Humans for Peace Institution was honoured to be part of the trip organized by World Folk Music Ottawa to Smith’s Falls town as Building Immigrant Bridges in Our Rural Communities. The trip was well attended by more than 50 guests from different cultural background living in Ottawa.
After arriving we had a local guided tour that shows history and opportunities for immigration to explore the beauty of the town, local facilities, services, and the business opportunities. Then we arrived at Pentecostal Church for open discussion with to Smith’s Falls mayor Mr. Shawn James Pankow. Mr. Pankow talked about the importance of the visit, rural immigration, efforts made to welcome everyone to the town to feel home. Then it was followed by short presentations by 3 local resident immigrants to present their stories and possibilities. Then everyone listened to the amazing classical guitar by “Tony”, a recent immigrant from Syria. After a lovely and delicious Syrian dinner prepared by the local new Syrian family, who was arrived several months ago as sponsored refugees and settled in Merrickville.
After that child for Peace sang 2 songs for the audience and dance one folk dance. Followed by One World Choir, who sang 4 songs.
- The purpose of the event is to build bridges between recent urban immigrants and rural communities and between different ethnic, racial, and faith groups.
- The event emphasizes the important role of culture, civil society, and democracy in the successes and challenges of rural immigration.
- While building on the history of each rural community, the event will encourage a positive view of the future of new immigration settlement in Eastern Ontario.
- It is a community focussed project, with activities that include a local tour of the rural community, sharing of cultural presentations, and facilitated discussion.
Thanks to Merrickville Bridge to Canada Sponsorship Group, Town of Smith’s Falls Local Immigration Partnership, World Folk Music Ottawa, and Smith’s Falls mayor Mr. Shawn James Pankow.