We are an integral part of Calgary’s immigrant-serving community.
The Immigrant Education Society (TIES) is a not-for-profit registered charitable organization that has been actively serving newcomers and low-income Calgarians since 1988. TIES' primary goal is to provide immigrants and economically disadvantaged individuals with a solid foothold in Canada and afford them the opportunities to feel belonging in their new community.
TIES is governed by a Board of Directors made up of devoted community-minded volunteers and operates through funding from both government and private organizations. From our humble beginnings, TIES has grown from five volunteers in a single office to an employer of about 146 dedicated staff members and over 200 volunteers.
TIES now operates and is in full ownership of two large facilities in Calgary’s Forest Lawn and Whitehorn and in December of 2021 expanded its services to a new, larger facility in the Westwinds area of NE Calgary. Since its inception, TIES has assisted over 250,000 clients to strengthen their identities as members of Alberta society, offering services valued at tens of millions of dollars.
An inclusive and pluralistic society.
To provide innovative language education, customized employment training and placement, and integration services to newcomers and Canadians based on best practices.
You can also provide support through means other than funds. Our community may be in need of items such as furniture, clothing and more. If you have access to these items and are willing to donate them to a worthy cause, please call us at: 403-291-0002 or send us a message via email: email@example.com.
With humble beginnings in 1988, The Immigrant Education Society (TIES) grew from a small volunteer-led initiative with only Mr. Salim M. Sindhu as its steward, to a 200+ staff not-for-profit charitable organization with three locations in northeast and southeast Calgary. Devoted to assisting immigrants and low income Canadians through various levels of language and employment training and settlement programming, TIES has provided tens of millions of dollars worth of service to over 250,000 newcomers in its 30+-year history. Today, TIES assists over 1,400 students a day, 7 days a week, with programs in-house and online.
Salim started his own consulting business in immigration.
On June 21st, with the help of few friends, he co-founded The Calgary Society for Immigrant Workers to help immigrants particularly residing in SE quadrant of the city in learning English language and computer as well as finding employment. Salim also pioneered “Drop-in ESL Program”.
On April 11th, the Society’s name was changed to the Calgary Immigrant Development & Educational Advancement Society (Calgary I.D.E.A.S.), which fully comprehended the programs and services we offered.
Salim also introduced computers as a tool for the ESL students to learn English language and find jobs.
Salim launched the computer and accounting programs among the non-profits so that learners could place their feet in these fields
Salim initiated a “Computers for Kids” Program with the main objective to keep kids off the streets and make good use of the time to learn and explore something new through computers. In the same year, Salim started a brand new program, which no other not-for-profit organization had provided before and that was the “Taiwanese Program”, which included: 1) providing resources and information regarding Canada to prospective Taiwanese immigrants; 2) recruiting and sending Canadian ESL teachers to Taiwan for teaching; and 3) sending trainers to Taiwan to train their ESL teachers.
TIES’ Board of Directors decided to construct the Society’s own building to avoid paying high rent. Within five years, Salim raised $2.2 million for the purchase of land and building construction.
Salim pioneered the “Clerical Training Program”, which is still a very overwhelming program.
With the approval of the Board of Directors, Salim further changed Calgary I.D.E.A.S. to the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society (CIES) on August 2.
The SE main building located in Forest Lawn was officially opened in October 2003 and by November 2005, the building became debt-free – a place that belongs to the immigrant community in Calgary.
An “Enhanced Language Training for Immigrant Professionals” was introduced and due to the expertise we had in language training in previous years, it was a very successful program for two years!
Salim realized there was a service gap for immigrants and refugees who were pre-literate in the English language or had extremely limited literacy skills; he introduced the “Basic English and Literacy Program”.
While In view of our expanding programs and services, Salim led the way to construct a second office building located in the NE, namely “Welcome Centre for New Immigrants”. With much effort in fund-raising, Salim purchased a piece of land and started the building construction in 2010. The Welcome Centre was officially opened in July of 2012.
In 2018, while in light of growing demand for its services, TIES expanded to a third facility at Westwinds, also in Calgary’s northeast, which began operations August 2018.
In July of 2019 our name changed a third time to The Immigrant Education Society (TIES), pronounced ‘ties’.
Mr. Salim M. Sindhu was born in Pakistan and obtained his bachelor of Civil Engineering. Before he immigrated to Canada in 1974, he was a Civil Engineer by profession.
Salim’s diverse talents had put him into different areas of helping his fellow immigrants settle in this new country. Throughout the years, although he was the Executive Director of TIES, he still found time out of his busy schedule to volunteer mainly in the following areas:
Passages to Canada: he provided regular visits to schools and institutions and through his own experiences, he gave speeches to young people regarding motivation to success, etc.
United Way of Calgary and Area: Salim was on the Committee and also volunteered as the “Ambassador of the Way”, going to the corporate sector explaining United Way’s funding policy and how their donations would benefit the entire community. Dominion Institute of Canada: he was the public speaker for this organization and gave numerous speeches. Volunteer Sector Initiative of Citizenship & Immigration Canada (VSI of CIC): he was a delegate from Alberta Immigrant Sector of VSI of CIC Consultation. He served as a member of the Immigration Policy Committee. He worked on the committee for two years and presented his policy papers to National Conference of VSI in Calgary in October 2003.
Salim also took part in works to benefit the immigrant community. He supervised a study entitled, ‘A Study of Communication Skills Needs of Immigrant Workers in Selected Calgary Industries (1990)’, as well as ‘A Study of the Needs and Problems of Senior Immigrants of South Asian Origin Living in Calgary (1993)’, the latter from which recommendations were taken and implemented in later years. The former proved invaluable to immigrants who realized the impact absence of the English language had on their daily lives. In his spare time, Salim was an active writer for different newspapers about the challenges that new immigrants especially immigrant professionals encountered.
Every day, his passion and zeal for the work of the Society and his volunteer work to help immigrants shone through. He silently devoted an enormous part of his life to the betterment of others and deserved to be fully recognized for his contribution.
Therefore, in 1992, Salim received the Calgary ‘Mayor’s Award’ for his volunteer work. In 2003, Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency, The Honourable Adrienne Clarkson awarded Salim “Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award” for his community service. In 2005, The Government of Alberta awarded Salim the Centennial Medal and in the same year, he received Star of the Millennium – Volunteer Award from The Wild Rose Foundation. Salim dedicated his life to help fellow immigrants in their settlement process in their new adoptive country, Canada.
The Immigrant Education Society (TIES) is located on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot and the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Siksika, the Piikuni, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Stoney Nakoda First Nations, including Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nation. The City of Calgary is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.
Registered Charity #130143373RR0001 © Copyright The Immigrant Education Society 2023.
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