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  • News
  • June 01, 2017

Daiene's Diary - June Op-Ed

The great thing about sharing your birthday with Canada Day – as I do – is that you get to enjoy fireworks on your special day, every year.  With Canada marking its 150th anniversary in 2017, we can be assured that the celebrations will be extra special.

Ontario is celebrating too. 

On the very same day – July 1st, 1867 – Ontario was constituted as a province, joining Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, which together formed the Dominion of Canada under the British North America Act

So, how are we marking this momentous occasion in our province?

Ontario will be putting the spotlight on honouring the past, showcasing the present, and leaving a lasting legacy for the people of this great province. 

In Kitchener, a number of local organizations will lead the festivities with support from the Ontario 150 Community Celebration Program.  Recently, I had the honour of recognizing four groups that will use their collective talent, innovation, and commitment to diversity to help tell our unique story.

Local recipients of Ontario 150 Community Celebration Program grants include:

  • The Homer Watson House & Gallery, which will engage community members in a year-long arts and culture exhibition and workshop; “Celebrating the Colours of Canada: Literally and Contextually.”
  • Neruda Arts will enhance its 2017 Kultrun World Music Festival and will showcase the First Nations and the immigrant story through music, dance, visual art and discussion.
  • The Multicultural Theatre Space will deliver a series of shows and interactive activities, focusing on Kitchener's local history, Canada's First Nations, and the stories of new Canadians.
  • And, the Coalition of Muslim Women of KW will curate an art exhibit titled “Celebrating Identity” in partnership with THEMUSEUM, showcasing the work of Muslim women artists.

The province is also supporting upgrades to the KW Counselling Services site under the Ontario 150 Community Capital Program.  This is being administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario.  KW Counselling Services will use the funding to improve infrastructure and repair the building’s foundation, ensuring long-term use of the facility, enabling diverse groups to work together to improve community life.

On learning of the grant, Executive Director Leslie Josling stated, “We are deeply grateful to be receiving an Ontario 150 Community Capital Grant to help us restore and waterproof our building.  We will be glad to welcome back the emergent multicultural groups who come to us for mentoring, leadership development and organizational development as well as our programs for women and children who have experienced abuse that have had to be relocated since our space has been unusable."

Investing in our local culture and history, and strengthening spaces where we meet honours our heritage and leaves a lasting legacy for future generations in our community. 

So, on this sesquicentennial anniversary year, there will be more than just fireworks to mark the occasion.  Take time to celebrate our rich culture and the unique talents of Ontarians.

Keep in Mind...

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