#ImmigrationMatters in Morden, Manitoba

When a close-knit community in rural Manitoba welcomes immigrants with open arms, everyone benefits – especially employers.

Growing a community through immigration

Immigration Matters in Morden, Manitoba

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Transcript: “Immigration Matters in Morden, Manitoba”

Inspiring, soft piano music plays throughout.

Fade in of aerial shots of the city of Morden.

Text displays: “Immigration Matters in Morden, Manitoba”

Shelly: The Provincial Nominee Program in Manitoba was started because employers couldn’t find the number of staff that they needed to keep their companies running, so that was a big deal for employers and that was something we needed to fix.

A busy street is shown. A man crosses the intersection.

Shelly is sitting at her office desk, typing on her computer.

Text displays: “Shelly Voth, Immigration Coordinator, City of Morden”

Shelly: Before the program started, our businesses weren’t able to expand. Some of them were considering moving elsewhere, because workers were really hard to find. So that problem, has been at least partially solved by immigrants coming in.

A wide shot of a sewing factory is shown. A woman is sewing.

A world map is shown, with pins marking several different countries. A close-up on the continent of Asia shows pins on China and surrounding countries.

The exterior facade of the Morden Civic Centre is shown.

Mayor Burley: The provincial nominee program has been a tremendous asset to our community; it has provided an incredible pool of talented and skilled labour, and it has provided us unprecedented opportunity for economic growth.

Mayor Burley is speaking with someone.

Text displays: “Brandon Burley, Mayor, City of Morden”

Tourist magnets from various cities and countries are stuck onto a cabinet. A Russian doll and several miniature dolls in traditional dress are on display.

Mayor Burley is walking and talking with Shelly.

Mayor Burley: This year we will be the second fastest-growing community in Manitoba. With that comes a lot of recognition, and a lot of attention, and we’ve been able to capitalize a lot of that into infrastructure projects.

A series of Morden shots are shown: a clocktower, a man walking down the main street, grain silos, the city sign with its dinosaur statue in front.

A series of residential and commercial construction projects are shown.

Morden city streets are shown.

Mayor Burley: Our retention is really the piece of this program that I think allows us to do that, because we’re a place where people come and people stay. When you embrace a culture of diversity, you end up with a much warmer community.

Inside a large hall, 3 women are seated at a long table, laughing. A sign hanging on the front of the table reads: “Morden Integration Committee: Welcoming the World to Morden”. On stage, Mayor Burley speaks into a microphone to a large audience. A choir of children of diverse cultural backgrounds sings on stage.

Mayor Burley: The community is flourishing not just economically, but also socially, and that’s what adds the vibrancy to our community, and that’s what makes it exciting, to lead a community like this.

At the sewing factory, a woman is nodding and smiling. A man at a sewing machine is waving at the camera. The manager of the sewing factory is talking with Shelly and laughing.

A man picks up his daughter. His wife is standing next to him, holding their son. She is talking to a guest at their bed and breakfast.

A shot of Mayor Burley smiling.

Shelly: We hear from a lot of businesses that are very excited about newcomers coming in. As an example, Deasil Custom Sewing is a business that relies a lot on newcomers to Morden. It has benefited greatly from having an expanded labour pool, and I think they will continue to grow because of that.

At the sewing factory, a woman opens up a winter coat on a table to inspect the inside lining. A pinboard shows a sign that reads: “Deasil before & after”, with photos underneath that display the history of the factory.

The factory manager points to the photos. Shelly is talking with an employee. Shelly smiles and nods.

The warehouse manager walks through the factory.

A series of shots of employees sewing.

Close-up of a group photo of about 50 Deasil employees in front of the factory logo.

The scene fades to black.

The exterior facade of Bella’s Castle is shown. A sign reads: “Bella’s Castle, Bed & Breakfast”.

Lili: We opened Bella’s Castle 3 years ago, because we fell in love with this house. Then we started the restaurant about 2 years ago. Morden – it’s a charming little town where it’s not too big, that everybody is so friendly here and welcoming, and all of the cultures are being celebrated, and you are welcomed the way you are.

Lili and her husband are sitting on a vintage pink couch with their daughter and son on their laps. They are posing and smiling at the camera.

Text displays: “Lili Kurshel & family, Owner of Bella’s Castle”.

Close up of a string of outdoor lights hanging outside the bed and breakfast.

A waitress walks through the restaurant with a plate of desserts. A series of shots of various guests seated and enjoying their dinner.

Lili is speaking with guests. Lili’s husband holds his daughter’s hand and Lili has her son in her arms as they walk up the stairs.

Lili: We are so rooted here. Me and my husband own restaurants, our kids are growing up here. I can’t see myself being anywhere else.

Lili and her family are posing for the camera. Lili’s daughter is smiling at the camera.

A series of shots of the family smiling and laughing. Lili is sitting on the couch and smiles down at her 2 children on her lap.

The scene fades to black.

Shelly: Morden is a great community because of its people. It’s a friendly community and I think that makes a big difference. We support that friendliness by setting up events where people can get to know immigrants.

Shelly is indoors speaking with various attendees at the Morden Multicultural Winterfest.

One man is dancing with his son on his shoulders. Mayor Burley is laughing with his wife. Lili is serving dumplings and smiling. Lili is speaking to one of the event organizers.

Outside at the Winterfest, 2 horses pull a wagon full of people. Several people are gathered around a fire and roasting marshmallows.

Shelly: Our Morden’s Multicultural Winterfest is important because it brings people together as a community. There’s people showcasing their different cultures, there’s people that have lived here forever, they all mix together, it’s a good time, and it’s a really good way for the community to feel united.

A man and woman are indoors at the Winterfest talking and laughing together. A young woman is showing her cultural objects. Two young girls are dancing a traditional dance on stage.

A group of people are taking a selfie. Two young children are playing with a traditional Japanese toy. A man is smiling.

A group of children from diverse cultural backgrounds are singing on stage.

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Immigrants enrich our communities.”

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Share your story #ImmigrationMatters; Facebook: @CitCanada; Twitter: @CitImmCanada; Instagram: @CitImmCanada”

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Canada.ca/immigration-matters

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada corporate signature is shown, along with the copyright message, “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2019”, followed by the Canada wordmark.

Immigration profile: Morden, Manitoba

Quick facts:

  • Immigrants in Morden represent more than 15% of the population.
  • Mexico is the biggest source country of immigrants in Morden, followed by Kazakhstan and Germany.
  • Over three-quarters (76%) of all immigrants to Morden between 1980 and 2016 came as economic immigrants, while just under a fifth (19%) were sponsored by family and 3% were refugees.

Did you know?

  • Morden was quicker than many small cities in Canada to focus on attracting new immigrants as a way to address workforce needs and grow the population. The municipality’s efforts are working – nearly half of the population growth between 2011 and 2016 was due to immigration.

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