In the context of the im/migrant experience in Canada, our exploration of the concept of “Harmony in Diversity” involves recognizing and celebrating the coexistence of people with various cultural backgrounds and identities while also addressing unique challenges and opportunities. By bringing people from diverse backgrounds together via art and dialogue, we aim to foster inclusion, equity, and a more vibrant community.

“Harmony” conveys a sense of balance and unity in various aspects of life, whether it be in music, society, art, personal well-being, nature, or relationships.

“Diversity” refers to a wide array of people that come from different backgrounds, lifestyles, social experiences, races, and religions.

When we look at these words together we are elevating the coexistence of various perspectives and backgrounds with the ability to embrace, respect and value differences as strengths. This can lead to better problem-solving, increased creativity, and a more comprehensive understanding of complex issues. By emphasizing the value of diversity, acknowledging the challenges im/migrants face, and promoting inclusive practices, we celebrate the unique contributions of each culture while working together to create a more equitable and inclusive community.

This year, we explored the theme of Harmony in Diversity through community dialogues and an artistic initiative. We brought together members of our diverse North Shore community to share and learn from each other, and build cross-cultural connections. This initiative was a vibrant celebration of our diverse community and showcased the many ways in which different cultures unite to create something truly special.

During the community dialogue event, Living Room Conversation: Cultural Activism, newcomers, im/migrants, Indigenous people, and long-time residents came together to share their cultures and build connections across differences. Through dialogues, participants shared their cultural activities with each other, explored Indigenous culture, and discussed what is means to have a welcoming community. Our artistic initiative, the Harmony in Diversity Photography Challenge, invited im/migrants to share photos they had taken on the North Shore. Utilizing art as a universal language provides im/migrants with a creative platform to express themselves. In our recent artistic initiative, we offered newcomers the chance to exhibit their unique perspective on “Harmony in Diversity” through the lens of their cameras. This event was a celebration of the richness of our community through the angles and visions captured by these talented individuals.

All the submitted photos and photographer statements are shared below: