This Is Me : A Youth Art Project

Under the guidance of international award-winning painter and experienced local visual artist Chin Yuen, this ICA artistic youth project worked with a group of young people to examine the subjects of identity, race, faith and belonging using different visual approaches to expressing the self.

Through collage and painting, these young people explored who they are and created “portraits” that capture their stories.

For more information about the project, contact:
Paulina Grainger, Manager – Arts & Community Engagement at:

International award-winning Canadian painter, Chin Yuen, the Arts teacher and facilitator of this project, was born in Malaysia. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors from Vancouver’s Emily Carr University of Art and Design and a Master of Arts from the University of Victoria, Canada. She has travelled extensively and sees her diverse cultural exposures as an artistic an asset and finds inspiration everywhere, from pop-culture to decaying wood. Her dynamic abstract paintings are on the covers of international textbooks and the walls of residential homes, hotels, health care centres, and corporate buildings.

This project is aligned with ICA’s mandate to create a space for people of all backgrounds, regardless of colour, race, sexual orientation, religion and culture.

Many thanks to Multiculturalism BC for funding this project.

Click on the images below to read the artist statements and see photos from the project.

im:print 2019

This performative art presentation was indeed a community and team effort! We knew we wanted to create a show that celebrated diverse local talent, but also one that challenged current beliefs and questioned community barriers to meaningful inclusion. Trusting that people would be willing to share their experiences, we put a call out for stories that spoke of their inter-relationship to place and people.

The only caveat was that the stories needed to be honest and to make us feel something. We understand that work like this can be seen as provocative and create some discomfort, but without it, we know we can’t begin to imagine a social way forward. What you see in this multidisciplinary presentation are artists being courageous enough to speak their truth. This ICA project, funded by Victoria Foundation, is a partnership with Raino Dance and its Artistic Director, Monique Salez, whose creative vision was crucial in bringing the production to life. We’d also like to thank Krystal Cook and Asha Mehrabi for being an integral part of the Creative Team.

Paulina Grainger
Manager – Arts & Community Engagement, ICA

Click here to view im:print 2019 Program

I’ve Not Always Been Canadian

A Travelling Exhibition On The Evolving Canadian Identity

If you happen to ask a newcomer to Canada, “Do you feel Canadian?”, be prepared for a host of different answers, because every immigrant’s and refugee’s path to integration is different and personal.

In Phase I of the project “I’ve Not Always Been Canadian” ICA invited newcomers and established immigrants/refugees to share their stories of what it means to belong and to fully embrace a Canadian identity. Facilitated by Artistic Director and Storyteller Lina de Guevara, we heard well over 100 stories.

In Phase II of the project, photographer Quinton Gordon, worked with a select number of participants to translate these stories into portraits and short texts that give broader meaning to the idea of being Canadian. As part of Canada’s 150 year celebrations, our goal was to facilitate a deeper understanding of our community’s cultural, ethnic and religious diversity.

This Photo Exhibition is available to exhibit in venues throughout the Capital Regional District and across Canada.

Please contact Paulina Grainger, Manager – Arts & Community Engagement, for complete installation details and bookings:

Exhibition Installation: 15 Freestanding Banner Stands –  33.5 x 78.75 inches

I came to Canada alone when I was a teen, with no English. My idea of Canada was hockey, snow and maple syrup. It was not easy but the kindness of Canadians made me feel okay. If I say to you that I’m Canadian, I feel I’m lying. But my son was born here two years ago and I think that has started to change how I feel.” – Project Participant

Project Producer: Paulina Grainger, Portrait Photographer: Quinton Gordon, Storytelling Facilitator: Lina de Guevara, Project Scribe: Jaimie Sumner

This initiative was made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Victoria Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast.

I’ve Not Always Been Canadian

Available to purchase as a 56 page, fully illustrated, softcover book.

All proceeds go to support ICA programs.

Click Here To Preview and Order

To View Project Photo Gallery Click On Thumbnail