STRONGER ROOTS, STRONGER COMMUNITY

Empowering communities through connection

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About Us

Stronger Roots, Stronger Community

Our Journey

Community Tree is the result of a group of driven, creative and young visionaries set out to create the possibility of unity and connection in our community. Our founder, Meherun Laila, experienced the challenges of coping with a new culture, language and community as she lived in four different countries throughout her life - Japan, Bangladesh, USA and Canada. She always felt that there is an absence of opportunity for newcomers to connect with their neighbours. Thus, with that sentiment, she rallied her friends and acquaintances to join her in the vision to create the non-profit organization, Community Tree.

Our Vision & Mission

Empower newcomers to create meaningful and lasting connections with their local community through social and welcoming events. Our mission is to create and grow a network of people that support one another and help newcomers flourish and establish themselves in their new community.

Who We Are

Community Tree aims to create and facilitate social connections among newcomers and local residences through a variety of empowering events. The events are focused on highlighting the diversity in the community as well as empowering newcomers and locals to support one another. Our events are also educational, interactive and welcoming for all age, gender, background and ethnicity.

OUR TEAM

Laila Meherun, President & Founder

Unity amongst community is what she stands for. A consultant at TELUS by profession, and also an artist, influencer and an avid traveller. Laila is an empath and a leader by nature with the willingness to help others. To Reach Laila: laila@community-tree.com

Abhi Rampal, VP & Head of Finance

Abhi believes access to equal opportunity is vital for a healthy society. He works as a Software Consultant, when not working, he's out hiking, reading non-fiction or planning his next vacation. To Reach Abhi: abhi@community-tree.com

Aanchal Dhir, Director of Events & Program

Aanchal strives to unify members of the community for the betterment of the all. Aanchal is an Asset Manager by profession, but when she’s not crunching numbers she’s busy boxing and travelling. To Reach Aanchal: aanchal@community-tree.com

Lynn Rheault, Director of Marketing

Lynn has a wealth of knowledge in areas of health, business, life coaching and leadership. She has healed many people through her osteopathic practice, as well as inspired thousands on finding ones’ life purpose (check out her Ted talk!). As a newcomer to BC from Quebec, she is passionate about connecting everyone through culture and art. To Reach Lynn: lynn@community-tree.com

Priyanka Desai, Director of Community Engagement

Priyanka is a documentary producer with extensive work experience in digital and television content, spanning over two continents. She believes in telling stories that aspire to bring about change. When she is not chasing stories, she is reading about food history, cuisines and making a travel plan. To Reach Priyanka: priyanka@community-tree.com

Faiyaz Qayyum, Techonology Director

Faiyaz is a consultant at TELUS by profession with diverse background in IT, planning and marketing. He believes in self learning and helping others share the endless knowledge the world wide web has to offer. To reach Faiyaz: faiyaz@community-tree.com

Read Our Latest Blog



Shaken N' Stirred



Given the harsh winter weather in Canada, summers are highly valued by one and all. However short the season may be, we want to make the most of those long bright days. But the Summer of 2020 is different. COVID-19 has left us all shaken and stirred. Everyone is homebound and exploring new ways to socialize.

So we at Community Tree decided to host a virtual mixology event to turn our shaken and stirred thoughts into fancy and delicious summer drinks. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is what they say!

Vancouver based bartenders Gunjan and Chiara graciously agreed to be our guest experts for our ‘Shaken N Stirred’, virtual mixology workshop on Thursday June 11th. They shared with us their unique twists to two cocktails that are summer favorites:

Rooh Afza* Spritz Cocktail Inspiration: Aperol Spritz Cultural Inspiration: India

1.5 oz Glendalough Rose Gin 0.5 oz Aperol 0.75 oz Rooh Afza 0.75 oz Lemon juice 2 dashes of Ms Betters Mt. Fuji Bitters

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into stemless wine glass. Add ice and top with soda. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel with dried rose buds.

