Il Centro is hosting a series of “dialogues, panels and presentations” addressing the City of Vancouver’s Canada 150+ theme, specifically “Strengthening our Relations.” The series focuses on intercultural and civic engagement, connecting with our cultural diversity in an inclusive and proactive manner, and will include an interactive program of conversation designed to create practical opportunities across cultural parameters that connect and explore the context to the evolving nature of Canadian Identity. The project theme will draw upon our City’s rich diversity to create intergenerational cross cultural engagements that highlight the evolving nature of multiculturalism and promotes historical understanding, reconciliation and social justice between and within groups.
The sessions, running from September 2017 through to 2018, are outlined below:
Session 1: Connectivity, Context and Civic Engagement – September 28, 2017
The session will focus on connecting diverse communities in an effort to share experiences and create opportunities for collaboration and shared learning.
Vancouver is home to many established community groups with multiple generations residing and thriving here in their adopted home. They have gone through the immigration and settlement phases and can offer their experiences and counsel to our newcomers and assist them with the transition, adaptation and process of establishing their cultures in a new country. Mentoring, partnering and collaborating across cultures with an eye on the generational experiences, the evolution that occurs within a community, the re-definition of their identities, a new language, and becoming Canadian, to mention only a few of the questions that confront all of our new communities. This session has a practical goal of connecting our more established communities to provide a road map for newer groups and assist with their acculturation and roles within and across the multicultural mosaic.
The session will draw upon local expertise (Vancouver Immigrant Partnership, City of Vancouver, Federal and Provincial governments, and Stats Canada) to provide the overall context of settlement, immigration and multiculturalism in Vancouver. The objectives for this dialogue and conversation include:
1.) To increase and strengthen intercultural and civic engagement across and within communities by connecting the experiences of established groups with those new to our community
2.) Developing new pathways to engage in Vancouver’s social, cultural and political life
3.) Establishing a platform of collaboration that connects the cultural diversity of the City with practical experiences and knowledge obtained by established communities and sharing those with newer groups.
Session 2: Strengthening Intercultural and Civic Engagement through Arts and Culture
“When Newcomers’ experiences and stories are integrated into the cultural narratives of the city, they feel truly welcomed and valued.”
(New Start-City of Vancouver Report 2016-2025)
This session will bring together new cultural cohorts, organizations that are seen to be outside of our predominantly Western European cultural tradition, with the professional arts community, to investigate opportunities for collaboration and engagement that will connect the cultural communities in a more proactive manner, with the professional arts and cultural sector. Our experience has indicated to us that Il Centro`s role is more than cultural brokerage, and that the engagement and exploration principles of the initiative will create more cultural and entrepreneurial content for the community and lead to replications and new partnerships across and within the multicultural and cultural tapestry of activity.
In short, our hypothesis is centered on the premise that the more one knows about a culture the better they understand its people.
The goals of this session include:
- Creating a network of engagement between the professional arts and cultural community and the multicultural, cultural centre, and new to Canada cultural organizations
- Rewriting the narrative with respect to cross-cultural initiatives and providing a platform of engagement that will allow new communities greater opportunity to participate and influence our changing mosaic
- Develop an advisory group that crosses the sectors and works to create new opportunities, productions and, or, presentations, that showcases new artistic works from our newer community members.
Session 3: The Hyphenated Hybrid: Multiculturalism’s evolving Landscape in Vancouver
This session is not about eliminating or over analysing the use of identification hyphens, but rather, an entrée into the future of our multicultural experiment and the evolution of Identity within the context of a multicultural society. What will Canada like in 50 or 100 years into the future? How will multiculturalism evolve? What will Being Canadian mean?
In Canada, diversity is a strength that enriches the fabric of our communities and adds value to our civil society. As our multicultural mosaic evolves over time our identities shift to include new values and ethics unique to being Canadian. The session will support work within cultural groups to conduct dialogues on their historical and cultural experiences in Canada, and to expand the dialogues to include other groups in the conversation. While the session may appear to be more academic or research focused the stories and experiences will be important and valuable to the entire community as Being Canadian evolves over time and into the future. The objectives for this session include:
- Create an intergenerational conversation about Canadian identity, how it is evolving and how it will influence the changing nature of our multicultural community
- Engage and connect the conversation with the Academic and research community, parallel or related initiatives (Six Degrees), in an effort to extend, include, and integrate the dialogue across the community/nation
- Strengthen inter and intra cultural opportunities in Vancouver by encouraging people with diverse backgrounds, languages and cultures to reach out and connect with each other using identity as the vector of engagement
- Outputs for this session will the creation of a discussion paper and report that will be shared externally and disseminated widely across the community
This innovative and engaging program is made possible by:
For more information on the Being Canadian Program please contact Mauro Vescera at [email protected] or call 604.430.3337