Musicians Noemi Kiss (soprano)

West Kootenay Friends of Refugees raise funds with concert

The West Kootenay Friends of Refugees are raising money to sponsor their next refugee family, and are trying to sponsor a family from Syria.

The West Kootenay Friends of Refugees (WKFoR) held a concert on Saturday night to help raise money to support the next family it sponsors.

The concert was a success and allowed the WKFoR to raise $4500. Additional donations from those who couldn’t make it brought the total to over $5000.

Though the Friends of Refugees aren’t yet sure where its next refugee family will come from, they have been trying to sponsor a family from Syria.

“There has been so much demand that we’ve already applied for about ten families and been too late. Somebody else has snapped them up,” said Jill Peacock, one of three coordinators at WKFoR.

The WKFoR has been applying for families through the Blended Visa Office Referral program, a federal program under Citizens and Immigration Canada. This is the same program the organization used to bring in its first two refugee families and is the fastest way for a group like the WKFoR to bring in refugee families.

“So once or sometimes twice a week we get lists from the people who run that program of Syrian families that are available, and I’d say on average, each time a list comes out there are about probably fourteen families on it,” explained Peacock.

Because the WKFoR can only offer a small one-bedroom suite, they have been trying to sponsor a family of three, either two parents and one child, or one parent and two children. There have only been eight or ten families of that size so far, and so far the WKFoR hasn’t responded quickly enough to snap one up.

The Friends of Refugees got an extra funding boost when a Bhubble thread unexpectedly lead to six individuals pledging $100 donations, and a Bhubble administrator offering to match the first $500.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to see that kind of community interest and support,” said Peacock.

Christmas is also bringing out donations. The Grade 2 class at RSS is raising money for the WKFoR for its Christmas project, and the Rossland Youth Action Network’s Me to We Club will be raising money for the group during Rekindle.

Those wishing to help the West Kootenay Friends of Refugees can make contributions at the Nelson and District Credit Union or send cheques to WKFoR at PO Box 1957, Rossland, V0G 1Y0.

More information about the WKFoR can be found at or on their Facebook page at


Just Posted

Province announces $2.5-million boost to increase tourism in B.C.’s resort towns

Changes to RMI funding are bringing more money to places like Harrison and Tofino

Rossland moves forward on single-use plastic bag ban bylaw

Bylaw given first reading at last council meeting

Premier Horgan talks jobs and opportunity at Castlegar mill

Upbeat visit brings message of hope and co-operation among Kootenay forestry players

Recycle major appliances for free in Kootenay Boundary

Free service begins May 1; Refrigerant appliances not included at Greater Trail regional landfill

Gas venting from tanker at Castlegar rail yard posed no danger: officials

Argon gas discharged from a CP tanker car on Friday, April 19.

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Drug decriminalization report welcomed in East Kootenay

Provincial report recommends decriminalizing people who use illicit drugs, shift focus to treatment

New flight service an ‘angel’ for medical patients

Angel Flight East Kootenay will fly medical patients to Kelowna or Vancouver

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Family dog stolen from Kootenay backyard

RCMP appealing for information on pregnant Karelian bear dog missing from Elko, B.C.

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read