Celebrating with the Brazilian community

The Brazilian community in the Greater Vancouver Area is getting more attention this year with their CarnaWest event, bringing Brazilian music, food, and Capoeira to New Westminster on August 4th. The Brazilian Community Association of British Columbia (BCA-BC) was created in 1996 to help Brazilians integrate into B.C. and promote their culture. Since then, they…

A matter of solidarity: the Chingari platform

Mahwish Yousaf has guided, counselled and mentored female immigrants in need for over two decades. She believes that more women could be supported through community-based partnerships and volunteerism. “I’m only one person,” says Yousaf. “To help more women, I knew I would have to build a network of resources to reach them all.” With a…

Cretan community’s love of dance

Greek Summerfest will be returning to Vancouver for the 32nd consecutive year from July 5–15. With many different Greek societies and associations in the Metro Vancouver area, including the Cretan Association of B.C., the festival has grown from one weekend in 1987 to an event that spans 11 days and is attended by over 40,000…

Happy Eid in Vancouver

Muslim festival Eid ul-Fitr is little celebrated in Vancouver, but Sarah Zafar and her fellow volunteers are aiming to change that. On June 17, they are organizing Vancouver’s first ever Eid ul-Fitr Festival. It’s Muslim tradition with a Vancouver twist. “This is one of the Islamic celebrations [for] all Muslims around the world. It’s a…

Speaking Russian in Vancouver

With its Cyrillic alphabet, the Russian language is one of the most complicated to learn. But, as Inna Mikailov and Stan Kriventsov explain, many Vancouverites speak Russian − and they’re not all from Russia. June 6th, Russian Language Day, marks the beginning of a summer of events designed to unite Russian language speakers in Vancouver.…

A lesson in cedar weaving

The cedar tree has been a familiar figure for First Nations communities for a long time. The tree, believed to be a gift from Mother Nature, provides people with tools for their survival. On June 3, Port Moody ecological society will hold a cedar weaving workshop with Tsawaysia Alice Guss at Port Moody Centre. Participants…

A Jewish history of Vancouver

Michael Schwartz is exploring early Jewish history, as well as other cultural histories, in Vancouver with the Historic Walking Tours, a program put on by the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia. “Jews have been in B.C. for over 150 years. Longer than Vancouver has been a city,” says Schwartz, a Vancouver native who…

Indigenous food sovereignty – a way of life

What is Canada’s food policy and how does it represent Indigenous people? Food sovereignty in Canada has gained public interest as Indigenous groups reinforce their land rights and title. “Indigenous food sovereignty has become an important and distinct category in Canadian food sovereignty,” says Tonya Smith, a research graduate at the University of British Columbia…

Providing youth and women with opportunities and resources

3E Organization is hosting Together Towards Tomorrow: Shaping the Future, a hands-on seminar that aims to engage youth and women to be proactive and learn from specialists in particular professions. It will take place on May 9 at the Surrey City Centre Library. “The 3Es mean to engage, enable and empower,” says Reena Singh, 3E…

Connect with Japanese culture

Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre is offering KIZUNA: Japanese Culture in English, a program that spans from May to July with varying themes, from language to culture, for everyone to participate in. Leading the conversation of Japanese culture course at Nikkei’s cultural centre, instructor Yoriko Gillard shares what will happen during the workshops and talk…

Scandinavian fishing stories

The Scandinavian Cultural Society is organizing its annual Nordic Spirit Heritage Images Exhibit at the Scandinavian Community Centre. The exhibit will move to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston on May 5 before returning to the Scandinavian Community Centre. This year’s exhibit will focus on early Scandinavian-Canadian fishing activities in BC. “The immigrants who…

Meaningful change

Cicely Blain is an artist at heart yet she wears many hats including consultant, facilitator, writer − not least of which is as a social activist, who played a major role in 2016 Vancouver’s ‘Black Lives Matter.’ The British consultant launches a series of talks engaging Vancouverites on social change − focusing on equality, diversity…

The Ukrainian side of Canada

Libby Griffin has a story to tell about her Ukrainian heritage, and she hopes all Canadians will listen. Ukrainian settlers helped make Canada the place we know today, says Griffin, who has long been involved with Ukrainian communities in Vancouver and in her small hometown of Voland, near Peace River, Alberta. But little is known…