Fresh Voices emerged from a partnership between Vancouver Foundation and the Representative for Children and Youth. Now supported by PeerNetBC, we offer a way for immigrant and refugee youth from across B.C. to engage in dialogue and action to identify and remove barriers to their success.

What is Fresh Voices

Fresh Voices is active in public engagement, research, and partnership work that improves the experience of newcomer youth in B.C. We are a group of young immigrants and refugees who work with our partners to make sure we are heard on the issues that affect us.

Together, the outcomes we seek to influence are:

  • Improved policies and practices that affect racialized immigrant and refugee youths’ sense of belonging in British Columbia and Canada as a whole.
  • Newcomer youth have more voice and influence in planning and decision-making processes that affect their lives.

Much of our work today is based on sixteen key recommendations from a series of consultations and forums with immigrant and refugee youth across B.C. Find out more about what we do , and see what’s included in the Community Forum Report and Recommendations.

Do we have a theory of change to guide our work? You bet. Click the image below to download the visual version of how we do what we do.


Inspired by young immigrants and refugees

Young people are important participants and leaders of this work. We have an authentic perspective on issues such as education, family, immigration, and cultural diversity, and are always looking for ways to improve the experience of newcomers to B.C.

We bring our ideas to meetings with government, educational institutions, settlement agencies, and many other organizations and people with an interest in the wellbeing of immigrant and refugee youth.

Get to know us! Find out more about the young people that make up the Fresh Voices Youth Advisory Team.

Founding Story

Our original mandate was to host the fourth annual Champions for Children and Youth Summit, held in October 2011. The event attracted more than 100 immigrant and refugee youth, who discussed their experiences as newcomers to Canada and ways to improve the well-being of their community.

The summit was followed by a series of regional meetings in Nanaimo, Victoria, Langley and Prince George in 2012. In total, approximately 200 immigrant and refugee youth were consulted and their input incorporated into the final Fresh Voices Community Forum Report and Recommendations.

Did you know?

Recent immigrants are disproportionately impacted by poverty. We are three times more likely to live in poverty than Canadian-born persons.

See more facts