DIVERSE...Cultural DIVERSITY made in Canada


A 21stCentury Disproportionate Reality:

The Underrepresentation of Leaders withVisible Minority Backgrounds in Our Communities

Visible minority leaders in high level management positions represent only 14.5% for the Greater Toronto Area and 12% for Metro Vancouver

Words by Jenny Lin      Photos by Myungsook Lee

According to Statistics Canada in 2008, 40% of the Greater Toronto Area¡¯s population, which includes 25 municipalities, was of visible minority background, and this percentage is expected to increase to 63% by 2031 (Statistics Canada, 2010). The cities of Metro Vancouver, which include Richmond, Burnaby, Vancouver, Surrey, and Port Coquitlam, are known to have a high concentration of people from visible minority backgrounds.  At the moment, visible minorities account for approximately 51% of the population from these five municipalities, and this percentage is also expected to increase by 2031.  Both the GTA and Metro Vancouver are very diverse in terms of population compared to other places in Canada; however, does this reality reflect itself in all aspects of our daily lives? More story is comming (6th Issue) 

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What do you have?

  Share with us your news or events on diversity at editor@diversemagazine.ca


Diversity in Canadian Workplaces

What are the obstacles to a better

form of ¡°diversity¡± in the workplace?

Words, research & photos by Myungsook Lee


 DIVERSE 5th Issue

We are pleased to announce that DIVERSE 5th issue, Summer 2011 has been released.  


12 Diversity in Canadian Workplaces What are the obstacles to a better form of ¡°diversity¡± in the workplace?

- Open Door Group

- BC Workplace Diversity Inclusion Awards

6 BC¡¯s Diversity through 30 portraits



2 ThePower of Exchange A Historic Collaboration between Germany¡¯s

Premiere Art Collections and Canada¡¯s First Nations

28 Ezra Kwizera  Born in Uganda to Rwandese refugee parents, Canadian Musician and genocide  survivor speaks on the art of  forgiveness and of adapting to Canadian culture

42 Dana Claxton  

The Mustang Suite: Questioning mobility, freedom and autonomy 


24 Gung Haggis Fat Choy in Vancouver, BC: The Diversity of Canada      

38 Denise Brillon Breaking barriers in the fashion world



32 Pysanky¡¯s Resurgence

Joan Brander¡¯s contribution to the renaissance in traditional

Ukrainian egg art


10 Publisher¡¯s Note

27 Benefits of being a bilingual writer

31 Canadians come in all differences



35 News Briefs on Multiculturalism

36 Publisher¡¯s Picks


You Can Order Here.




Why does diversity in the workplace matter?

There are absolutely a few reasons that now ¡°diversity in the workplace¡± is becoming a hot issue in Canada, although our geographically closest neighbour, the USA, is far more active than Canada on this matter. Consumers are getting more diverse as we see demographic changes in Canada. In particular, each year the number of newcomers adds into these new changes, as Statistics Canada anticipates minority populations will more than double in the next 20 years—from 2.3 million in 2006 to 5.6 million in 2031. City of Toronto suburbs are expected to surpass the 50 per cent visible minority mark in 2017. By 2031, almost 63 per cent of the region¡¯s population will be from a visible minority community.

This demographic change affects not only relationships between companies and their customers, but also culture within companies themselves. Wendy Cukier from The Diversity Institute at Ryerson University comments on diversity in the workplace in the report titled Diversity—The Competitive Edge: Implications for the ICT Labour Market: ¡°Having a diverse workforce can improve the bottom line, create global business opportunities¡¦¡¦ [and] enhance creativity and innovation within the organization.¡±   

Read full story

Denise Brillon

Breaking barriers in the fashion world

Words by Esther Hsieh     Photo by Myungsook Lee  


Denise Brillon selects a gemstone from the pile in front of her, holds it up to the large window in her studio, and carefully studies it. The pile in front of her is an eclectic collection of beads, gemstones, antler bones, abalone and other beautiful things that she has collected over the years. ¡°l like to work with opposites, I like to find a way to bring them together,¡± she says. She is talking about her fashion and jewelry designs, but it¡¯s also a telling statement about her attitude towards inter-cultural relationships.

