Ethno-cultural and Diversity Advisory Committee




The Ethno-cultural and Diversity Advisory Committee will be responsible for the following:

  • Provide input to the Mayor and Members of Council of the Town of Whitby on the elimination of barriers for the diverse population of our community
  • Foster a greater understanding of ethno-cultural and diversity issues and matters within the Town of Whitby through community partnerships
  • Take the necessary steps to involve diverse groups in the activities of the Committee
  • Provide input to staff in the development of policies to promote awareness of ethno-cultural relations and diversity matters
  • Provide input in the development of a public engagement strategy for the residents of Whitby for the purpose of ensuring discussion and public feedback on current ethno-cultural and diversity issues
  • Provide consultation, research and report findings and make recommendations as necessary on matters of diversity, inclusivity and equity within the Town of Whitby


  • The Ethno-cultural and Diversity Advisory Committee participated in or hosted the following events:
    • Colours and Cultures of Brooklin Block Party - rescheduled due to weather; date to be determined
    • How to in 10 - May 12, 2018 from 12:00-4:00p.m.
    • Canada Day Celebration - July 1, 2018
    • Culture in the Square - July 10, and August 14, 2018 from 7:00-8:30p.m.
    • Newcomer Bus Tour - September 22, 2018 from 9:30a.m.-12:30p.m.
    • Diversity Forum - November 21, 2018 from 7:00-8:30p.m.

Newcomer Bus Tour

Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Start and End Location: Whitby Central Library, 405 Dundas Street West, Whitby

Space is limited and interested participants must pre-register. Register online or by calling or visiting any Whitby library location.

A newcomer can be a new immigrant to Canada who is settling in Whitby, or any new Whitby resident. This tour will not only be a fun, family-friendly event, but also an educational experience designed to introduce newcomers to their local government and their new community.

The tour will begin at the Whitby Central Library and will include points of interest including recreation centres, library branches, municipal and regional headquarters, historical sites, the Station Gallery, Port Whitby Marina, Heydenshore Park and much more. Other highlights of the tour include: 

  • A guided tour of a recreation centre to highlight programs and services available at the Town recreation facilities, including instructions on how to use the Recreation Guide;
  • A guided tour of the Whitby Central Library highlighting the no-cost family resources, including multilingual collections and multimedia resources and an opportunity to get a library card on the spot; and,
  • Refreshments at the beginning and end of the tour.

Champion of Diversity Award

The Ethno-Cultural and Diversity Advisory Committee of Whitby (EDAC) has been selected as a recipient of the Champion of Diversity Award. This award recognizes individuals, groups and employers who help promote immigrant success, economic growth, and inclusion in Ontario.

EDAC has received the award in the Inclusion and Diversity Category. This category recognizes individuals or groups that embrace inclusion and diversity and ensure immigrants and refugees have access to social services.

The award was presented by the Honourable Laura Albanese, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at the YWCA Toronto.  

The committee was recognized for promoting diversity with programs benefiting both residents and newcomers. Art shows, multicultural calendars, and diversity events increased cross-cultural understanding in the community. Family bus tours and a 'Whitby Passport' program introduced new Canadians to their neighbourhood and connected them to local businesses.

The committee defines diversity beyond culture and race. It includes age, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and income level. Representatives of diverse groups attended committee meetings to share their experiences and perspectives. Public performances and community seminars educated the residents of Whitby about the issues affecting different groups.

EDAC Champion of Diversity Award Image

Meeting Dates, Minutes and Agendas

This image will open to a new window.

Meeting Schedule

The Ethno-cultural and Diversity Advisory Committee meets the first Thursday of the month at 7:15 p.m. Please note that the Committee does not meet in July or August.

Committee Members

Membership: 1 Member of Council, 7 Citizen Appointments

  • Councillor Steve Yamada
  • Sarah Klein (Staff Liaison)
  • Mayline Brown 
  • Aldith Carasquero (Chair)
  • Cheryl Frayne
  • Jessie Huang
  • Punita Lumb
  • Sharmila Saigaonkar
  • Renee Sgroi (Vice-chair)

Social Media Campaign Support

The Town of Whitby's Ethno-cultural and Diversity Advisory Committee (EDAC) strives to foster a greater understanding of ethno-cultural and diversity issues and matters within the Town of Whitby through community partnerships. As community partners, EDAC invites your organization to submit one special event or cultural celebration per year to promote through the Town of Whitby's social media channels in an effort to help promote your organization. Please keep in mind that we cannot promote events or celebrations if the intent of the event and/or organization is contrary to corporate policies, by-laws, the Ontario Human Rights Code or current legislation.

EDAC Social Media Request Form

Documents and Resources

2018 Work Plan

Inclusive Language Guide

Terms of Reference

Region of Durham Community Trends 2008

Durham Immigration Portal

Diversity Highlights - Whitby