This interdisciplinary project has engaged newcomers affiliated with COSTI Immigrant Services, one of the country’s largest immigrant serving agencies, in reflecting on their migration journey to Canada through a series of permanent installations and cultural programming in community spaces.
“Our Stories” has served as a platform for newcomers to Canada to share their story and in many cases be involved in their first community project here in Canada, in addition to offering cultural programming to newcomer children and youth who otherwise would not be able to access it.
In collaboration with artist Jim Bravo, the west-facing wall of COSTI’s Ralph Chiodo Family Immigrant Reception Centre has been transformed from a target for graffiti vandalism to a celebrated local landmark. The mural, which faces a local park and schoolyard, has served as a backdrop for a myriad of cultural and recreational activities in celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary. Such performances provide an opportunity to share what being a newcomer to Canada means to the participants, enhancing understanding among the diverse community, while promoting the wide breadth of people and places that continue to shape Canada.
This program has been made possible by Canadian Heritage, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Ontario Arts Council.