David Amrik Lau

Saanichton, British Columbia

David Lau has made significant contributions to Greater Victoria. In 2012 he became the Executive Director of the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) and led the transformation of the struggling organization by innovating its programming and human services, stabilizing its finances and workforce, and making it a nationally recognized centre for trauma-based services and collaboration. His service has enhanced the community for immigrants, refugees, and Canadians-in-waiting while enriching connections to existing communities through multiculturalism, anti-racism, business, culture, and the arts.

In 2017, David conceptualized and led the formation of the Victoria Social Innovation Centre (VSIC). This first-in-BC organization unites like-minded human service agencies to create a collaborative enterprise. A notable service of the VSIC that David led is the Little Phoenix Child Care which helps preschool children learn how to manage early traumatic memories. David also established Vancouver Island’s first refugee housing project, a multi-building project with embedded re-settlement services that provide a safe, welcoming community environment for refugees.


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It was a rare pleasure standing with a group of people who have distinguished themselves so beautifully in the service of others and BC. It is unfortunate that helping newcomers has been politicized. Helping people strive to regain their agency and join our communities should never be opposed. Being publicly acknowledged helps elevate working to help newcomers.