Edmonton Living Rooms / Salons Edmonton

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Join Edmonton Living Rooms for a series of cultural exhibits around Edmonton opening windows into several local communities. Opportunities to discover Edmonton’s rich and diverse cultural heritage through sharing and storytelling!

Saturday, April 15th
Jasper Place Public Library (9010 156 Street)
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Saturday, April 22nd
Eastwood School (12023 81 Street)
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Saturday, April 22nd
Sunday, April 23rd
Multicultural Health Brokers Satellite Office (13026 97 Street)
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Saturday, April 29
Prince of Wales Armouries (10440 108 Avenue)
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Saturday, April 29th
Sands Hotel (12340 Fort Road)
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The Story

In 2016 the Edmonton Heritage Council worked with the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-operative to bring together seven invisible communities of Edmonton, including the Bhutanese, Cambodian, Eritrean, Iraqi, Kurdish, Sierra Leone, and Sudanese. These communities gathered monthly to engage in a journey on narrative growth through sharing various elements of their lives from home, learning, medicine, to artistic expression, justice and migration. Leaders from these communities desired an opportunity to exchange these stories and experiences with fellow Canadians. After months of dedicated effort, this dream became an unfolding reality. In November 2016, the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-operative was awarded funding from the Government of Canada’s Canada 150 Fund. As a result, the communities have agreed to make 2017 the year of sharing ‘life’ together with Canadians, in beautifully crafted living rooms.

Edmonton Living Rooms celebrates the unfolding story of Canada. It is intended to reveal and celebrate the cultural capital that a multitude of populations have brought through their active presence in our country, as well as express communities’ sense of citizenry. It is an effort to transform what is presently intangible and invisible, into a vibrant visible exposure of exceptional Canadians that are, and have been, an intrinsic part of creating this country’s evolving historical identity. Ultimately, it is a pursuit of equal exchange of humanity in Canada; where elements such as home and learning, healing and justice, all of which are experienced in one way or another in our lives, can step out of hidden shells to the forefront of our crossing intersections. We all have stories to share. We all have the very ingredients needed to participate in “heart work,” to collectively weave a stronger fabric in our country.

The exhibits shall provide an opportunity to invite Canadians to actively participate and share in past experiences, hopes and dreams. Youth and Elders will be present in storytelling, interactive displays will allow for active participation of attendees engaging life’s borderless themes. Preschoolers and young children shall have spaces to contribute and learn. This endeavour will be an expanding interdisciplinary sharing inspired by components of museum methodology. Interactive migratory maps shall offer individuals and communities to market their arrival in Canada, evening dialogue series will allow for in-person sharing circles, a chance to step into shared human vulnerability. There shall be ample opportunities to leave comments, scribe thoughts and ideas, and scribble or craft expressions of story. This exhibit is an expression completely co-created by the communities involved and relies on meaningful relationships between museum practices and honouring community story and truth.

About the Collaborators

The Edmonton Heritage Council (EHC) is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to raise the profile and place of heritage in Edmonton and the surrounding region. The EHC is an important voice for the city’s memory and an active link in connecting citizens with the city’s heritage and history. EHC supports the development and successful public role of the heritage sector in Edmonton.

The Multicultural Health Brokers Co-operative (MCHB) is a group of 75 health brokers representing 25 different cultural and linguistic communities in Edmonton. It helps immigrants and new comers navigate the educational, social service, judicial, employment, and health systems in Canada. The Brokers, also known as Natural Leaders, help build bridges between people and systems.

About the Canada 150 Fund

The goal of the Canada 150 Fund is to create opportunities for Canadians to participate in local, regional, and national celebrations that contribute to building a sense of pride and attachment to Canada. To participate, celebrate and explore ways to be involved, visit the Canada 150 official website at www.canada.ca/150.