The Igbo Cultural Association of Edmonton, Canada (ICAE) was founded in 2002 by a group of Igbo People when it was officially registered as a Not-for-Profit Association in the Province of Alberta. Before this date, preliminary meetings to brain-storm and mobilize to form a more lively Igbo association that would include other Canadians started from November 2001.
As mentioned earlier, by November 2001, the first open meeting of the Igbo community was called to order at the residence of Ruby Aja-Awka Morah. First attendees were Ruby Morah, Tony Anago, Sam Okolo, Chuba Nwachukwu, Achulike Nwaribe, William Chemezie Nwaribe, Josephine Nwaribe, Caleb Morah, Emma Morah, Ifeanyi Uzoh, Nnenne Ikejiani, Dorathy Onuoha, Adamma Obiajunwa, Ferdinand Mbajiorgu, Jude Anawanam, Chinwe Okelu, Patrick Iroegbu, Eliezar Nwachukwu, John Igbokwe, Chiemeka and Phil Ihejirika, amongst others. These enthusiastic Igbo men and women were the movers to mobilize and make our heritage germane to our lives in the diaspora.
By the middle of 2002, the constitution and by-laws of ICAE had been drawn by a diligent constitutional/by-laws drafting committee coordinated by Patrick Iroegbu and Tony Anago; John Igbokwe served as the secretary.
The main vision of the association is “to promote all aspects of the Igbo culture that would positively impact and contribute to the progress, development and welfare of its members. It also strives to create awareness of its culture to the City of Edmonton and its surrounding communities thereby reinforcing the multicultural diversity mosaic of the community we live in”.
To achieve our set vision and goals, the association over the years, has embarked on several projects namely:
1. The Igbo Day
2. The Igbo Youth Day
3. Essay Competitions and Awards
4. Ndi-diaspora Magazine
5. Igbo Annual Christmas Thanksgiving Party
6. Food Drive to the Edmonton Food Bank
7. Volunteer Service and Partnership with the Habitat for Humanity
8. Group Trip to the Igbo Farm Village in Virginia, U.S.A amongst many other things
ICAE has come a long way to stay and succeed to serve the associational needs of the Igbo and Canadians in the multicultural Canadian complex. The Association is in the process of incorporating many more projects to showcase the values, beliefs and progressive nature of the Igbo’s.
Going forward, it is hoped that everyone will play a key role to build the association. And with the “Igbo cultural team spirit” as a heritage nothing should limit the intellectual, social, political and economic boundaries of ICAE and resilience to grow and contribute to the society we live in.
What is more? ICAE has all it will take to grow and make the Igbos a proud and successful community in Edmonton. To belong is to share and to reciprocate. It is cultural, symbolic and meaningful for our identity and sustenance. Our history abhors isolation and being inhospitable which is critically un-cultural.
We meet regularly where we deliberate on matters relating to members needs. This includes but not limited to support for our children for academic excellence, support for members celebrating specific events, support to members mourning the loss of loved ones, discuss ways of showcasing our culture, provide opportunities for members to network with our community, support new immigrants to settle down in Edmonton/surrounding environment, highlight activities to positively impact The City of Edmonton, our adopted country Canada, our heritage in Nigeria and the globe as a whole. This is a community association you definitely want to be part of. We welcome you!!!