ISANS Media Kit

Last year, ISANS worked with over 10,000 clients to build a future in Nova Scotia. At ISANS, we help you find your pathway to possibility.

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Reach out today with your request. We monitor for media requests from 8:30-4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

Immigration 101

Learn about some of the key terms, data, and concepts within immigration to help create your story.

In order to create an exceptional interview experience ISANS has created a number of policies and key considerations.

About ISANS

We are the leading immigrant settlement service agency in Atlantic Canada, serving 10,000+ clients annually in 104 communities across Nova Scotia, through a diversity of services—language, settlement, community integration and employment—both in person and online.

Through our staff, we bring varied languages, different experiences and unique perspectives that inform our client-centered programming. We offer interpretation in over 30 languages to ensure our services are provided in both of Canada's official languages -- English and French -- as well as in many of our client's native languages. ISANS seeks to empower our clients and staff to undertake a collaborative effort to learn and grow together—both personally and professionally—through partnership, professionalism and accountability.

As the front door to many of Nova Scotia’s immigrants, we seek to create a community where all can belong and grow, building a stronger Nova Scotia and Canada for all.

Vision Statement

A community where all can belong and grow

Our Mission

Helping immigrants build a future in Nova Scotia

How to refer to us

On first use: Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (no "The")

On all subsequent uses: ISANS

Our Values

Collaboration

We demonstrate collaboration by building relationships where we can share responsibilities and ideas and work together to enhance opportunities for all.

Respect

We demonstrate respect by encouraging an environment of fairness, honesty and integrity for all clients, partners and colleagues.

Inclusion

We demonstrate inclusion by welcoming and respecting the diversity in our community and fostering a sense of belonging in all.

Diversity

We demonstrate diversity through valuing and respecting differences in experiences and perspectives, believing in everyone’s ability to enrich Canadian society through their unique contribution.

Innovation

We demonstrate innovation through service excellence, by being creative and flexible, responsive to clients and partners and continually seeking new opportunities.

Accountability

We demonstrate accountability by acknowledging responsibility for our services, tools, actions and decisions and by being transparent and principled in our approach to people and situations.

The Senior Leadership Team

Jennifer Watts

Chief Executive Officer

Jen-ni-fer Watts

Jennifer Watts is the CEO of Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), the largest immigrant-serving settlement agency in Atlantic Canada. As CEO, she oversees the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization. As Vice-President of the Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (ARAISA), a member of the National Settlement Council, and a Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance (CISSA-ACSEI) board member, among others, Jennifer contributes to national and regional policy discussions and engages with elected officials on immigration issues

Julie-Ann Vincent

Chief Client Officer

Pronounced Ju-lee-Ann Vin-cent

Gausdal is the Director of Programs, Settlement, Community Integration & Support Services, at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS).
A graduate of Dalhousie University’ Wenche has a Master of Social Work degree and is registered with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers.
Throughout her 23-year career with ISANS, Wenche has helped to resettle more than 7,000 refugees throughout Nova Scotia. She’s held a variety of roles, including settlement worker, immigrant health coordinator, manager of settlement and integration, and now director of programs

Wenche Gausdal

Director of Programs, Settlement, Community Integration & Support Services

Pronounced Ven-ka Goss-doll

She has an MBA from Saint Mary’s University, Master’s Degrees in English Literature from the University of Western Ontario, and in English Language and Professional Writing from the University of Waterloo. She completed her graduate studies in English and History with Honors from McMaster University. She holds a certificate in Project Management as well as in Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution.

Nabiha Atallah

Advisor, Strategic Initiatives

Pronounced Na-bee-ha Ah-tal-ah

Nabiha Atallah is the Advisor on Strategic Initiatives at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) where she has worked for more than 23 years. She began her career at ISANS as the Manager of Business Development Services from 1996-2006, led special projects from 2006-2008, and then was Manager of Communications & Research from 2009-2018. Nabiha completed a BA in Urban Geography at McGill University, completed her graduate studies in Social Work at Carleton University and received a graduate diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of British Columbia.

