On February 9, national storytelling initiative Passages Canada will join the Multicultural Association of Fredericton to capture the city’s diversity with a free workshop—The Stories We Hold. Frederictonians are invited to share an object that tells a story of immigration, heritage, or identity. Local volunteers have rallied to help record these objects and stories for the Passages Canada online Story Archive.
Award-winning Global New Brunswick journalist, Shelley Steeves, will share anecdotes from her years reporting on cultural diversity. Local community-builder and former refugee, Saa Andrew Gbongbor, will mark Black History Month with his inspiring personal story. Passages Canada facilitators will provide tools for telling stories in compelling ways.
“Passages Canada is a national storytelling initiative of Historica Canada that nurtures cross-cultural dialogue in Canadian communities,” said Maddy Macnab, Program Officer for Passages Canada. “Our volunteer speakers share their personal experiences of identity, culture and immigration with groups of all ages. The program started over ten years ago with just twenty speakers visiting groups in-person. Now we’ve expanded to include over 1,000 storytellers across the country who not only visit groups in their local communities, but also share stories online in our multimedia Story Archive.
“We started facilitating these storytelling workshops 3 years ago, around the same time that we created our new online Story Archive,” said Macnab. “They’ve been held in Toronto, Vancouver, and Halifax so far. I’ve been part of the Passages Canada team for just over a year, as Program Officer. After Fredericton, we’re planning to bring the workshop to several other Canadian cities as well.”
Passages Canada believes in the power of story telling and through this initiative, hope to give everyone the opportunity to harness that power and make meaningful connections.
“By encouraging people to share these stories with each other, I like to think we’re helping to foster more understanding and vibrant multicultural communities in the cities that we visit. After the workshop is over, I hope that participants will continue sharing stories, either as volunteer speakers with the Passages Canada program, or in other capacities.”
“We also want to encourage folks to contribute to our ever-growing Story Archive. It’s an online, multimedia platform where anyone can be part of a national discussion about diversity and identity in Canada, what this means to them, and where their personal story fits in.”
Passages Canada is a national storytelling initiative of Historica Canada that nurtures cross- cultural dialogue in Canadian communities. Our volunteer speakers share their personal experiences of identity, culture and immigration with groups of all ages. Passages Canada is generously funded by TD Bank Group and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Historica Canada is the country’s largest organization dedicated to enhancing awareness of Canada’s history and citizenship.