Sunday, June 27th is Canadian Multiculturalism Day — a day to celebrate Canada’s diversity and reflect on how multiculturalism enriches the fabric of Canadian society.
This year, New Canadians Centre Peterborough will mark the occasion with a day of virtual programming, celebrating the unique customs, music, dance, food, sports, and stories of newcomers to Canada.
Canada has one of the highest annual immigration rates per population of any country globally, with around 300,000 new immigrants arriving in Canada in 2020. Canadian Multiculturalism Day is a chance to recognize that Canada is a land made up of immigrants who contribute to a vibrant multicultural society.
“We strive towards a multicultural society that celebrates the richness of diverse human cultures,” says Andy Cragg, executive director of New Canadians Centre, in a media release. “When we celebrate diversity, we create community, and we help all people to feel like they belong, to have hope, and to build confidence.”
This year is also the 50th anniversary of Canada’s multiculturalism policy. In 1971, Canada became the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy — intending to preserve the cultural freedom of all people living in Canada and to recognize the cultural contributions of diverse ethnic groups to Canadian society.
“We know that people continue to be targeted for being different, made to feel unwelcome and excluded, but we must counter this with hope and love, remaining confident that we can move forward in our pursuit of equity,” Cragg says.
VIDEO: “We Are The Radical Monarchs” trailer
Virtual attendees can tune in for a multicultural showcase featuring performances from the Ukti Centre for Movement & Arts, Irish Millie, and Blue Wave Taekwondo.
Another program features stories shared on a community radio podcast called ‘Newcomer Radio Group’, where 10 newcomers share their stories of home, transition, integration, and community. The radio podcast is a joint project of the New Canadians Centre and Trent Radio, Trent University’s student-run radio station.
In partnership with ReFrame Film Festival, the virtual event will also feature a free online film screening of We are the Radical Monarchs, a documentary film about the Radical Monarchs — an alternative to the Scout movement for young girls of colour.
#CookWithNCC — a series created by kawarthaNOW in partnership with the New Canadians Centre — shares stories from newcomers of settlement, food, and cooking.
Stories in the series include Jessie Iriwanto from Indonesia and her beef rendang recipe, Tuncay Alkan from Turkey and his hummus recipe, and Imad Mahfouz from Syria and his yalanji recipe.
Programming for the virtual Canadian Multiculturalism Day will be released through the day on June 27 on the New Canadians Centre’s website at nccpeterborough.ca/multiculturalism-day/ and on their Facebook page and YouTube channel.
New Canadians Centre Peterborough is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to supporting immigrants, refugees, and other newcomers to become full and equal members of Canadian society. Over the past year, the New Canadians Centre has supported more than 1,000 clients from 96 different countries, speaking a total of 58 different languages.
Editor’s note: while kawarthaNOW supports Canadian Multiculturalism Day as a way to celebrate diversity and the cultural contributions of diverse ethnic groups, we also recognize the significant contributions of Indigenous heritage and culture to the fabric of Canadian society, and acknowledge Canada’s shameful treatment of Indigenous peoples and the historical oppression of their heritage and culture.