Celebrating Croatian culture in Vancouver

The Croatian Cultural Centre will be holding their fourth annual Croatia Days Festival this year. According to Ante Pocrnic, Vice President of the United Croats of Canada, over 3000 people attended the festival in previous years and he expects the turnout to increase yet again. This year the three-day event is being held from June…

Cultural intelligence – A necessary life skill

Progressive organizations across Canada engage employees through diversity and inclusion programs. “The business community is motivated to develop intercultural competency (IC),” says Taslim Damji, an intercultural practitioner and facilitator for MOSAIC, Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities. Understanding cultural diversity and learning to empathize and embrace different behaviours is key to building strong relationships…

The housing market’s war on culture and community

World’s best city to live in”, and “World’s most reputable city” were the accolades thrown around by just about anyone who learned about my imminent departure to Vancouver. To my mind, the city has an immediate appeal and aura that these various reports and surveys seem to have tapped into: it’s pleasant, safe and in…

Education with a touch of empathy and compassion

In Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, Alim Fakirani met with a local teacher during his work at the Aga Khan University-Institute for Educational Development. Although from different cultural backgrounds, a sense of understanding gradually sparked between them. “Even though we came from different contexts, we were still able to relate to one another’s…

A month of Italian stories

They have undergone poverty, widespread discrimination, and even, in World War II, internment. These are Vancouver’s early Italian immigrants. Angela Clarke tells their story. “Italians had big families, and those that came were often the fifth or sixth son,” says Clarke, museum director and curator at Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver. “There was…

Sami people: a blueprint for other cultures

The Association for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies in Canada (AASSC) will be having their 38th annual conference at the University of British Columbia (UBC) from June 3–6. One of the speakers who will be giving sessions this year is Matthew Etherington, PhD, professor and director of the Institute of Indigenous Issues and Perspectives at…

Is new media art strictly Western?

Two scholars with an intercultural approach to new media art will be sharing their methodology with academics and artists alike on June 8. Substantial Motion Research Network will host Cross-Cultural Roots for Media Practice, a three day discussion-based workshop at Vivo Media Arts Centre. The facilitating scholars Laura Marks and Siying Duan, aim to inspire…

Art on the move

Community organization Coast Mental Health is bringing its popular art show on the road to venues around the lower Mainland with their first ever Art Project Roadshow. “As you can see,” says Coast Mental Health Resources Centre program manager Justin Hachlaf, “we used to have shows and sell our art here.” He indicates the paintings,…

Success through collaboration

Bringing people together to garner success is exactly what the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Centre for Community Engagement Learning (CCEL) is hoping to accomplish, with a new project entitled Collaboratory. The project will consist of a series of events meant to bring together members of the community, diverse organizations and UBC students and professors…

Reading India in Vancouver

“Don’t be chicken about butter chicken! It’s important to accept and trust in all parts of yourself, including the culture from which you come,” says Mahtab Narsimhan. Narsimhan is a Canadian author of young adult novels who originally hails from India. Her newest novel, Embrace the Chicken, deals with just such an immigrant experience. She…

Vancouver en francais? A picture of the French in Vancouver

Maurice Guibord will address the francophone community’s impact on the historical and economical landscape of Vancouver in a lecture titled The Francophone Pioneers of Vancouver: A Little-known History and Legacy. Guibord is the president of the Société historique francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the history and culture of the…

Global peace, local information

Crises and movement are changing the lives of people, both locally and internationally. There is now a need for simple and easy access to pertinent information, and a Vancouver-based, non-profit organization seeks to answer this need. Founded in 2011, PeaceGeeks has sought to connect and inform diverse people globally over the years and will now…

A taste of Judaism

It’s the order of the day! Seder, meaning order, is a Jewish festival at which Jews (and privileged guests) eat ritual food and have conversation. One such upcoming dinner will give Jews and community members the chance to experience key elements of Jewish heritage, say Jennie Johnston and Sandra Hochstein. The dinner is part of…