submitted by Melissa Francis
We Are Neighbours is back for its sixth year. The annual story-sharing campaign run by the St. Lawrence-Rideau Immigration Partnership features Leeds and Grenville residents sharing their words and experiences through stories and interviews. The campaign will run until October and is accepting new stories and participants.
Designed to showcase the diversity of the people, experiences, and ways of life in Leeds and Grenville,
We Are Neighbours has featured individuals from every municipality and over thirty different countries to date. This year has also included a travelling display with stories from the past six years, an interactive map, a welcoming community word cloud, and more! This display has visited the Brockville Library,
Brockville YMCA, Brockville Museum, and will be moving on to libraries in Augusta, Leeds and the 1000 Islands, Rideau Lakes, and Merrickville-Wolford.
Changing yearly with new themes and stories, We Are Neighbours has become one of the flagship initiatives run by the St. Lawrence-Rideau Immigration Partnership. “We receive a lot of positive feedback about We Are Neighbours,” says Melissa Francis, Program Manager. “Both from our partners and the community in general. It’s a way to showcase the welcoming aspects of the region, allow others to see themselves in those already here, and help the community learn about itself and its members. It’s always exciting to find new people and new stories to share.”
Stories shared have included those from immigrants and born-Canadian alike, with ages that have ranged from one year old to over eighty, and have included a wide range of topics such as their journey to the region, their gardens, their grandmother’s recipes, and their businesses. These stories are shared on the We Are Neighbours website as well as the St. Lawrence-Rideau Immigration Partnership’s Facebook page.
To participate, find out more, or ask questions, people can visit www.weareneighbours.ca, where all previous stories are also available to read, or contact Lauren Smith at [email protected]/613-213-4455.