Menu Search

About us

Who are we?

The WIC initiative is a partnership between the AUMA and the Government of Alberta to promote and help municipalities create welcoming and inclusive communities through shared resources, education and networking.

 What is a Welcoming and Inclusive Community?

A Welcoming and Inclusive Community is one that is free from discrimination, and where residents are able to participate in all aspects of social, cultural and economic life.

Why should my municipality get involved?

Municipal governments function at the most practical level and are directly involved in the lives of their residents. Municipalities are an ideal level of government to develop policies, programs and strategies that celebrate Alberta’s increasing diversity, and take meaningful action toward eliminating racism and discrimination.

What are the benefits of being a WIC?

WIC initiatives contribute to all dimensions of municipal sustainability:

Social:  WICs experience an increased sense of cohesiveness and belonging. Recent events demonstrate the extent of violence resulting from racial and cultural tensions. When people feel welcome and are involved in their community, safety and security are enhanced.
Culture: Municipalities that embrace and celebrate their diversity are richer through the creation of cultural festivals, events and other unique attractions.
Economic: As municipalities struggle with attracting business and talent, WIC initiatives can provide a competitive advantage through creating positive reputation that set a municipality apart. WIC initiatives also help to attract and retain newcomers, and reduce barriers to the participation of marginalized communities in the workforce.
Environment: Municipalities rely on citizens and business to help protect the environment whether it is conserving water, recycling or reducing energy use. WIC approaches such as plain language in communications or including ethnocultural communities on local boards and initiatives will help ensure that all citizens contribute towards environmental goals.
Governance: Municipalities earn the trust, loyalty, and respect of employees and citizens by demonstrating a commitment to access, equity, inclusion and justice for all. Improved service delivery, better planning integration, fewer complaints, and reduced vulnerability to liability in the event of discrimination or harassment complaints, are all potential benefits resulting from WIC initiatives.

How do I get involved?

If you would like to receive regular updates on new tools, resources and upcoming events, email to become part of AUMA’s WIC network.

If your municipality wants to make a public commitment to being welcoming and inclusive, consider joining the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD). As of April 2015, 63 municipalities across Canada have joined the network including the following from Alberta:

City of Brooks City of Calgary
City of Edmonton City of Grande Prairie
City of Lethbridge City of Red Deer
City of St. Albert City of Wetaskiwin
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Town of Cochrane
Town of Devon Town of Drayton Valley
Town of Innisfail Town of Fort Macleod
Town of Provost  

What is next for the WIC initiative?

WIC initiative has developed a number tools and resources over the last number of years, which are housed on these webpages. In recognition that municipalities need support in using these tools, the Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund launched a Community Inclusion Grant, which provides up to $10,000 per municipality.

Whether you are just getting started or want to continue your WIC or Coalition of Municipalities Against Discrimination (CMARD) work, you may wish to use this grant to develop a plan, evaluate programs already in place, implement a WIC or CMARD initiative or develop collaborations with community groups.

The deadline for 2015 funding is September 15. More information is available here or by via email. Further funding under the grant will be available in 2016. Stay tuned for more details.