We are hungry and open to courageous conversation and commentary as seen through progressive grassroots media outlets and non-profit organizational mandates and action. The countless youth/community-engaged projects at the intersection of anti-racism, diversity and media production initiatives are astronomical and at the cutting edge. Public policy, academia, non-profit/community development organizations, and media outlets of all kinds continue to operate in somewhat isolated silos, which can ultimately be counterproductive and ineffectual in the face of limited public funds and competing goals. UNA-Canada’s M&M initiative in Vancouver looks to build bridges between these silos. It looks to provoke dialogue and initiate effectual partnerships between these groups to fan the growing fire of positive change together.
Calgary may be called “Cowtown” because of its infamous Calgary Stampede and Cowboy culture but there is more diversity in Calgary than just cowboy hats, boots, and Holsteins. Calgary is now a burgeoning cosmopolitan city with a rich milieu of arts, culture, and cuisine. Playing a large part to the city’s growth is an increasingly diverse and multicultural population championed by an influx of newcomers.
Based in statistics gathered from 2006-2010, an average of 25,000 newcomers annually immigrate to Alberta with the number increasing in the recent years. Alberta is the fourth largest immigrant receiving province in Canada with immigrants coming to Alberta from over 160 countries-the United Kingdom and Colonies, China, India, and the Philippines are consistently the top five. Calgary is the top Alberta destination for immigrants, averaging 52%.
*Statistics taken from Alberta Immigration Progress Report 2011
With a population of 200,000 people (October 2010), Regina is the capital city of Saskatchewan. The majority of the population is of European descent; however an ever growing Aboriginal population (mostly First Nations and Métis) and a constant arrival of new immigrants in the last five-years have made Regina a truly multicultural city.
The city has only one major newspaper: the Leader Post and one bi-weekly alternative newspaper: the Prairie Dog. There are thirteen radio stations and four TV stations. The North Central Community Association publishes the bi-monthly newspaper Community Connection. Major media outlets, like any other public and private institutions, do not reflect the multicultural reality of Regina as both Aboriginal peoples and visible minorities (past or recent immigrant arrivals) are not significantly represented in the newsrooms. Efforts to fill the gap are lead by the School of Journalism, University of Regina; the Indian Communication Arts Program of the First Nations University and their media partners through workshops, media internships, summer camps and scholarships.
A city bursting at its’ seams Toronto seems to be in the midst of a cultural revolution, at the heart of which are the youth! With the 20 and 30 somethings bringing innovation and creativity to every facet of urban life the city is in a constant state of transition. An older generation of immigrants has now shifted into the diasporic youth. The conversation between cultures in the city is constant and allows for a shaping of ideas and perspectives that are truly unique. Toronto really is a place for the world to call home!
The National Post’s John Ivison called Ottawa “the town that fun forgot”. Well, I guess he wasn’t hanging out within Ottawa’s multicultural communities, because if there is anything we know, it’s how to have fun. Ottawa, as the nation’s capital, is known for being the hub of Canadian Politics, but it’s also the home of a vibrant Spoken Word Scene, with Ottawa Teams winning the National Championships twice in a row. Ottawa is where so many worlds come together, colliding, clashing, but often combining to make something new. Youth, particularly Aboriginal and ethno-culturally diverse youth, are at the forefront of these new creations in fashion, music, the arts, and community activism.
The key to the heart of a city is through its stomach. For many Montrealers, weekends mean a trip to Marché Jean Talon where residents nudge past each other shopping for fresh produce and specialty wares. Some of the merchants who founded the large, open-air market still bargain in Italian with locals. These sounds quickly blend into French, Spanish, Arabic, English and multiple other tongues. Located in the heart of the historic Little Italy (now it can equally be considered Little Latin America), Marché Jean Talon is just one of the colourful neighbourhoods that make up what many consider the most vibrant city in Canada. Some places are also sites of social tensions based on race, religion, language or culture. Montreal’s ability to name these tensions while constantly experimenting in new ways to express differences and commonalities keep it an ever exciting place to live.
Halifax: a city by the sea; a beautifully laid-back harbour. Do you like it here? I love it when it loves me back; and when it doesn’t, I kind of get cranky. I am a minority.