The Kingston Immigration Partnership was initiated by Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC), KEYS Community Employment Centre and the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO). These three partners recognized the need to begin a conversation between businesses, government, and community organizations around the issue of immigration to Kingston, in order to build sustainable partnerships and launch innovative actions to make Kingston a welcoming community. Together, they successfully applied for funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in April 2009 under the Local Immigration Partnership program, an Ontario-wide initiative designed to improve the capacity of communities to welcome and integrate newcomers.
The KIP officially launched on September 30, 2009 in the City of Kingston’s historic Memorial Hall. This first Assembly welcomed over 150 participants, including newcomers, long-term residents, and representatives of organizations from across Kingston. In the following months, the KIP reached out to the public through focus groups, interviews, a second assembly, and the formation of planning tables. Guided by a Steering Advisory Group with community representation, the KIP has successfully created a community-based Strategy and formed a Council to coordinate and promote local efforts.