About the Newcomer Bike Host Program
The Vancouver Newcomer Bike Host Program is a collaborative program between HUB Cycling and the Immigrant Services Society of BC, modeled off of Toronto’s CultureLink program. The first of its kind in Western Canada, the program matches recent immigrants and refugees with local “host” volunteers for companionship and cultural orientation to Vancouver’s active transportation lifestyle. Newcomers receive city cycling instruction, and have the opportunity to spend time with their host volunteer getting oriented to Vancouver's cycling routes, rules, and culture, while having fun exploring Vancouver by bike together.
The 2018 program has come to a close. Thanks to all of the incredible participants who made the second year of this program a success! Since beginning in 2017, nearly 100 newcomers have taken part in Bike Host, and 76 volunteers have stepped forward to share their knowledge, skills and friendship.
Newcomers completing the program report numerous successes. Learn more in our program reports:
Bike Host will not be running in 2019, as the program team is focused on working with our partners to grow the program for 2020. Stay tuned!
This summer our team joined a few program matches during their weekly rides to allow participants to share their stories and experiences in the program. Read our blog post series to see what the participants have been up to! Special thanks to Joming Lau and Louise Campbell for capturing these stories.
- Karin and Tina - exploring the North Shore Spirit Trail
- Bibigul and Dave - becoming part of the local bike scene
- Patrick and Petro - a budding friendship on the Stanley Park seawall
- Puja and Howard - checking out murals off Main street
The 2018 Newcomer Bike Host Program is generously funded by TransLink, Westbank and QuadReal Property Group, Vancity and the Hamber Foundation.
The 2018 press release for the program can be found here.
Roundhouse983 Radio Aug 14 2017 ‘Sense of place with Minelle Mahtani’
Canadian Cycling Magazine Aug 13 2017 ‘The success of a Vancouver program that familiarizes new Canadians with city by bike’
Metro News Aug 7 2017 'Newcomers jump into cycling culture with bike orientation program'
CBC Online Aug 6 2017 'New Canadians learn to cycle the city in Vancouver bike host program'
City TV Aug 4 2017 'Breakfast TV coverage of the program' (starts at 3:45)
The 2017 press release of the program can be found here.