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Inter-Cultural Arts

Applied Theatre for Community Building
A Collaborative & Educational Workshop in partnership with ICA

Friday June 3 (5:30-9:00pm) & Saturday June 4 (9:30-4:30pm)

Register by May 25 2016 @
Attendance is FREE

This workshop is designed for community organizers, arts-based project coordinators, people involved in Social Justice, Social Work, art therapy, artists of different backgrounds, theatre directors, facilitators, and educators. Participants will engage in discussion about what Applied Theatre is and how it has been used for community-building initiatives.  For those with little experience in the field of theatre or the arts, you will learn how to utilize some of the functions of Applied Theatre to engage participants in processes of sharing and staging their personal experiences.  For artists in theatre or other areas this workshop will highlight the conventions used in Applied Theatre to create a safe space for participants to share personal stories.  Part of creating that safe space is to understand the ethical implications of working with people who have experienced trauma, and of understanding the steps to take to ensure safety and autonomy of participants within this space.

Applied Theatre is a hands-on participatory model of engagement that involves its participants in a collaborative process of creativity.  Through theatre activities and conventions the group comes together to bring to light certain important issues to the community, or to simply create the space where participants can form bonds and connections as a means of building community.  Applied Theatre is designed to engage people who have no experience in theatre, but have a shared vested interest in a particular topic they want to explore through creative means.

For over 40 years ICA has taken the lead in Canada of utilizing the power of the arts to engage newcomers to Canada.  Yasmine is a researcher and professor of Applied Theatre and has worked with a variety of communities in Victoria using this model.  Lina is a community-based director and facilitator with 30 years experience working in Victoria to raise awareness and help newcomers integrate in their new community. 

Victoria’s initiative to welcome Syrian migrants means that there will be more opportunities for the arts to play a role in helping this community settle and make new connections.  Feelings of isolation, alienation, and culture shock are amongst many that newcomers may experience.  We believe that through the arts we can begin to create a common language of dialogue, exploration, celebration, and honoring of the memories left behind, and of those memories that are about to be created for our newcomer migrants.

Through the years we have seen the impact that community theatre can have on the experiences of newcomers.  In sharing stories and recalling memories participants make connections, gain insight, but most importantly, they allow themselves to celebrate their strength and acknowledge the courageousness of their journeys.  This type of theatre is celebratory in nature, but it also acknowledges the hardships and obstacles people have had to overcome to arrive at their destination.  Implied in this work is a process of healing the past, and in doing so one can begin to welcome the future.

This workshop will introduce participants to tools and techniques for how to use theatre and drama for community building and engagement.  Through hands-on experiential learning participants will engage with activities related to cultural sensitivity, storytelling processes, ethical practices, promotion of diversity and inclusivity, and the importance of the witness in dynamics of sharing personal stories.

What is Applied Theatre, and what is the impact of Community-based Arts practices on building connections and dealing with important issues. Can this practice be used as a means of healing, of reconciling, and of reintegration of marginalized communities into society?  How can organizations use theatre and the arts to foster inclusion and community building?  What is the power of creating a space where people share their personal stories of struggle and reconciliation?  What are the ethical practices necessary to ensure safety of participants in storytelling of personal narratives?

Lina de Guevara, Yasmine Kandil, and Paulina Grainger will each bring their expertise and research from their fields of work, enabling participants to experience theatre’s potential for creating social change and community awareness.  Join us to learn and engage with these important topics, and bring to the process your own experience and perspective. 

For more information, please contcat ICA's Arts & Outreach Coordinator, Paulina Grainger, (250) 388-4728 ext. 138 or


Calling For Seven Male Youth Participants

Project Description: The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is looking to produce 7 creative viral video ʻshortsʼ on sexism, sexualized violence towards women, consent, and the role young men must play in affecting social change!

What: We are looking for seven young men to develop story ideas and produce videos in a Victoria studio with a professional crew during March Spring break, March 16 – 22. There will also be a Script Workshop held on Sunday, March 6, 2016.

