Ontario Museum Association (OMA) Annual Conference. By: Lisa Randall

The Royal Ontario Museum invited CultureLink to join a panel at the recent OMA Conference held at the Novotel in Mississauga. The 2016 Conference was focused on “Diversity and Inclusion” and CultureLink’s Lisa Randall joined a panel with Jaclyn Qua-Hiansen of the ROM with Yasmine Mohamed of The Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) on the topic of “ROM Welcomes: Inviting Canadian Newcomer to the ROM”. As a ROMCAN member, CultureLink receives (600) free ROM passes for group activities for newcomers. We are also partnering with ICC for a day for Syrian families at the Aga Khan Museum later in November.

It was a great experience for CultureLink to share our work bringing newcomers to the ROM. It was also an opportunity to share how CultureLink embraces the arts as a means to support settlement. The principal of settling the whole person and using the arts as a tool for getting settled has been an area of development for CutlureLink and continues to be. Many CultureLink programs developed in the past several years have been characterized by a shared appreciation of art and creativity. The use of the arts in programs results in engaging newcomers in a holistic experience of settling into Toronto. CultureLink increased our activities that integrate the arts as a vital aspect of newcomer settlement developing new partnerships that support arts-based newcomer welcoming. Engaging newcomers in the arts, culture and civic activities exposes them to the heart and soul of their new home and in so doing opens up opportunities up for personal involvement and the potential for their own artistic and civic contributions.

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