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Press Release

County provides cultural ambassador training to prepare for #ITSTARTS awareness month in March


Midhurst/February 11, 2019 – In anticipation of #ITSTARTS month in March, the County of Simcoe Local Immigration Partnership is hosting Cultural Ambassador Training Sessions to provide education and tools to support participants in leading diversity awareness in their workplace and communities. The sessions also provide an overview of the #ITSTARTS social media campaign running throughout March.

#ITSTARTS aims to raise awareness about multiculturalism and reduce racism and discrimination in our communities. The social movement encourages Simcoe County residents to complete an #ITSTARTS card and share a photo or video through social media using the hashtag #ITSTARTS. Residents are asked to tag @simcoecounty (Twitter), @CountyofSimcoe (Facebook) and @ExperienceSimcoeCounty (Instagram) in their messages.

“The ambassador training program and our #ITSTARTS campaign are important and impactful initiatives that help demonstrate just how open and welcoming our communities are," said Warden George Cornell. “We have a growing immigrant population, exceeding 61,000 newcomers, and we encourage residents to embrace immigrants who enrich our communities." 

Remaining Ambassador Training sessions are occurring at the following dates and locations:

  • Tuesday, February 12 – Collingwood Public Library – 2-4 p.m. 
  • Thursday, February 14 – Simcoe County Administration Centre – 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, February 19 – Orillia Public Library – 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, February 21 – Barrie Public Library (Painswick Branch) – 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

Online registration is available, however space is limited.

During County Council on Tuesday, February 12, Councillors and attendees will receive an overview of the #ITSTARTS campaign where staff will launch a unique cultural cooking component: #ITSTARTS… with a meal. 

#ITSTARTS cards, available in both English and French, are available through local libraries. It can also be downloaded through which hosts resources, tips, and tools on taking safe and purposeful action against racism and discrimination. Videos and photos throughout the month will be shared and promoted through the County's website and social media channels.                                                                                                                                       

The initiative, in its third year, is supported by the Local Immigration Partnership including Barrie Public Library, City of Barrie, Georgian College, the Ethnic Mosaic Alliance, Lakehead University, OPP, Simcoe County District School Board, South Simcoe Police, Welcome Centre Immigrant Services (mobile unit), YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka.

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at


Collin Matanowitsch
Public Relations Manager
County of Simcoe, Service Simcoe Branch
705-726-9300 ext. 1430
705-734-8386 (mobile)

Jennifer Straw
Communications Co-ordinator
County of Simcoe, Services Simcoe Branch
705-726-9300 ext. 1036
705-790-5979 (mobile)