Vive Vancouver!

It’s a French festival…with a Canadian twist! The upcoming Bastille Day celebration will bring French art and culture to all corners of the world, including Vancouver on July 14. And this worldwide event may have been started by Canadians, says Victoria Batrel. “It’s National French Day. In French we call it, “la fête du 14…

A look at the Jewish pioneers in Vancouver

There is much history to be found in Vancouver, and this is no less pertinent in the case of the city’s Jewish community and its resilient pioneers. Michael Schwartz, director of community engagement at the Jewish Museum will be conducting walking tours of Vancouver’s Jewish landmarks on July 14 and August 25. He explains that…

A culture on the cusp

The unique Uyghurs! This Chinese ethnic minority shows influences from Turkey, Asia and Europe, but the Uyghurs have their own distinct traditions, says Turnisa Masidik. In Vancouver, 300 Uyghurs are holding onto that identity. “Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group,” says Masidik, an Uyghur activist and long-time member of Vancouver’s Uyghur community. “Some are in…

The Body Politick: an interview with curator Angela Clarke

As Vancouver’s Italian heritage month comes to a close, Angela Clarke, curator and director at the Italian Cultural Centre, reflects on architect Bruno Freschi’s contribution to the Vancouver architectural scene. In 1986, the World Exposition was hosted by what would become one of the most important cities in the Pacific West; Expo 86 brought Vancouver…

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…