Ms. Brillon is a Vancouver-based fashion designer and is one of a handful of First Nations designers who have enjoyed success on the catwalks from Toronto to Milan. While being a minority in the fashion world has its challenges, blazing the trail for future generations and breaking stereotypes is something Ms. Brillon takes in stride and does with pride.

More story is in a hard copy


British Comubia

2012 Provost¡¯s Diversity Research Forum

University of Victoria: January 23 and 24, 2012



DiversityConference 2012

University of British Columbia: 11-13 June, 2012 201

12th International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations




14th National Metropolis Conference
Westin Harbour Castle, in Toronto, Ontario: February 29, 2012- March 3, 2012

Future Immigration Policies: Challenges and Opportunities for Canada





"Who are Canadians?"












on Life

starts with



BC¡¯s Diversity through 30 portraits

BC PEOPLE (www.bcpeople.ca) by EmbraceBC

¡°In the end, we are really all more similar than we are different¡±

Interview with Julie Gordon (BC PEOPLE Producer and Writer)

DIVERSE: What was the goal of this project? What is the message you (and government) wanted to speak out?

Julie Gordon: For me the main goal of BC People was to get real people from every corner of British Columbia to share their personal stories and opinions – in the context of multiculturalism, of course. We were hoping to create something authentic and to showcase a broad cross-section of people who live in BC.

Read full story


The Mustang Suite:

Questioning mobility, freedom and autonomy

Interview by Myungsook Lee      


Myungsook Lee: How do you enjoy teaching at the University of British Columbia so far, and how are your experiences different from other educational institutions where you have already taught?

Dana Claxton: I started to teach in the Fall 2010 semester at UBC. I taught at Simon Fraser University in a Research Chair Position in the Women¡¯s Studies Department and I was an adjunct professor at Emily Carr. I also taught at the Indigenous Media Arts Group. I like teaching at large universities, as one gets to work with an array of students from different departments.

More story is in a hard copy

The Power of Exchange

A Historic Collaboration between Germany¡¯s Premiere Art Collections and Canada¡¯s First Nations

Words by Virginia Dowdell          

This summer, a cultural exchange that is the first of its kind in the world is taking place between the Dresden State Art Collections in Germany and the U¡¯mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada. The exchange involves historic cultural artifacts, and is meant to explore the act of sharing and its connection to power—power to inform, power to transform, and power gained through giving.

More story is in a hard copy

The Fleur de Lis Forever Maillardville¡¯s heritage buildings      

a French Canadian legacy


Words by Eileen Velthuis   Photos by Myungsook Lee

British Columbia¡¯s historic buildings are mostly several hundred years younger than those considered historic in other parts of the world, such as Europe, or even eastern Canada. Despite the relative youth of B.C.¡¯s structures, history can be found, and in some neighbourhoods, heritage buildings can be visited, used, and enjoyed throughout the year by tourists and residents alike.


More story is in a hard copy

Louise Francis-Smith¡¯s Lens

Old Chinatown and its legacy for 30 years


Words by Virginia Gillespie   Photos by Louise Francis-Smith


Photographer Louise Francis-Smith, originally from New Zealand, has lived in the Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver for over 30 years.

Her photographs highlight historic Chinatown and Strathcona as it looked 30 years ago as well as antiquated character homes from disrepair to restoration. She also photographs portraits of the people and lifestyles found in the neighbourhood.


More story is in a hard copy





Multiculturalism & Multicultiphobia

Do you have anxiety of losing English Canada? Then it is time for a dialogue

Interview with Phil Ryan, author of Multicultiphobia, and associate professor at Carleton University

Interview & photos by Myungsook Lee

Since the announcement of the 2031 outlook on population by Stats Canada: About one - third of Canada¡¯s population will be a visible minority by 2031 and anxiety has been expressed in the media.

DIVERSE is very interested in reviewing Multicultiphobia because of its timely response to this complicated issue of Multiculturalism. We believe the book has very comprehensive analysis of the comments from critics. And it helps us understand the debate on multiculturalism.

Myungsook Lee: I am interested in how your readers have been responding to your book, Multicultiphobia, since you published it on June 2010.

Phil Ryan: I¡¯ve heard from many readers who tell me they enjoyed the book. One professor using it for a course told me that the book was sparking good debates in her classroom, which I was particularly pleased to hear.

