Multiculturalism grants help organizations promote B.C. heritage

More than 120 organizations from Dawson Creek to Victoria and communities in between are receiving a total of $300,000 in Multiculturalism Grants to help celebrate British Columbia’s rich multicultural heritage and promote empathy and inclusiveness in B.C.

“British Columbia was built by many hands from various cultures, traditions and backgrounds,” said Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism. “By supporting these 121 organizations, we help them to celebrate the unique multicultural history of our province and promote empathy in communities throughout B.C.”

The Multiculturalism Grant Program celebrates British Columbia’s cultural diversity by funding projects that raise awareness of B.C.’s multicultural identity. This can include festivals, community forums or cultural celebrations that support positive expressions of multiculturalism. The grants also support projects that challenge racism and hate, especially those that utilize a collaborative community approach.

Each community organization will receive up to $2,480 and the funding will go to a variety of projects customized for each community’s needs. For example, one school will use the grant to establish a Multicultural Week to learn and celebrate the various cultures that make up the school’s population. Another organization will create a video series featuring refugees and immigrants sharing compelling moments from their journey to Canada.

“The diversity of our province is one of British Columbia’s greatest strengths, and it is inspiring to see so many members of the community striving to make B.C. more prosperous and inclusive,” said Tenzin Khangsar, Multicultural Advisory Council chair. “By providing these organizations with funding to promote British Columbia’s rich multicultural heritage, we help promote intercultural understanding and build a more cohesive B.C.”

Applications for the 2015-16 Multiculturalism Grant program opened Oct. 26, 2015, and closed on Dec. 13, 2015. Applications for 2016-17 funding will be accepted later this year.