The Skeena Diversity Society received $4,000 from BC’s Multiculturalism Grant Program to put towards their video story-telling initiative.
Seventy-six community groups across the province are divvying up the $300,000 in grant funding for projects designed to promote multiculturalism and stand up to racism.
Ravi Kahlon, BC’s Parliamentary Secretary for Sport & Multiculturalism, stopped by the Skeena Diversity Centre to learn more about their video project. Theirs is one of seven projects selected in northern B.C.
“They do amazing work here to bring community together, to give folks who maybe don’t have a voice traditionally, a voice and a space to explore,” Kahlon says. “We need more of that throughout this province.”
Skeena Diversity staff will film interviews with newcomers and long-time residents to share their stories, bringing them together to build lasting cross-cultural connections. Videos will be uploaded to Skeena Diversity’s YouTube channel for everyone to view.
Saša Loggin says she wants the videos to prompt people in the community to organize events around them, either with potluck dinners or other gatherings, to build relationships.
“When you bring people together and you listen to their stories, you can see over a period of time how people are connecting with each other,” says Loggin. “We care about each other, we celebrate the good things and we support people when they’re going through challenges.”
B.C. has the largest proportion of ethnocultural diversity in Canada, and is home to 204 First Nations and urban Indigenous and Métis communities. Thirty-six of British Columbians identified as a visible minority or Indigenous in the 2016 census.
Terrace is just as diverse. During last year’s Riverboat Days parade, which was themed around diversity, Loggins says she counted more than 80 countries represented.
Bringing people from different cultural backgrounds together in a safe space can help to build a compassionate and vibrant community.
“We don’t want to add to stereotypes, we want to break them down but still let people bring their culture and we can all join in,” Loggin says.