About the Newcomer Bike Mentorship Program
The Metro 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 local cycling routes, rules, and culture while having fun exploring the city 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.
Newcomer participants are screened and recruited for the program by ISSofBC. If you are an immigrant or refugee newcomer to Metro Vancouver and would like more information about the program or to be put on the waitlist for next year, please contact Lucy Hardman, Volunteer Coordinator at the ISSofBC: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In coordination with HUB Cycling and the ISSofBC, similar versions of the program are also being offered in Toronto by CultureLink, and in Halifax by Ecology Action Centre.
Multi-year funding has been invested by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), so the program returned 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, with funding from local sources. In 2022, for the first time, we had two program locations: Vancouver and the Tri-Cities. Each location had both a spring and a summer cohort. Participants met their mentors for rides in their own communities and around the Lower Mainland. Newcomers and mentors also participated in group ride activities along the Seawall in Vancouver, delivered in partnership with Mobi By Shaw Go, the local bike share service.
If you have questions about the program, or want to be contacted to be a mentor in our next season, please contact the Program Manager at email@example.com
Past Participant Stories
The following are profiles of mentor-mentee matches from the Bike Host pilot program that ran in 2018 and the inaugural Bike Mentorship cohort in the Fall of 2021. 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
For 2021, 2022 and 2023 the 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.