*Rooh Afza: is a concentrated squash from India. The main ingredients include the essences of coriander, orange, pineapple, carrot, rose petals, spinach and mint. You can buy it from any Indian or South-Asian grocery store.

Tropical Lassi* (free-spirited cocktail) Cocktail Inspiration: Lassi Cultural Inspiration: India

5-6 fresh pineapple pieces 3 oz cucumber juice 1 oz ginger syrup 0.5 oz lemon juice 2 oz coconut milk

Muddle pineapples in a shaker tin. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a tall glass leaving a little pulp and top with ice. Garnish with a pineapple frond and skewered pineapples.

*Lassi: A popular traditional drink that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is made from yogurt or buttermilk, flavoured with sugar, salt, or a mild spice, and served cold.

About the Experts: Chiara was born and raised in Vancouver and Gunjan immigrated from India with her family, when she was a little girl. Both work in the hospitality industry for over 10 years now, and are really enjoying their work as bartenders in esteemed bars of the city. Follow their Instagram account @universes_cocktail to read about their adventures in food, cocktails and about their spiritual and travel experiences.

We hope you enjoy making these fun cocktails and we look forward to seeing you all at our next Community E-Hangout.

Stay tuned!

Special Thanks to Marc Anthony BC and Glendalough Distillery Photo Credit: universes_cocktails

Stay tuned! Community Tree Team



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Resume and Cover Letter Writing



There are many challenges that one might face when he or she arrives in a new country. We, at Community Tree, are committed to giving you that support by curating events that help you jumpstart your new life and career in Canada.

There are an unlimited number of online resources on resume and cover letter writing. However, how do you navigate through the avalanche of information that a simple google search opens you to? On Thursday, May 28th, Community Tree conducted a virtual ‘Resume and Cover Letter Workshop’. Vancouver based Business and Life Mentor, Natasha Karan, shared her experience of recruitment in Canada and gave the audience her professional tips on how to nail resume and cover letter writing.

Here are some noteworthy insights from the session.

Resume Do’s - Make sure your name is big and bold at the top - Add only your phone number and email address - Add a short bio (not more than 3 - 4 lines) - Include only the most recent highlights of your career, up to 5 years old - Mention key achievements (Include numbers where relevant. It’s always good to quantify your achievements) - Mention your key contributions to the projects you worked on

Don’ts - Do not include your picture - Do not include social media profiles except Linkedin - make sure it’s up to date - Don’t add any information which can lead to discrimination such as, age, photo, marital status, gender, etc.

Always Remember that... Hiring managers are looking for experience and consistency. Even when unemployed, look for small projects you can work on and add them to your profile. Pro Tip: If you can't find a project, create one!

Cover Letter Yes, it’s important to write a cover letter and customize it for every job application; unless you have a recruiting manager representing you! While a resume can be impersonal, a cover letter is where you can be more creative and add your personal flavour. Write as if you are talking to the hiring manager. Go beyond the template. Write about who you are as a person and how you could add value to the company.

Here a simple structure you may follow: It is always safe to start your letter with “To whom it may concern,” - Short Bio. Write about yourself. Keep the tone objective. Not more than 3-4 sentences. - Value Add Research the company’s values and objectives. Write how your values and skills are a good fit for the company. - Skills Mention only those skills related to the job position. Great place to mention your soft skills. For example: communication skills, leadership skills, presentation skills etc

Always Remember! A cover letter should be between half a page to one page in length

Get a Recruiter! It’s always good to have someone in the market vouching for you! - Apply to different agencies and choose wisely - Recruiters represent you for free - They help you present your profile better

Growth vs Fixed Mindset - Instead of volunteering, get a job that pays - Keep an open mind, and build your network of professional people - Get your foot in the door and build your Canadian work experience

Audience Questions: Do I connect with the job poster/hiring manager via LinkedIn or any social media after applying for the job? No. Most people don't want to be contacted on social media and LinkedIn inmail unless they know you.

