Gateway Holds Annual Networking Event for Partners 

April 25, 2024 | Our blog, Partners


The Gateway team held its first partner event for the 2024-2025 fiscal year on April 15, 2024, at the Calgary Central Library.  More than 50 representatives from Gateway partner organizations, including Immigrant Services Calgary staff, came together to discuss services and needs trends and barriers faced by newcomers in Calgary.  

Service Design Lead at the Calgary Public Library, Raeesa Farooqi, delivered the opening remarks. She expressed delight over the Newcomer Desk—a collaboration between the Gateway team and the Calgary Central Library. She noted that this initiative has been helpful to newcomers, especially with its availability across multiple library locations. 

“Since the newcomer desk launched at the Central Library in 2023, it receives about 150 visitors each month,” she said.  

Immigrant Services Calgary’s Chief Development Officer, Soulafa Al-Abbasi, presented on Gateway’s achievements in the 2023 -2024 fiscal year. She emphasized that the Gateway network served more than 9,000 clients and made approximately 90,000 referrals to 81 signed partners within the period. 

Out of this number, “98% of partners are happy with the referrals received,” she said.  

Soulafa stressed that partners created and uploaded over 50 free customized services in the Gateway system, with unrestricted eligibility criteria, which was particularly helpful for refugees and temporary foreign workers. 

After the presentation, participants joined group sessions in World Café style conversations. Discussions focused on the most recent trends among newcomer clients accessing the Gateway system, such as employment, education, language, health and wellbeing, and poverty reduction.  

Partners exchanged valuable insights and shared their promising practices around how to best support clients and how to reduce barriers to accessing their services. They also expressed their eagerness to connect with each other after the event and learn more about each other’s services.  

Gateway is proud to enable partners with the platform for meaningful conversations, connections, and many more collaborations to come. 

The next Gateway Network event will be held in June 2024. 


Over 50 participants attended the fourth Gateway Network Gathering event at the Central Public Library on April 15, 2024. Partners shared their experiences with Gateway, highlighting how it has successfully streamlined their referral processes and enabled the right connections for the clients 

During the World Café group sessions, partners and Gateway Newcomer Planners discussed resources, challenges, and opportunities in the settlement sector, sharing real-life scenarios across key topics like poverty reduction, health and well-being, employment, and language and education.


Please click the below link to access a summary of the discussions and resources shared in each group. 

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