Welcome to CECA

The Calgary Ethiopian Community Association is a non-profit organization that was established in 1982 to organize and promote Ethiopian cultural programs and social services, and to provide resettlement and integration support for peoples of Ethiopian decent. In the past few years, the Association expanded its activities, and is now also act as a liaison between the government institutions, other non-profit organizations and any other interested group, and members of the Association. In accordance with its Bylaws, the Association is a non-political, non-religious organization, and its programs and social services are provided without taking political affiliation, ethnic origin, race, gender, and age into consideration. However, the interest will always be the preservation, promotion, and transfer of Ethiopian culture and heritage as part of the multicultural fabric of Calgary and Alberta. The social services will also focus on Ethiopian tradition. At present, the Association’s focus programs include family wellness, youth development, women empowerment, and senior programs. In addition, the Association organizes art and language training programs for children, fundraising activities, and community dialogues. Generally, the Association strives to provide a forum for all Ethiopians to practice and perform their culture and create a positive awareness of diversity and intercultural dialogue. It also encourages members to learn the values and traditions of Calgarians and Albertans as well as the foundation and cultural mosaic that made Canada a country of great prosperity and stability. Annually, the Association participates in Calgary’s outdoor activities such as the Calgary Stampede and Afrikadey. For each and every social and cultural program, the Association depends on the participation, volunteering and generous assistance of its members.

History of CECA

Ethiopians have been residing in Calgary since the early 1970s. By 1975, there were still less than ten Ethiopians living in Calgary, fortunately the city of Edmonton had a larger population. Most of the Ethiopians in Alberta were studying or working around university campuses. As the 1980s began, a large number of Ethiopians started to arrive in Calgary, mostly from Kenya, Djibouti, the Sudan and a few from Italy.


Relief Committee

Sport and Culture Committee

"Hibret" Newsletter Committee

"Saturday with Us" organizing committee

Sponsorship Coordinating Committee

The major CECA activities include:

Relief and Rehabilitation Effort

CECA Members

CECA membership has been steadily growing as more and more Ethiopians recognize the importance of having a strong community addressing their needs and concerns. We now have an active member count of 650 as of January 2007.

To receive a membership, please print and fill out the membership application form, and send it to the CECA office.

About Ethiopia

On a continent as densely filled with different countries, as is Africa, Ethiopia is rather large. Situated at 8 00 N and 38 00 E, in East Africa, Ethiopia covers well over a million square kilometers, making it a nation that is double the size of Texas, or about five times as large as the United Kingdom. It is a nation of desert and forest areas, and though it is landlocked today, Egypt’s famous Nile River actually originates in Ethiopia, and most of the Nile's water comes from Ethiopia. And while Egypt’s written history, through the ancient art of hieroglyphics, may be more complete, Ethiopia is actually Africa’s oldest nation.

The Kingdom of Ethiopia was founded in the 10th century, B.C.E by Solomon’s first son, Menelik I, according to tradition, though the first documented Kingdom emerged in the second century C.E. Ethiopia’s ancient economy culture was influenced and strengthened by immigrants from the Southern Arabian peninsula, who had been settling in the northern Ethiopian landscape since 500 years before the Common Era.


Ethiopia 2

Did you know?...

Amharic is the dominant and official language of Ethiopia; a semitic language much influenced by the Cushitic language with which Amhara people have been in close contact. With its unique characters, Amharic is used to write a wide variety of literature (fiction, poetry, plays, and magazines). Amharic script has been in use since 100 BC. It is the only indigenous African alphabet still in use today.

For the purpose of teaching Amharic to children, CECA in collaboration with the Southern Alberta Heritage and Language Association (SAHLA) has trained three volunteers at the University of Calgary in teaching first language.

To help facilitate the learning process, we are now posting Amharic lessons on this site. Our first issue is intended to provide some basic vocabulary for beginners to practice, with their parents or Amharic speaking assistants. Our future goal is to provide online Amharic lessons with audio support. We’re currently working to make this possible.