Is It important to have a LinkedIn Profile? Though not a must have, it helps you have a digital presence. Keep your profile updated as recruiters will search for you on LinkedIn.

Is it required to have the work permit or visa before I look for a job in Canada? Yes. It is highly preferred if you have a work permit or visa beforehand.

Fun Fact: The word résumé comes from the French word résumé meaning "summary". Leonardo da Vinci is credited with the first résumé.

We hope this was helpful and we look forward to seeing you all at our next Career E-Hangout.

Stay tuned! Community Tree Team



Our Event & Programs



Shaken N’ Stirred

New to Canada? Wondering how to spend your best Canadian summer?

We, at Community Tree, will like to show you how!

Join us on June 11th at 7pm PDT on a virtual social mixer, where you will learn how to make easy and delicious summer drinks with Vancouver based Mixologists, Gunjan & Chiara (including non-alcoholic options).

You will enjoy live summer drink recipes, virtual games and make new connections!

Register for Free via Eventbrite.

Guest Bio

Gunjan and Chiara met while working at H2 Rotisserie Bar and Grill located at the Westin Bayshore. Gunjan came to Canada from India when she was 12 while Chiara was born and raised in Vancouver. Together they run their Instagram page, Universes Cocktail where they share their experiences in travel, arts and anything cocktails.

Link to EventBrite!

For more details, visit www.community-tree.com and follow us on instagram (@communitytreevan) and Facebook.

Thursday, June 11th at 7-8:00pm PST Vancouver

Past Events



Resume & Cover Letter Workshop


Do you want to understand how to create your Resume? What kind of Resume works in Canada? What do you write in a cover letter? Are you new to Canada? Struggling to understand the Canadian employment culture?

We are here to show you the way!

We, at Community Tree, are organizing a virtual session, "Resume & Cover Letter Workshop", on May 28th at 7pm PDT.

Natasha Karan is a Business and Life Mentor & also a Recruiting Manager at an International Firm. She works with thousands of individuals from different backgrounds to navigate building their resume to successfully transitioning into career paths that lead them to the lives they desire.

She started her business in 2012 to help guide others like her that want direction and clarity to be able to live a more meaningful and purpose filled life.

She specializes in helping professionals from all backgrounds. Be ready to be inspired and motivated by Natasha's wealth of knowledge on getting recruited.

Please send us your resume and cover letter by May 28th at 12pm PDT: Natasha will review one resume and one cover letter live during the workshop. So, please send us your resume and/or cover letter to info@community-tree.com, if you will like to receive her direct feedback. We will remove your name and contact information for confidentiality purposes.

The session will be held via Zoom Meeting and we have limited spots. We will send you the Zoom link and password 2 hours before the start of the event.

Please note that the event will be recorded and used for social media publicity and marketing purposes.

Sign up now, to secure your spot.

Link to EventBrite!

For more details, visit www.community-tree.com and follow us on instagram (@communitytreevan) and Facebook.

Thursday, May 28th at 7-8:30pm PST Vancouver


Community Happy Hour

Click here to read about what Chef Ramin had to say!

Make Meaningful Connections in times of Social Distancing.

We, at Community Tree, are organizing a virtual hangout event with people in your community!

Through fun virtual happy hour, you will make new friends and meaningful connections.

We will have a local star chef, Ramin Tahouri (@cheframin), joining us to share recipe of his favourite appetizer and a beverage LIVE during the happy hour!

Chef Ramin graduated from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver. His resume is very impressive as he has been a chef at Edge Bistro in North Vancouver, Black & Blue Steakhouse, Boathouse and MeeT On Main Street.

He is a private chef and caterer who is passionate about plant-based cuisine and truly believes in not only ethical eating, but ethical living.

You will also receive a special discount coupon for take-out orders at Urban Tadka, a local eatery in Vancouver, when you attend the event.

Come join us! Community Happy Hour will be held on Thursday, May 14 between 7:00-8:00pm PST

The event is FREE.