Read full story

DIVERSE Special Questioning Canadian Multiculturalism 

Debunking the Fragmentation Critique of Multiculturalism

Essay by Lloyd L. Wong     Photos by Myungsook Lee  

Multiculturalism has never been accepted wholeheartedly by Canadians whether it was in the form of public philosophy, official state policy, or actual practice on the ground. For example public opinion polling in Canada has consistently found that a significant minority of Canadians disapprove of multiculturalism in Canada and in recent years this figure has been around 25% of the population.

Read full story

What do you think?

Share your ideas with us at editor@diversemagazine.ca


Are International Students  welcomed?

Words & photos by Myungsook Lee

Rise and fall in numbers of international students

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, every year more than 136 countries send their students called international or foreign students to Canada. Last year, 85,140 new students came to Canada. Most of them are from Asia: China (19.2%), South Korea (11.2%), India (6.7%) and Japan (3.8%) while USA (5.3%) and European countries such as France (5.3%), Germany (2.7%), UK (1.6%) comprise less than 6% of all students.

Read full story

The French Connection

Francophone migrant finds community involvement is key to settling in anglo province

Words by Eileen Velthuis

Photos by Mackin House Museum Archive & Myungsook Lee

The French community of Maillardville, a historic neighbourhood in Coquitlam, B.C., has the largest concentration of Francophones in the province: of the estimated 63,000 native French speakers in B.C., 13,000 to 14,000 are said to be in Maillardville, according to the Federation des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique (FFCB).

More story is in a hard copy

Artist, Maya de Forest

I love here now

Interview by Myungsook Lee

Your project  I love here now was exhibited in 2007 at the Access Gallery in Vancouver. This project is very strong and shows a part of Canadian identity with the figure of mother and the Canadian landscape through still images. I read an article that your mother has been in hospital. Since this project, are there any changes in your life related to your mother or family?

My mother suffered from a stroke last year so I have been temporarily living back in Winnipeg. She has made a huge recovery, but her English and also her walking have really taken a hit. She is able to still live in her home though. We are all really happy about that. My mom was looking after my father who has Alzheimer¡¯s, so we ended up having to move him to a nursing home.

Read Full Story

Sushi Phenomenon  evolution of the sushi culture in Metro Vancouver      Words by Sophia Kim  Photos by Myungsook Lee     Read full story

Discover, Build and Share Your Story   Squamish Lílwat Cultural Centre: Aboriginal Youth Ambassadors Program    Words by Tracy Stefanucci  Read more story

Surrey Public and Community Art    diversity, language and place making     Words by Virginia Gillespie     Photos by Myungsook Lee     Read full story






Where to buy DIVERSE

The copies of DIVERSE are available at the Chapters/Indigos across Canada. You can find a store near you. Click here



#4  Winter 2010 Issue


#3  Summer 2010 Issue


#2  Spring 2010 Issue


#1  Inaugural  Issue



What people say about DIVERSE

¡°The article on Canadian Refugee Reform was very well researched and offered an alternative point of view to that which we traditionally see in the mainstream media.   I really enjoyed the entire issue and found the articles both insightful and refreshing. As a bi-racial Canadian, many of the articles really spoke to me and my experience/reality living in Canada. Thanks so much for exploring these very important issues and giving voice to those who are often ignored by the mainstream. Your magazine certainly celebrates our diversity and the importance of broadening the voices and stories that shape our culture.¡± -KarenCho, Documentary Filmmaker, Montreal



 ¡°DIVERSE reflects what is in many of us: aspirations to forge new identities based on our cultural heritage and a belief in the power of Canadian diversity. Our communities are becoming increasingly diverse, indicating the need for such a publication to help us understand and embrace these new realities. As Canadians, we often stand up against discrimination, and are buoyed by the knowledge that others are doing the same. DIVERSE engages us in sharing stories and perspectives of the many people of different generations and backgrounds whose contributions make our workplaces, neighbourhoods, and cities stronger and more vibrant. -Lindsay Marsh, Safe Harbour Program Coordinator at AMSSA, Vancouver


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    DIVERSE......"Each person is born into a unique culture. All deserve respect.¡±