The Government of British Columbia proclaimed Nov. 18 to 24, 2018, as Multiculturalism Week in B.C. at a ceremony at the Parliament Buildings, to celebrate the diversity of cultures and experiences in the province.
This year marks a quarter century since the introduction of the B.C. Multiculturalism Act, which was legislated in 1993.
“This milestone is an excellent opportunity to recognize and celebrate the benefits that come with living in one of the most culturally diverse places in the world,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Today, our government reaffirms our commitment to the principles of equality and respect for all British Columbians.”
“It’s important to reach out to each other, learn each other’s stories and histories, and stand together against racism and hate,” said Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism. “Tolerance is not good enough. In our beautifully diverse society, we need to strive for equity, acceptance and inclusion for all British Columbians.”
“Providing spaces for marginalized communities to share their stories has been an important facet of multiculturalism in B.C.,” said Naveen Girn, chair of the Province’s Multiculturalism Advisory Council. “This anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the past as well as voice the immediate challenges facing communities across our province. During Multiculturalism Week, I thank the individuals and organizations who remain vigilant against racism and hate.”
Included in the event were details about improvements to the Province’s Multiculturalism Grants Program that includes support for new intercultural interaction and anti-racism and systems-change programs. This will focus funding on projects and programs that will increase cultural interactions and understanding, build trust between diverse groups and reduce the barriers that limit full participation in society.
The Province provides $300,000 annually through the Multiculturalism Grants program to support not-for-profit organizations. The intake opens the last week of November and closes in early January 2019.
- Since 1986, the Province has proclaimed Multiculturalism Week in B.C.
- British Columbians reported more than 200 ethnic origins in the 2016 census.
- B.C. is home to the largest proportion of visible minorities in Canada, with 36% of B.C.’s population self-identifying as visible minority or Indigenous in 2016.
- People of Chinese, South Asian and Filipino origins account for 75% of the visible minority populations, reflecting the largest current immigrant groups to B.C.
- B.C. also has the highest number of First Nations in Canada (204) and is home to vibrant Métis and urban Indigenous communities.
The Province’s annual Report on Multiculturalism is available online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/multiculturalism/rom
Learn more about Multiculturalism Week in B.C.: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/multiculturalism/multiculturalismweek
For more information on the Multiculturalism Grants Program, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/multiculturalism-anti-racism/multiculturalism/multiculturalismgrants