“MOSAIC helps us fill our vacancies right away. The individuals that we have hired have worked out very well.”

CARF Canada seal

Our History

With close to four decades since becoming a registered charity in 1976, MOSAIC has established itself as a vibrant and reputable organization serving immigrants and refugees in the Greater Vancouver area.

MOSAIC resulted from the amalgamation of two organizations: Multilingual Social Services and Language Aid for Ethnic Groups. Both had developed in response to the growing awareness of the daily challenges faced by Vancouver and area’s non-English-speaking residents.
 
Multilingual Social Services. When the Grandview-Woodlands interagency team saw a need to reach out to the area’s many immigrants the YWCA sponsored a grant, Project Contact, to bridge the language and cultural barriers between non-English-speaking people and the community. That project evolved into the Multilingual Information Service and, as its focus shifted to linking non-English-speaking people with social-services agencies, it was renamed Multilingual Social Services (MSS).
 
Language Aid for Ethnic Groups (LAEG), based in the Downtown Eastside, started in 1972; four women of different ethnic backgrounds planned the project while reflecting on the difficulties each had in adjusting to Canadian society. The project, launched without any external help, provided information, referral, counselling, interpretation and home-visiting services to immigrants.
 
Both agencies struggled from grant to grant and, for a time, had no funding. As well, they had to overcome the initial resistance of social-service professionals and ethnic people themselves. In April of 1976, acting on the request of the (then) Department of Manpower and Immigration, MSS and LAEG combined to form MOSAIC (Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities) and incorporated as a non-profit society. This was followed by registration as a charity in 1978.