Rainbow Refuge – EMCN

We’re here to help LGBTQ+ newcomers and refugees

Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers

In Canada, we have many rights and legal protection to help us thrive in the LGBTQ+ community, and work continues to improve those freedoms. Around the world however, living your life fully can mean the death penalty. For those who have the courage to emigrate, they are faced with navigating complicated settlement systems, isolation due to language barriers, lack of culturally-relevant activities and supports within LGBTQ+ community and/or newcomer services, and arrive alone or without family support. Many are not connected or hesitant to come out within their ethnocultural communities, especially if they experienced discrimination back home. LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers face unique settlement challenges, are often dealing with trauma, and need connection and safe support throughout their settlement journey or asylum process. The need is clear, and what started as a LGBTQ+ community group of volunteers in Edmonton supporting newcomers and refugees then grew into the formalized EMCN Rainbow Refuge program in 2017 with funding. EMCN’s Rainbow Refuge program was the first LGBTQ+ program in Edmonton’s settlement sector and offers culturally relevant, affirming supports in four key areas:

  • Immigration
  • Settlement, employment and mental health
  • Community connection
  • Education and advocacy

Before EMCN’s Rainbow Refuge program, only 50 to 60 per cent of LGBTQ+ refugee claims were accepted. As of 2021, about 97 per cent of LGBTQ+ refugee claims in Edmonton are accepted.


  • Basel
  • 1-587-938-6869
  • 10170 - 112 Street NW, Edmonton, AB, 10170 - 112 Street NW, Edmonton

Rainbow Refuge

Contact Rainbow Refuge – EMCN now...