The SPLC motto is “everyone here belongs,” although it might as well be the Canadian motto. This saying embraces diversity and encourages people of all different ethnicities, race, sexuality, and creed to come together.
Canadian multiculturalism and diversity is widely celebrated, yet we often look past its long reaching effects on Canadian lives. At Bridlewood Mall and SPLC’s Canada 150 celebration on July 14th one of those often overlooked effects was on full display.
When asked about the Canada 150 celebration event, SPLC resident, Mano, said “It is always nice to be able to spend time with my friends here.” The Canada 150 event like so many other SPLC events facilitated social interaction amongst our residents. The embrace of diversity both by SPLC and Canada enables that social interaction – an often forgotten but important result of multiculturalism.
The residents of SPLC are not limited to their cultural circles when it comes to making friends; this may seem like a given but inclusion and acceptance are not always the norm. The friendships our residents create with each other and the social interaction those friendships result in are crucial to their happiness.
The friendly residents of SPLC were treated to quite the day as food trucks, games, a variety of performances, and appearances by local politicians made the Canada 150 event a grand success.
The main stage was an attraction all day as the audience was treated to performances from the SPLC People Link Choir, Ontario Pops Orchestra String Group, GTA Hanca Senior Association, and even the grandchildren of an SPLC resident.
Ira Balasubramaniam, a proud SPLC resident, watched with joy as her grandson performed a hip hop dance and her granddaughter followed with a classical Tamil dance. Regarding the event she said “it was great to spend time with my family and see my grandchildren perform.”
The performances were preceded by speeches from three local politicians, Arnold Chan, Soo Wong, and Jim Karygiannis. Arnold Chan stated that it is important to celebrate our incredible diversity, a statement that surely echoed the thoughts of the diverse audience.
Later Jim Karygiannis spoke about the historic Battle of Vimy Ridge. He then donated multiple Vimy Ridge Acorns to the City of Toronto and its MomenTO campaign. The acorns are another reminder of the sacrifices many Canadians made to protect our values and freedom.
Ira understands those sacrifices and is extremely grateful. “Canada means everything to me; it gives me freedom and it gives my grandchildren better lives,” she said.
The better life she speaks of is spurred by the diversity this country has so openly embraced. Diversity and the acceptance of multiculturalism in this country have enabled the creation of the communities so crucial to Canadian lives. Our SPLC community would not be the same without it.
The Bridlewood Canada 150 celebration event in partnership with the SPLC was a resounding success. Beyond food, games, performances and local celebrities was the chance for our residents to spend time together. It was another example that truly, everyone here belongs.
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