Thursday, May 14th at 7-8:30pm PST Vancouver


Community e-Hangout

Make Meaningful Connections in times of Social Distancing
Are you new to Canada?
Struggling to cope in a new country while social distancing? Wish that you could still meet people while isolating in your home?
What if we tell you that you can!
We, at Community Tree, are organizing a virtual hangout event on April 9th at 7pm PST with people in your community!
Through fun virtual interactive activities you will make new friends and meaningful connections.

Krisztina Marshall, who is the founder of Heemang Emotional Wellness, will be answering any questions you may have about how to cope during social distancing.

Community e-Hangout will be held on Thursday, April 9 at 7-8:30pm PST To sign up for the FREE event, please visit our Eventbrite link The e-hangout will be held via Zoom link (Please download Zoom on your computer/phone ahead of time)
Link to EventBrite!
You are not alone Forget social distancing Let’s practice distant socializing!

Thursday, April 9 at 7-8:30pm PST Vancouver


Mentorship Program

Immigrating to a new country is not an easy feat and we believe mentorship helps pave a smoother path to an unknown country. Mentors are vital in creating an ongoing relationship of learning, dialogue and support. This form of experiential learning can be very powerful and inspirational to newcomers, who are in the process of mapping out potential pathways for their new life.

At Community Tree, we envision mentorship for newcomers to be most effective through a two prong approach. We believe it is imperative to have One Professional Mentor, an industry professional who is able to guide you and provide insight to a career path of your liking and One Local Mentor, a member of your local neighbourhood and community who is able to share life lessons and resources to provide support in your transition.

Through the collaborative nature of both mentors, we believe that powerful connections are created, enabling the full professional and personal development of all newcomers to the country.

From group mentorship for all newcomers to one-to-one career mentorship for students and adults entering or reentering skilled or professional careers, our mentorship programs will help you achieve your goals while building lifelong relationships.

Please contact info@community-tree.com to Register!

Wednesday August-21st-2019 - 5:30PM-7:30PM Vancouver


Paint the Community

New to Vancouver? New to Canada?
Want to get to know your neighbours?

Come join us at “Paint the Community” – an art social event on Sunday July 28th, 2019 from 2 to 5 pm at Centennial Community Center. We will have a local art instructor from RUSART Fine Arts Co. deliver a live, hands-on workshop on how to use various mediums of art. So, bring your friends and family and get to know your neighbours through a fun filled art event! We will also have prizes for participants.

The event is FREE for all newcomers and locals!

Art supplies and refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP at EventBrite by clicking "Join Now" below!

Date: Sunday July 28th, 2019

Time: 2 pm to 5pm

Location: Centennial Community Center, 65 E Sixth Avenue, New Westminster

Contact us at info@communitytree.com for more information.

Sunday July-28th-2019 - 2pm-5pm New Westminster

Taste of Community


Our inaugural event, “Taste of Community”, was held on January 26th at Yaletown Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Center. The event provided the opportunity for newcomers to socialize with local Vancouverites while enjoying dishes from local businesses. Keynote speakers included dietician and influencer, Devika Sharma, who is the founder of One More Bite, a Vancouver based nutrition consulting company. Also, Winnie Furber from AIP Services delivered a workshop on how to search for dream job in Canada. A key highlight of the event was the culinary demonstration by a reputable local chef, Ramin Tahouri. The guests were able to enjoy delightful plant-based dishes prepared by Chef Ramin.

The event hosted 50 guests including the speakers, and was featured on Daily Hive and Aaj Magazine.

The success of the event was a testament of the dedication of the Community Tree team as they planned and organized the event within less than 2 months without any grants and donations.

Special Recognition to our event sponsors: Party platter donated by Nuba, coffee sponsored by JJ Bean and pizza and lasagna sponsored by Papa Dave’s Pizza.

DailyHive Article

AAJMAG Article

Saturday January-26th-2019 Vancouver

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