Celebrating Our Diversity

Go to FacebookThe Grey Bruce One World Festival and the work of the Inclusive Communities Committee take place on the Territory of the Anishinabek Nation — The People of the Three Fires, known as Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomie Nations. We also want to thank the Chippewas of Saugeen and the Chippewas of Nawash, known collectively as the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, as the traditional keepers of this land where we live and work.


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Please join us for this festival — a unique event in Grey and Bruce and a free, daytime event that focuses on its primary participants, and emphasizes an educational and experiential component through the participation of local schools, agencies, health and arts groups, cultural institutions, private citizens from diverse backgrounds, newcomers to Canada and the area, and social-justice and faith groups. Since its inception, the festival has benefited from the strong support of the City of Owen Sound.

We are inviting you to participate in this event by making a presentation that supports inclusivity and diversity. Many of those who attend are elementary schoolchildren, so presenters are asked to offer an activity and/or an educational component that is themed around acceptance, understanding, diversity and inclusivity. Most children stop at each booth for only five or ten minutes, as they walk through the festival, so each activity needs to be brief. The festival is free of charge to participants and those who attend, therefore sales or solicitations for donations (even for a worthy cause) are not part of this event. When you hand in your receipts at the event, the festival will help to cover the cost — up to $50 per booth — of food, printing and craft materials.

The items at your display can be simple and should not be too precious. The chance to stop and talk to you, and to try an activity or learn something new, are the most important things you can offer to festival visitors.

What are some of the things your booth could include?
— The flag of your heritage country
— A map and/or photographs
— Samples of national dress
— Typical holiday decorations
— Children’s picture books in your heritage language
— Children’s toys and musical instruments from your heritage country
— A printout of fun and interesting facts about your heritage country, which could list inventions, foods, holidays, games and sports that children play, famous authors and artists who appeal to kids, national symbol, most-common family pet, everyday etiquette, the words and music for the national anthem or a favourite children’s song — things that would be of interest to children
— A printout of instructions for how to play a traditional ball game and/or the words for a rope-skipping game
— A demonstration, in words and writing, of how to say simple phrases such as “Hello!”, “Welcome”, “What is your name?”, and words such as “grandmother” and “grandfather”, or “house”, “tree”, “country”
— A list of the top ten most-popular names for boys and girls in your heritage country, and their meaning (if any)
— A sample of the written alphabet, if it is different than the English alphabet
— Small samples of commercially-prepared, nonperishable foods (with a posted sign that lists the ingredients)
— A demonstration of a traditional craft and/or a quick, traditional craft that the children who stop by the booth can make and take away
— Handouts about your organization, if applicable, and its services

For a glimpse of past festivals, please visit the Sights and Sounds page. If you would like to join us, please email your request to
jo@jocalvert.ca

PLEASE NOTE:
We will determine the feasibility of this event in the spring of 2022, depending on the course of the pandemic and in consultation with the Grey Bruce Health Unit.
If an in-person event is not possible, a virtual event via a series of 10-minute videos of interactive presentations and performances, similar to those offered by participants at the festival, will be produced and permanently posted on the Teachers’ Resources page, so that area elementary-school teachers and students — and all community members — can access the free videos on an ongoing basis.


— With thanks to our supporters for this virtual event!

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A message from the Inclusive Communities Committee of Grey and Bruce, the Grey Bruce One World Festival, and Welcoming Communities Grey Bruce —

Recently in Owen Sound, someone placed an Islamophobic anti-mask poster on at least one storefront. This poster has also shown up in Durham, and can be found, verbatim, online. When we see this kind of material, it is important to report it to the police and to understand its source. In this case, the poster’s content displays all the fingerprints of the racist and anti-science conspiracy theories and groups that are proliferating online, stubbornly persisting, and rapidly gaining followers worldwide (see: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/countering-radical-right/qanon-has-gone-fringe-conspiracy-full-blown-cult/ and https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/11/qanon-facebook-groups-growing-conspiracy-theory).

The isolation, uncertainty, unemployment and economic hardship caused by COVID-19 makes vulnerable people — including young people — particularly susceptible to these conspiracy theories, and the Internet speeds their invisible global spread. This should concern us all.

The Atlantic magazine has been running a series of articles about conspiracy theories, and why we need to take them seriously.  Here’s the link: https://www.theatlantic.com/press-releases/archive/2020/05/shadowland-on-the-power-and-danger-of-conspiracy/611641/

One of the largest of these conspiracy groups is QAnon, identified by the FBI as a domestic-terrorism concern in the U.S. Like other conspiracy groups, it disseminates unfounded and fear-based theories that promote hatred, mistrust and suspicion within our community (specifically against Jews, Muslims and immigrants), and against government institutions, and health and scientific authorities, among others. QAnon has moved from the fringe into the mainstream.

