Home Discover Canada A campaign illustrating where Canada’s multicultural communities connect

A campaign illustrating where Canada’s multicultural communities connect

A campaign illustrating where Canada’s multicultural communities connect

A campaign exploring the ties that bind newcomers to Canada with those who have called this country home for far longer is ongoing at the Confederation Centre of the Arts (CCOA) in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – the birthplace of Canada in 1864.

Key to the campaign, titled Where Canada Connects, are a number of Venn diagrams illustrating the overlapping concerns of Canada’s multicultural communities, enabling visitors to the centre to understand that there is plenty for all to learn about immigrant cultures, no matter where they come from.

“The most important thing is that we all connect to talk about Canada,” says Steve Bellamy, CEO of CCOA. “It’s okay if we talk about the little things, but it’s also important that we talk about the realities that immigrants face, the difficult challenges and barriers in front of immigrants to their country. We need to talk about housing challenges, regional isolation in Canada, and our differences from the West to Quebec in the East, and to the North. We need to talk about these things so that the point of the campaign is to say to people there are a lot of issues in Canada,” he adds.

 

Where Canada Connects was created in partnership with Fuse Create, a Toronto-based agency that has worked with communities in the past on projects concerning multiculturalism and inclusivity.

Steve Miller, a partner and Executive Creative Director at the agency, shares that one of the biggest challenges of putting the work together was coming up with common and meaningful topics that would engage with all of Canada’s communities from East to West. 

“It was a combination of sort of fun, light-hearted questions like poutine versus butter tarts in terms of Canadian foods, and then the questions that were a little more hard-hitting, like whether people who are on the Canadian money right now are people who should be on the Canadian money, the sort of opinions of why we are stuck in the past,” he says. “Maybe we should look to the future. We also talked a lot about Indigenous cultures and truth and reconciliation.”

 

The campaign coincides with CCOA’s opening of a new National Cultural Leadership Institute, which will provide information and offer programs enabling people to understand and learn about immigrant cultures in Canada. 

“The more recent newcomers have shared with us that they don’t have a lot of opportunities to host and share their culture. We heard from people that when they come to an arts institution, they might see some of the settler culture, the colonial culture, and they might see some Indigenous culture and representation, but they are always the visitor, they’re always the guest and they never get to share their own,” says Bellamy.

“So in this project, we are creating a space, a cultural learning centre, and it will help to tell the story of the colonial and Indigenous evolution of Canada. But it will have a dedicated space for the new and many cultures that make up Canada to share their own stories, their own art, their own culture. It will change one month to the next: you might have work from a Lebanese society one month, the Chinese Society another month, then maybe a Southeast Asian presentation,” he adds.

Also Read: Learn about the Indigenous Peoples as part of your newcomer journey in Canada

Projects such as Where Canada Connects emphasize the importance of immigrants to societies such as Canada, especially at a time when questions regarding immigration are raised across the globe.

“I think Canada has always been a place where differences are celebrated rather than diminished… I’m not saying it’s perfect. There are certainly still a lot of challenges, but it is better than most places,” says Bellamy.

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