Canadian Multiculturalism Day

Today is Canadian Multiculturalism Day. It is a day to honour the many cultural communities that create our vibrant Canadian society, and a chance to celebrate cultural diversity, as we continue to work towards equity and inclusion.

Enacted in 1988, The Canadian Multiculturalism Act “emphasizes the importance of cultural diversity, … and promotes the idea that all Canadians should have the opportunity to preserve, enhance, and share their cultural heritage … the Act serves as a legislative framework for the promotion and protection of multiculturalism in Canada.”

The Act’s primary objectives include:

  • recognizing and preserving the multicultural heritage of Canadians
  • promoting the full and equitable participation of individuals and communities of all origins in the continuing evolution and shaping of all aspects of Canadian society
  • assisting individuals and communities of all origins to eliminate barriers to their participation in Canadian society
  • assuring that all individuals receive equal treatment and equal protection under the law, while respecting and valuing their diversity

Embracing Multiculturalism at CHV

Multiculturalism is embraced and celebrated at CHV. Diversity in both staff and the youth we serve enriches our programs and services.

Lacy, Assistant Manager of both CHV’s Foundations and Crisis Programs, shares how cultural diversity enriches life at CHV.

In the Crisis Program, multiculturalism provides youth with a safe space to explore and celebrate different cultures. We celebrate cultural diversity through:

  • A variety of activities throughout the year
  • The sharing of food from different cultures — both during mealtimes and during outings
  • A variety of books in our art room
  • The hiring of diverse staff 

Celebrating multiculturalism at CHV helps youth with the challenges that they may face, by:

  • Providing youth with a safe space to be themselves
  • Having staff who understand the diverse experiences that youth face, so that we can support them in a trauma-informed way

Multiculturalism enriches the lives of the youth in program, through youth interactions. This can happen when:

Youth share information about their cultures in ways that are meaningful and feel safe to them

A variety of cultures are expressed or shared visually in program. Recently, flags from around the world were hung in our common space. This led to an animated discussion where youth talked about their experiences, with each other and with youth workers. Many youth spoke about some of their favourite aspects of the cultures from around the world — from food and music to traditions. 

If you would like to learn more about why multiculturalism is important in Canada, you could start by checking out the contributions that people from Black and Asian communities have made to our country.