Here in Canada and abroad , QAnon followers are engaged in ongoing protests against current public-health measures (see: nbcnews.com/news/world/qanon-supporters-join-thousands-protest-against-germany-s-coronavirus-rules-n1238783 and https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/anti-mask-protest-montreal-1.5722033 ) and have presented real threats to our elected leaders, including our Prime Minister (see: https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/07/13/qanon-canada-trudeau-conspiracy-theory/) and the Premier of Quebec (see: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/qanon-quebec-anti-mask-conspiracy-theory-violence-1.5726891). In the U.S., its supporters have been responsible for several violent acts (see: https://www.insider.com/qanon-violence-crime-conspiracy-theory-us-allegation-arrest-killing-gun-2020-8 and https://ctc.usma.edu/the-qanon-conspiracy-theory-a-security-threat-in-the-making/).

It is helpful to understand how/why these conspiracy theories and groups attract followers and how to combat their ideas. The Alliance for Science has a good resource for this: https://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/conspiracy-theory-handbook/. (You can scroll down to find a highlighted link to the “handbook” with tips on how to talk to someone who shares these ideas.) An article from Psychology Today also offers advice on how to talk to someone caught up by conspiracy theories here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/psych-unseen/202009/4-keys-help-someone-climb-out-the-qanon-rabbit-hole and this site has some tips, too: https://www.engadget.com/how-to-talk-to-people-about-qanon-123045910.html.

We are proud to live and work in a vibrant and diverse Grey and Bruce that embraces everyone of all backgrounds, ages and abilities — and we urge everyone to stand with us against racism and work together to keep each other healthy and to strengthen our welcoming community.

— For information on the many groups and organizations working for diversity and inclusivity, click on the Diversity Links and Resources page.


Grey Bruce Settlement Services

Grey Bruce Settlement Services is a collaboration between YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce and Welcoming Communities Grey Bruce to support you in effectively settling, integrating, and calling Grey and Bruce counties your home.

This program offers a central place to help you feel more connected to your new community through many resources and partnerships with other local service agencies.

These free services are mobile and staff will be able to meet with you in the community where you live, throughout Grey Bruce.

Settlement and language services are open to:
Permanent Residents (also called Landed Immigrants); without Canadian Citizenship
A person in Canada who was received an approval-in-principal letter for their application for permanent residence

  • Convention refugee
  • Protected persons
  • Temporary worker or student who has obtained initial approval for a concurrent application for permanent residence

If you are not eligible for these services, you will be referred to a program in the community that can help.

Settlement Services & Referrals:
Settlement workers are here to provide one-on-one support, answer your questions and help you find the resources you need in your community.

See:
https://www.ymcaowensound.on.ca/Community-Initiatives/?pageid=389
Facebook.com/OSGBSS/


Information and resources for COVID-19:

Grey Bruce Public Health Information
https://www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/
Ontario Ministry of Health
https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

Government of Canada
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
Grey County
https://www.grey.ca/covid-19

Bruce County
https://brucecounty.on.ca/covid19
Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force
https://povertytaskforce.com/covid-19-community-resources/
United Way Grey Bruce
https://unitedwayofbrucegrey.com/community-information-and-resources/
M’Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre
https://mwikwedong.com/
Resources and Supports for Newcomers and Immigrants Affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic
https://unitedwayofbrucegrey.com/covid-19-resources-supports-for-newcomers-immigrants/


In 2020, the ICC and the Grey Bruce One World Festival became part of Welcoming Communities Grey Bruce (welcominggreybruce.ca). Welcoming Communities Grey Bruce (WCGB) works to create an inclusive and welcoming Grey Bruce, where differences are celebrated and no one is left behind, by:
— providing local education, counselling, referrals and other support services, including language instruction, employment training, job-search programs, translation services and information programs on regional and Canadian culture and life, for immigrants, refugees and newcomers in need,
— engaging community members in planning and activities to reduce social, racial, cultural and institutional barriers, and support a welcoming and inclusive Grey Bruce, and
— collaborating with public, not-for-profit and private organizations and businesses to ensure that the needs of newcomers to Grey and Bruce are met and to build a welcoming and inclusive region for all residents.

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2020 Welcoming Communities Grey Bruce (WCGB) board members are (back row from left) Nicholas Forrester, Waleed Aslam, Muna Shrestha, Manpreet Kaur Sangha, Donald Anderson, Colleen Purdon and David Morris, with staff members (front row from left) Olga Jura and Map Ip from WCGB’s Rural Pathways to Employment for Visible-Minority Newcomer Women program.


— And congratulations to the Grey Bruce One World Festival for receiving a 2017 Owen Sound Cultural Award:image007