Who: This competition is open to young men in the Victoria CRD between the ages of 14 –18. Looking for youth with ideas, enthusiasm, commitment & who are team players.

Send a one-page description on why you want to be involved to: Paulina Grainger, ICA Arts & Outreach Coordinator, Selected participants will receive an honorarium. No previous film/video experience required.

Submission Deadline: Friday, February 19, 2016

Young people have all observed inappropriate sexual encounters that alarm them and make them uncomfortable. These behaviors may occur in class, in hallways, at parties, and at sports and school events. As bystanders to inappropriate sexual behavior, youth not only have opportunities to intervene, but a shared responsibility to prevent harm, foster a sense of community, and create a culture of caring.


Exploring Masculinity & Misogyny

Peer Power intends to create powerful messages to invigorate the dialogue and awareness of misogynistic attitudes and sexual violence prevention strategies among youth. Some examples of Short Films:

Tea Consent

•  Locker Room Tip

•  Yes All Women

Issues that will be discussed include:  

  • Pressures exerted upon young men by traditional ideas about masculinity, male superiority & male sexual entitlement.
  • Mass Culture - video games that treat women like disposable sex objects; songs about blurred lines “You know you want it”; and the insidious effects of pornography.
  • ‘Rape Culture’ - beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and support violence against women. Has physical and emotional dominance over women become the societal norm?
  • What is Consent? Consent for any sexual activity is the centerpiece for preventing sexual coercion and unwanted sexual behavior. A voluntary, sober, enthusiastic, informed, mutual, honest verbal agreement equals consent.
  • Bystander Intervention - preventing and de-escalating potentially violent incidents by empowering bystanders with the confidence and tools to intervene.

NB: Before being involved in this project, all young adults under the age of 18 will be required to get signed parental consent.

For more information please contact: Paulina Grainger, Arts & Outreach Coordinator, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, or call (250) 388-4728 Ext. 138.

This  project  is  a  partnership  with  Peter  Campbell  and  Gumboot  Productions  and  is funded  by  TELUS  Community  Board  and  the  Inter-Cultural  Association  of  Greater Victoria. Aligned with ICAʼs mandate this project aims to create a space for youth of all backgrounds, regardless of colour, race, sexual orientation, religion, culture and (dis)abilities.

During the year, ICA puts together many different types of arts events in and around the community to help build cultural connections.

Staging Diversity & Disability

Transformational Theatre.

Youth Arts Summer Camp
Annual arts camp for 9 - 12 year olds.

Stories by the Light of the Moon
An ICA Shadow Theatre Project.

Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives
A photography and visual journalling workshop.

Arrival: Stories, Mask and Movement
A theatre presentation based on five new immigrant stories of arrival.

Police and Community, a Theatre Engagement
A series of workshops using transformational theatre techniques to explore the relationship between new immigrants and the police.

Inside Community: Four Cultures in Images
Photo documentary project in four cultural communities in Victoria.

Moon Festival at Gordon Head
Annual lantern celebration at Gordon Head, featuring traditional performances, lantern installations, an illuminated procession and mooncakes!

Interlaced: Living Our Faith Through Stories
Members of the Hindu, Jewish and Ismaili Muslim faith groups learned storytelling, answering the question “How do you live your religion?"

From the Heart: Enter the Journey of Reconciliation
ICA collaborated on the workshop phase of this immersive theatre production about transformative stories that have moved non-Indigenous people to see their relationships with their Indigenous neighbours in new ways. 

Voice & Place: Community, Culture & Belonging
Travelling exhibition of newcomers' photographs about what makes our community welcoming, available to organizations in Greater Victoria.


Long Ago:

From 2000 to 2009, we produced an annual community lantern festival in Beacon Hill Park.

ICA's flagship inter-cultural arts festival, which ran from 1971 to 2006.


For more information on any of these arts programs, please contact Paulina Grainger, Arts & Outreach Coordinator at or 250-388-4728 ext 129.