The Sharing Our Cultures - À la découverte de nos cultures program was established in 1999 as a result of an empirical study of the “Psychosocial needs of immigrant and refugee school children” in St. John’s (Quaicoe, 1999). During a workshop to present the study’s findings, study participants and their mainstream peers generated ideas which resulted in a drama production at the LSPU Hall and a learning resource, “Understanding children and youth new to Canada” (Quaicoe, 2001). Evaluations by teachers and students following the production suggested a format that would allow for interaction between culturally diverse school youth and visiting students. Since its inception, over 36,000 school children and youth have participated in the yearly program and events.
Since 1999, Sharing Our Cultures has expanded to engage Indigenous and Francophone youth in rural and urban communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2017, school youth from Kugluktuk, Nunavut, shared their cultures at the Sharing Our Cultures event in St. John’s and newcomer youth residing in St. John’s travelled to Kugluktuk and shared their cultures in Kugluktuk. This intercultural exchange was designed to build positive relationships between Indigenous and newcomer youth through experiential learning.
In celebration of Canada’s 150th year anniversary in 2017, school youth from across the province produced videos on what Canada means to them. Participants attended a screening of their videos and winners received cash prizes at a public awards ceremony.
In 2005, an intercultural rural program was launched for newcomer school youth residing in St. John’s to travel to rural communities. There, they shared their cultures with school children and youth and learned about the local cultures. Communities visited are Bay Roberts, Bonavista, Clarenville, Clarke’s Beach, Marystown, Old Perlican, Port Rexton, Random Island, and Swift Current.
Since 2010, Cultural Con‘txt’, a collection of stories, poems, and drawings, has been distributed twice a year to Grade six students in the province. This resource encourages students’ literary and artistic skills, as well as discussions about cultural diversity in classrooms and homes.
In 2018-2019, the Sharing Our Cultures™ program and events were held at Mealy Mountain Collegiate in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Corner Brook Regional High School in Corner Brook, Exploits Valley High in Grand Falls-Windsor, and at The Rooms in St. John’s.
Our programs and projects support the delivery of several provincial curriculum outcomes, in particular Career Development, French, Language Arts, Religion, and Social Studies.
Sharing Our Cultures Live Webcast (2018)
Sharing Our Cultures-Youth Without Borders” (2017)
Canada 150 Youth Video Festival Celebration” (2017)
Sharing Our Cultures at Clarenville” (2017)
Arts around the World
Presentations from students in years past at Sharing Our Cultures events.