How can this region become more welcoming, vibrant, and supportive?
What: AlterKnowledge Discussion on “Becoming Home: The Welcoming Okanagan?”
Who: UBC students and faculty, members of the public
When: Friday, March 20, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Ave., Kelowna
As the Okanagan region continues to be one of the fastest growing areas in the province, researchers are asking: how welcoming is the Okanagan? And can it be more welcoming, vibrant, and supportive to newcomers?
“Being welcoming is a mindset as much as a set of policies and actions,” says Kamilla Bahbahani, a local researcher and diversity consultant. “And it requires the humility that comes with historical consciousness—recognizing that outside of the Syilx peoples, we are all newcomers of one kind or another to this area."
The Central Okanagan, situated on unceded Syilx lands, has been growing internally and through immigration for decades. What ideas, actions, and approaches would be most constructive towards building a welcoming, integrated, healthy community in our area, while at the same time respecting the existing and increasing diversity of this region?
Bahbahani, along with Katelin Mitchell, immigrant services manager with Kelowna Community Resources, will facilitate a discussion about research on demographics and welcoming initiatives in order to generate further insights on how Kelowna can become a more welcoming and supportive region.
“Agencies, government, community groups, and individuals have been working on a wide range of endeavors for decades to increase Kelowna's openness and resilience,” says Bahbahani. “Since Kelowna keeps growing, there is room for even more efforts every year.”
This AlterKnowledge Discussion will explore Kelowna’s past and future as a welcoming place. The event is free, open the public, and takes place at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Avenue, on Friday, March 20 starting at 7 p.m.
The AlterKnowledge Discussion series, organized by UBC Asst. Prof. Allison Hargreaves and Assoc. Prof. David Jefferess, aims to foster community-engaged knowledge-making, rather than simply providing a venue for the presentation of research to the public. The series seeks to bring people together to discuss, share, and learn, focusing on critical engagements with the way colonialism continues to shape relationships and identities in both local and global contexts.