Action Réfugiés Montréal’s History

For over 20 years Action Réfugiés Montréal has provided support to refugees seeking protection in Canada. Our vision of compassion and justice for refugees guides our work through our three programs

Early years

Glynis Williams founding director

Glynis Williams, Founding Director of ARM

Action Réfugiés Montréal was born out of the refugee program managed by the Reverend Glynis Williams at Tyndale St-Georges Community Centre in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Seeing a growing need for refugee sponsorship, visits to detainees, and accompaniment of refugee claimants, Glynis founded Action Réfugiés Montréal in 1994 with the support of our two founding churches, the  Anglican Diocese of Montreal and the Presbyterian Church in Canada.

Sponsorship of refugees

Action Réfugiés Montréal has managed the private sponsorship of refugees on behalf of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal since 1994, as well as later on behalf of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, through agreements with Immigration Québec. In the early 1990s, many of the refugees sponsored by Action Réfugiés Montréal were from Afghanistan.

Over the years, we have sponsored over 900 refugees from countries including Afghanistan, Rwanda, Burundi, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Eritrea, and now Syria.

Helping detainees access justice

Since its creation, Action Réfugiés Montréal has offered support to people detained for immigration reasons through weekly visits to the Immigration Holding Centre. Since 2002, we have held a formal agreement with federal authorities providing Action Réfugiés Montréal with access inside the Holding Centre. After the reform of Canada’s refugee determination system at the end of 2012, we increased from one weekly visit to two in order to support detained claimants as early as possible.

Breaking isolation through friendship

In recognition of the social isolation faced by many newly arrived refugee women, Action Réfugiés Montréal created a “twinning” program, pairing refugee women with women volunteers to create bonds of friendship and exchange. Referrals often come from social workers, lawyers and through our sponsorship program. Since 2013, we have held regular group activities for participants.

Advocating for refugee rights

These three programs continue to form the core of our work. Drawing on our experience with refugees and asylum seekers, Action Réfugiés Montréal also engages in education and advocacy. We are active members of the Canadian Council for Refugees and the Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiés et immigrantes.

New challenges ahead

After 18 years as Executive Director of Action Réfugiés Montréal, Reverend Glynis Williams left Action Réfugiés Montréal in 2012 to take on a position with the Presbyterian Church in Canada. In 2013, Paul Clarke became the new Executive Director, after a long career in the banking world. Paul has focused on developing new partnerships with foundations, donors and communities.

ARM is a dynamic organization able to adapt to the changing needs of refugees

Since 2013, Action Réfugiés Montréal has significantly increased the number of sponsorship applications it submits to the government in response to the increasing demand from the Syrian community in Montréal.

New funds received since the fall of 2015 have allowed ARM to double its staff and increase the efforts of all of our programs. In particular we have increased our response to the Syrian refugee crisis, while continuing to assist refugees from other countries.

Action Réfugiés Montréal shared their event. ... See MoreSee Less

Journée Mondiale des Réfugiés 2017

June 17, 2017, 12:00pm - June 17, 2017, 5:00pm

JOURNÉE MONDIALE DES RÉFUGIÉS 2017 - Ensemble nous bâtissons le Québec Cette année, Action Réfugiés Montréal (ARM), ALPA (Accueil et Liaison pour Arrivants), Carrefour d’Aide aux Nouveaux...

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Merci aux organisateurs de l'événement de sensibilisation et de rapprochement "Cuisine ta ville" qui a eu lieu récemment à Montréal. Voici Paul Clarke en train de parler lors de l'événement de différentes réalités de personnes réfugiées.

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Thank you to the organizers of the awareness-raising and community building event "Cuisine ta ville" that took place recently in Montreal. Here is Paul Clarke speaking during the event about different realities of refugees.
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We presented some aspects of our work to students from the Eastern Kentucky University. The professor told us : " Action Réfugiés provided exactly the kind of on the ground perspective and insight, not to mention straight talk, that I was hoping for for the students." ... See MoreSee Less

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JOURNÉE MONDIALE DES RÉFUGIÉS 2017 - Ensemble nous bâtissons le Québec

Cette année, Action Réfugiés Montréal (ARM), ALPA (Accueil et Liaison pour Arrivants), Carrefour d’Aide aux Nouveaux Arrivants (CANA), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), RIVO et SINGA Québec organisent une marche symbolique sur la rue Sainte-Catherine le samedi 17 juin à l'occasion de la Journée mondiale des réfugiés (JMR). Lors de cette marche, nous célébrerons le courage et la résilience de celles et ceux qui ont dû fuir leur pays.

Le point de départ de la marche se trouve aux Résidences du YMCA au 4039 rue Tupper, station de métro Atwater.

Notez que les marcheurs sont attendus à midi et que le départ officiel se fera à 13h. La marche se terminera devant l'église St-Jax Montréal, au 1439 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, où sont situés les bureaux d'Action Réfugiés Montréal. Sur place, plusieurs organismes dévoués à la cause des réfugiés animeront des kiosques d'information et des activités interactives. Des réfugiés prendront aussi la parole à cette occasion.

Cette année nous prévoyons une fête, de la musique, des couleurs, des animations artistiques et plusieurs autres surprises! Venez célébrer avec nous!

Si vous souhaitez être bénévole pour cet événement, veuillez contacter Emilia à l'adresse [email protected]

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WORLD REFUGEE DAY 2017

This year, Action Réfugiés Montreal (ARM), ALPA (Accueil et Liaison pour Arrivants), Carrefour d’aide aux nouveaux arrivants, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), RIVO and Singa Québec are organizing a symbolic walk on Saint Catherine Street in Montreal Saturday June 17th to celebrate World Refugee Day. During this walk, we will highlight the courage and resilience of those who had to flee their country.

This walk will start at the YMCA Residence on 4039 Tupper Street, near the Atwater metro station. Note that the participants are invited to assemble at 11h30 and the walk will officially start at 1pm. The walk will end in front of the church St-Jax Montreal, 1439 St-Catherine West, where the Action Réfugiés Montreal office is located.

Many organisations devoted to the refugee cause will hold information kiosks and interactive activities. We will also hear from some refugees during the event.

This year we are looking forward to a bigger party, music, dance, lots of colours, and many other surprises! Come celebrate with us!

If you wish to be a volonteer for this event, please contact Emilia at [email protected]
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Journée Mondiale des Réfugiés 2017

June 17, 2017, 12:00pm - June 17, 2017, 5:00pm

JOURNÉE MONDIALE DES RÉFUGIÉS 2017 - Ensemble nous bâtissons le Québec Cette année, Action Réfugiés Montréal (ARM), ALPA (Accueil et Liaison pour Arrivants), Carrefour d’Aide aux Nouveaux...

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