Marlee Naipaul

Associate Director, People and Culture

Pronounced Mar-Lee Nay-Paul

Marlee Naipaul is the Associate Director of People and Culture at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS). With over 300 full-time, part-time and casual employees, Marlee leads the People and Culture team in supporting a welcoming, inclusive and respectful working environment. A graduate of the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University, Marlee holds an undergraduate degree, majoring in Economics and a Master’s of Business degree specializing in Human Resources

Sandy Wilson

Chief Financial Officer

Pronounced San-Dee Wil-son

Sandy Wilson is the Chief Financial Officer at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS). Sandy Wilson has over 30 years of progressive experience in finance and operations management in multiple sectors which include technology, education, and not-for-profit. She spent over 15 years in her most recent position at a hospital foundation.

Our Programs and Services

We help immigrants build a future in Nova Scotia. Our programs and services create opportunities that enable immigrants to participate fully in Canadian life.

We offer services and programs in the following areas:

  • Settlement and refugee resettlement
  • Employment support for job seekers and professionals looking to achieve credential recognition
  • Business development and skills training for immigrant entrepreneurs
  • Employer support and training
  • English language skills training
  • Community integration
  • Pre-arrival, online, and distance learning

Get Settled

We work with you to identify your settlement goals and help build on your strengths and resources. Based on your goals, strengths, and needs, we’ll help determine what services and immediate paths make the most sense for you.

Learn English

Whether you are in the early stages of learning English or looking to improve your language skills for work, we offer many helpful language programs for immigrants of all abilities and needs

Find Employment

Work with us to become independent and effective in your search for a job. Our employment specialists will offer you one-on-one support to create an employment plan that meets your individual needs.

Do Business

ISANS provide support to immigrants at all stages of business start-up and development. Our dedicated team of business professionals will help you learn what you need to know to start or grow your business in Nova Scotia.

Connect with Community

With our welcoming community spirit, you will be excited by the many connections you can make here in Nova Scotia. Learn about the culture,  and opportunities our province has to offer, from volunteering to recreation.

Diversify Your Workforce

ISANS works with employers to help them build strong and diverse workplaces. Our programs and services will provide you the supports you need to recruit and retain immigrant talent.

ISANS' Media Guidelines

The following are topics ISANS does not comment on:

  • Client/Staff/Representative personal information
  • An immigrants first (insert holiday here)
  • Refugees in the first 6 months of their settlement (unless they move forward with it themselves)

The following are a list of considerations to keep in mind:

  • One newcomer does not speak for all newcomers. It is important to tell stories reflecting different individual’s experiences.
  • Identifying clients to speak on a particular topic or subject matter can take time to arrange and can’t always be done on short notice. The more time you give us the better we are able to accommodate your request.
  • Journalists are responsible for covering the cost of interpretation if it is needed for an interview. Rates for interpretation start at $50 for up to 2 hours and can be arranged through ISANS.
  • Interviews that require interpretation take time to organize, as we have to identify and schedule a time that works for the journalist, the client, and the interpreter. Occasionally, that time may fall outside of regular office hours.
  • Interviews with interpretation can take almost twice as long as a regular interview, be sure to plan accordingly.
  • When doing an interview with an interpreter, be sure to use clear questions and pause often
  • When doing an interview with an interpreter, speak to the person you are interviewing not the person interpreting.
  • Use trauma informed approach – newcomers may have experienced traumatic events in the past that they are not comfortable speaking about. Do not push them to answer questions they are not comfortable answering.

Permanent Residents

Government Assisted Refugee

Immigration 101

Terms and Definitions

Privately Sponsored Refugee

Temporary Resident

Skilled Worker

Contact Us

902-406-0217

Please use the form here to contact a member of the ISANS Communications team.

Please note, the ISANS Communications team monitors for media requests Monday to Friday, 8:30-4:30pm.