British Columbia is celebrating Multiculturalism Week Nov. 13-19, 2016, a time to acknowledge the contributions of B.C.’s multicultural society and recognize the many ways diversity helps nurture inclusiveness, understanding and mutual respect, and connects communities throughout the province.
The most ethnically diverse province in Canada, B.C. welcomes nearly 40,000 new immigrants every year. The cultural diversity this creates plays a vital role in the development of a strong and vibrant social and economic future for the province. Its rich, multicultural society provides an important bridge across the Pacific that the B.C. government draws upon to help strengthen trade relationships, attract new investment, and create and protect jobs for British Columbians.
During Multiculturalism Week, the provincial government organizes the British Columbia Multicultural Awards with advice and support from the Province’s Multicultural Advisory Council (MAC). The awards recognize individuals, organizations and businesses whose exceptional work contributes to the multicultural fabric of the province.
Past award recipients include:
- a former government-assisted refugee who works extensively with migrant youth;
- a Comox Valley community organization committed to promoting diversity, multiculturalism and inter-cultural understanding; and
- immigrant sisters and business owners who strive to create an environment where language is not a barrier to employment.
British Columbia’s Multiculturalism Act was created in 1993 to recognize the diversity of British Columbians, encourage respect for the province’s multicultural heritage, promote racial harmony and foster a society without barriers to inclusion.
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism –
“Multiculturalism Week in B.C. is a time to reflect on how cultural diversity connects communities across the province and to honour British Columbia’s multicultural champions who play an integral role in strengthening those ties for future generations.”
Multicultural Advisory Council chair Tenzin Khangsar –
“The roots of multiculturalism run deep in British Columbia. Multiculturalism Week is an opportunity to celebrate our roots and showcase the vibrant multicultural kaleidoscope that makes this province so great.”
- Almost 30% of British Columbians have emigrated from another country in their lifetime.
- One-quarter of the people in the province are self-identified visible minorities.
- In 2016, the B.C. government will provide nearly $1.7 million to engage cultural groups, to fight racism and discrimination and to promote multiculturalism.
- Under B.C.’s 1993 Multiculturalism Act, all ministries and Crown corporations are required to contribute to the annual Report on Multiculturalism to reflect their commitment to multiculturalism.
- Every year in British Columbia the third week of November is proclaimed as Multiculturalism Week. The proclamation can be found here: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/MulticulturalismWk2016
British Columbia Multicultural Awards:
B.C. Multicultural Advisory Council:
Proclamation for Multiculturalism Week: