May is Asian Heritage Month!

This month we are celebrating the rich and vibrant culture of Asian Canadians by participating in events across Canada. Want to showcase Asian cultures in your community? Passages to Canada keynote speakers can be booked for free!

Events in British Columbia: 

  • This past weekend, the Passages to Canada team had the pleasure of being in B.C. for Explorasian’s kick-off of Asian Heritage Month in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown. 
  • We also celebrated in Richmond, with the Richmond Chinese Community Society, and were treated to lion dancing, Japanese taiko drumming, classical Indian dancing, just to name a few!

Events in Ontario: 

  • At the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa on May 1st, we attended the Government of Canada’s official launch of Asian Heritage Month, hosted by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Jason Kenney. 
  • In Toronto, on Thursday, May 9th, we will be tabling at the Toronto Reference Library, where CBC China specialist Michel Cormier will be in conversation with journalist Jan Wong as they discuss Cormier’s latest book, The Legacy of Tienanmen Square.
  • In East York, on May 24th, we will join our partners from Citizenship and Immigration Canada at an Asian heritage booth at the East York Town Centre, 45 Overlea Blvd, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

If you happen to be in the area, we’d love to meet you! Enjoy the month of May.

Join the dialogue at a bilingual human library!

Join the bilingual dialogue at a human library celebrating National Francophonie Week in Winnipeg

Come check out “talking books” at a human library in celebration of National Francophonie Week on Thursday, March 21, 2013. Join the discussion on linguistic identity, citizenship and cultural encounters from Winnipeg’s diverse Francophone and Anglophone communities at the Centre culturel franco-manitobain. 

Dan Vandal, city councillor for St. Boniface, will share his Métis heritage and his path from professional boxer, to social worker, to politician. Others, like Ivorian artist Lacina Dembélé, bring the Francophone immigrant experience to life with their stories of leaving home, adjusting to life in Canada, and becoming citizens.

Also, hear from Winnipeg’s veterans and Canadian Forces community who will tell stories of service. First Nations veteran Melvin Swan will recount his experience of discrimination in the Canadian Forces, which led him to human rights activism. Listeners will be transported to Korea, Egypt, Afghanistan and beyond by Royal Canadian Air Force pilot Major Karl Désilets, among others.

Communities in Dialogue: A human library event brings together speakers from The Historica-Dominion Institute’s two flagship speakers bureaus. The Passages to Canada Speakers Bureau offers volunteers from a diverse range of ethno-cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds the opportunity to share stories of their heritage with schools and community groups. The Memory Project Speakers Bureau brings together veterans and currently serving Canadian Forces personnel to share their military experiences in classrooms and community groups across Canada.

To register for this free event, visit or contact us at 1-866-701-1867.

Explore the NEW Passages to Canada website

Explore the NEW Passages to Canada website

Welcome to the brand new Passages to Canada website! We are incredibly excited to show off the site’s new look and functionality. Please take some time to roam around and explore the compelling stories that make up the Passages to Canada Speakers Bureau.

Check out the major highlights:

  • Story Archive: You can now share your own story of heritage and identity in our multi-media Story Archive. Upload pictures, audio clips and videos that tell us your story in images!
  • Speaker Log-In: Our speakers can now log in to their profile to update their contact information, add photos to their profile, and much more!
  • Resource section: Resources, as well as helpful suggestions for making your Passages to Canada visit a success, are now available for EDUCATORS and SPEAKERS.
  • Advanced Navigation: Navigate through our interactive maps or keyword search to find the stories that pique your interest. Don’t forget to share your favourites on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

We’ve spent many months putting this new website together for you so we hope you take some time to look around! Feel free to let us know what you think. We are big fans of feedback.

Explore the stories of Canada’s cultural mosaic and tell your own through the Passages to Canada Story Archive, where our online community share recorded testimonials as well as artefacts, representing the rich heritage of Canadians, both new and old.