“Uncertainties & Epiphanies: Making Multiculturalism” was created with the help of contributions to this website from people throughout Canada, and from additional conversations I had while conducting research in cities and towns across the country. It’s an exploration of intercultural encounters in everyday life, and the “uhms?” and “ahas!” that we experience as part of living in culturally diverse communities. On behalf of all the contributors, I invite you to watch and hope you enjoy it!

This website will be transitioning in the coming months but the original project remains open. If you’d like to find out more about the film click here. If you’d like to share a story on the website – great! You can find out more by reading below.

You’re invited to be part of this public storytelling project by contributing  a story or photo about your everyday experience of multiculturalism. The French version of this page is here.  Clicking the translation symbol on the right provides automated translation in several languages, and if you prefer a short description of this academic research, you’ll find it here.

Let me share a little of my story, and the reason for this project.

Multiculturalism and I grew up together. Just over 40 years ago, Canada became the first country in the world to adopt an “official” multiculturalism policy.  Growing up here, I understood the country had always been about the intersection of cultures, with the original presence of Aboriginal Peoples from coast to coast to coast,  two founding languages in English and French, and many generations of immigrants.

Now multiculturalism and I have both hit mid-life — with the stories to show for it. And I find myself thinking about it – not the political frame but rather the cultural intersections that shape and shift us in our everyday lives.  That’s all of us – whether recently arrived, or with roots that go back several years, many generations, or to a time before there was a country called Canada.

My interest has led me to graduate studies at Royal Roads University, and what is now the topic of my thesis research.  There is already a lot of research on multiculturalism and interculturalism from the macro-perspective. My interest is in the micro-perspective — everyday hyperlocal, personal stories. I think they provide glimpses of the big picture you can’t get any other way.    By gathering the stories of individual experiences together through this website, I hope together we can see a little of the detail in the big picture.  If you’re interested too then I hope you’ll join in – with a story contribution or visiting often to see what unfolds. You can submit a story by going to share stories, and you check out what people are writing about here. 

We travel in our own cultural corridors while at the same time there are millions of points of intersection every day in this country between people of varying cultural backgrounds. Corridors and connections – intersections and parallels. What kind of pattern does that create, and how does it alter us?  How do we relate to one another, and how does ‘culture’ come into play? What’s your story?

From the stories on the website and additional material I’ll be gathering,   I’ll be creating a film as a companion piece that will continue to explore this idea.

If you have a story you’d like to contribute, it can be a short as a sentence, as long as 500 words, or maybe  your story is best told with a picture and a caption – great! If you’d just like to browse through the site – come on in! Sharing the stories with others is what the project is here for.

Your story can be about any small moment in your day – or a big part of your life.  It can come from being in the corridor, or in the intersection. It’s your story.

What isn’t applicable for this project are general opinions or comments about multiculturalism – it’s your experience specifically that matters, and your reflections or questions about it. Thanks again for your interest, and once you’ve had a visit, check back soon to see what’s developing!  I look forward to seeing and sharing your stories.