with its staff, clients, partners, and funders to help immigrants build a future in Nova Scotia.

ISANS is first and foremost an organization driven by the thousands of newcomers that come through our doors each year to find their possibility. Each newcomer is unique, and ISANS prides itself on providing programs and services that meet their individual needs in a timely and supportive fashion. The resilience, drive and determination of our clients continues to inspire us.

Over the next five years, ISANS will use storytelling to explore the unique pathways our clients take on their journey towards possibility. This year’s annual report highlights eight ISANS program areas, and is a compelling glimpse at an individual’s journey, their pathway through ISANS programs, and the meaningful impacts within our communities.

Guiding a newcomer’s journey is the strength and expertise of ISANS staff. From the innovative and client focused services they provide, to the nationally recognized programs they deliver, their tireless efforts ensure our organization’s lasting impact and success.

In 2018, we expanded our programs beyond Halifax and Nova Scotia with the support of government funding. These programs are part of a long tradition of innovation at ISANS, as we support our regional and national partners to offer unique programming for immigrants in their respective communities.

In January, we were pleased to expand the groundbreaking national Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) program to offer new courses for newcomers before they arrive to Canada. SOPA ensures newcomers arrive prepared.

ISANS also launched the Atlantic Immigrant Career Loan Fund to help internationally trained professionals overcome financial barriers associated with licensure and training to practice in their chosen field. This program, administered through ISANS, is available via six partner organizations across the Atlantic Provinces.

In the coming months and years, we will continue to work at a regional and national level. We will participate in Communities of Practice to bring our innovative approaches to others—partners, community members, and funders.

I would like to give a deep, heart-felt thanks to our many volunteers, community partners, government and corporate funders for their continued support and confidence. I would specifically like to thank ISANS staff, and the clients they serve each day, as they work together to identify pathways to success. I look towards next year with optimism and hope as we seek to build a community where all can belong and grow.

Jennifer Watts