Bridging Conversations

An Inter-cultural & Inter-generational Dialogue

The opportunities for inter-generational conversations and real interactions are becoming more and more infrequent, particularly during this electronic age that isolates and separates our seniors and youth even more. This project provided an artistic space where youth and seniors with a variety of skills and experiences, could talk, play and create together. It not only supported the social participation and inclusion of seniors, but encouraged inter-generational learning and exchange.

“The project created an opportunity for us young people to explore some burning issues that continue to create a generational gap between us and the seniors in our lives and in the community…we were able to express our insecurities about the present and the future and to ask them how they managed when they were our age. It was also amazing to perform alongside seniors in the final presentation.” – Youth Participant

Thank you for inviting me and people like me to be a part of your fun and worthwhile project. Too many times old age is seen as a time of retirement and rest from life and not one of new opportunities and of being productive. It was energizing talking to so many young people and to be of some help. It was fun and I learnt a lot too!” – Senior Participant

This was an NHSP Community-Based Project funded by the Government of Canada.


Exploring Masculinity & Misogyny : Peer Power Video Project

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:

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.

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.

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

This workshop was 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.

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.

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?

Staging Diversity & Disability
Transformational Theatre

In May 2014, ICA conducted a six month project using transformational theatre techniques to promote understanding between staff, live-in caregivers, homecare providers and people living with developmental disabilities. Our partner organizations are Integra Support Services and Kardel Home Support, two experts in this field in Victoria, BC.

We gathered real-life stories from all the stakeholders involved in this sector and used theatre scenes and exercises to find the underlying issues and stories that were of priority to the participants who attended the workshops.

The stories were staged at three events in September and October 2014, where the audience was invited to intervene and enact solutions to the problems presented, in real time.

Youth Arts Summer Camp
Arts camp for 9 – 12 year olds.

This week long summer camp for kids ages 9 -12 offered a fun hands-on experience in making a simple journal, paper marbling, sun-printing, and artist style low-tech film photography. On field trips to beautiful and interesting places around the city they made photographs and collected things that can be used in their photo-based art projects and journals.

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

Working with a theatre facilitator and a small group, Seniors created short shadow theatre plays and performed at community centres.

Shadow Theatre and Story Coach Will Weigler is an experienced and innovative theatre professional who is passionate about collaborative community creation. Co-facilitated by Valeria Cortes.

Big thanks to our wonderful community partners who made this project possible: Victoria Chinese Seniors Association, Victoria Chinese Cultural Association, Burnside Gorge Community Association, Cook Street Village Activity Centre, Gordon Head Recreation Centre and James Bay New Horizons.

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Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives
A photography and visual journalling workshop

This project took place in spring 2014, with ten participants learned how to use photography and visual journalling to find new forms of self-expression and ways to manage stress.

Participants went on field trips to take pictures at Cattle Point, MacCauley Point and Beacon Hill Park, participants took photographs that documented how they saw themselves in natural forms. In classes they looked at all the images and participants chose the ones they found most meaningful to work with in journals. At the end of the project final photos were selected for a published book.

The project was facilitated by local documentary photographer and educator Quinton Gordon of Luz Studios and Sonia Boya, Counselor. Many thanks to Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund for project funding, and to Fuji Film for the loan of digital cameras.

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

Arrival: Stories, Mask & Movement was a theatre presentation based on five new immigrant stories of arrival. Real-life immigrant stories of what it has meant to settle in a new land, a country with a different language and culture. Stories of new and surprising experiences, stories of hope and triumph, stories of challenge and surmounting obstacles, stories of new beginnings. The five stories represent the five continents of the world and were woven into a performance using movement, music and masks inspired by traditions from the countries where the stories originate.

This project was in partnership with the Greater Victoria Public Library.

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:
250-388-4728 ext 129