About the Newcomer Bike Mentorship Program
The Vancouver Newcomer Bike Mentorship Program is a collaborative program between HUB Cycling and the Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC), modeled off of Toronto’s CultureLink program. The first of its kind in Western Canada, the program matches recent immigrants and refugees with local volunteer “mentors” for companionship and cultural orientation to Metro Vancouver’s active transportation lifestyle. Newcomers receive city cycling instruction and have the opportunity to spend time with their volunteer match getting oriented to Vancouver's cycling routes, rules, and culture while having fun exploring Vancouver by bike together.
If you would like to apply to become a bike mentor and spend time cycling with a newcomer at least once/week for about three months, you can apply here.
Similar versions of the program are also being offered in Toronto by CultureLink, and in Halifax by Ecology Action Centre thanks to coordination by HUB Cycling.
Multi-year funding has been invested by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), so the program is returning in 2021 after a two-year hiatus. HUB Cycling and the ISSofBC previously offered it as the Newcomer Bike Host Program in 2017 and 2018.
In the two years it was offered, nearly 100 newcomers took part in Bike Host, and 76 volunteers stepped forward to share their knowledge, skills, and friendship.
Newcomers who completed the program reported numerous successes. Learn more in our program reports:
Past Participant Stories
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 got up to! Special thanks to Joming Lau, Louise Campbell, and Kate Shen 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
- Ulyana and Lucy - cycling through Metro Vancouver and into Go by Bike Week
The 2021 Vancouver Newcomer Bike Mentorship Program is being generously funded by The Public Health Agency of Canada, and diverse public sector, private sector, and academic in-kind contributions.