Celebrating Community Impact Together
by Lisa Severn
Make a donation to The Gift of Community Impact Campaign today!
What a night?! We gained more from the Community Impact Celebration than we expected – and many audience members relayed the wonderful impact it had on them, too.
In fact, we believe we all walked away with a greater sense of belonging. And for that, we thank YOU!
The audience received a beautiful opening address by Georgina Dan from the Líl̓wat nation. Which included a traditional song with Georgina’s simple, but resounding, drum. Her singing was calming, and yet captivating. Thank you, Georgina.
The night carried on. One after another community members took the stage to remind us of how success by way of community grants applies here in Whistler.
Through the Environmental Legacy Fund, we have seen organizations, like the Whistler Naturalists, AWARE, Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council, make great strides in educating us all on why we must preserve the nature (and glaciers) that we enjoy in this incredibly diverse valley (like 800+ mushroom species diverse). Hearing those stories through the words of the nature-lovers that make up each organization was compelling.
Later in the program, we heard from grantees who made a difference in Whistler’s social fabric. From neighbourhood grants to suicide prevention speakers, we heard stories of how we can work together to ensure everyone feels included and safe.
One person’s story stood out as a sign that Whistler has the strength to be welcoming and inclusive. Barbora, from the Multi-Cultural Network, began her grant story with a woman who ventured from Japan to Whistler to join her husband.
In her early Whistler life, she was totally immersed in Japanese culture. She took a job at a Japanese restaurant and shared a living space with other Japanese people.
ESL classes are what started her journey toward stepping outside her comforting circle.
As she gained confidence with English, she became a cook at the Multi-Cultural Kitchen. And, as a cook she taught the group how to prepare a traditional Japanese meal – all in English!
Then, she and her husband expanded their family with a newborn -- which in turn expanded her Whistler friendships, because the Multi-Cultural Network introduced her to the Parenting Across Cultures program.
Her story continues with a recent business venture into Japanese flavoured treats. To get there, she learned Food Safe in English. And the local settlement services provided her with the tools to set up a business.
She sold her first Japanese delights at the Multicultural Festival – a festival that introduces locals and visitors to cultures from around the world through food, activities and performances.
While the Multi-Cultural Network has real strength of its own, in their stories we find that their participants gain a sense of belonging through funding provided by the community grants program.
Sadly, the community grants program receives more applications and requests for funding than our endowment supplies each year.
That’s why we are raising $10,000 by December 31st at 11:59 pm.
You can help with a donation to The Gift of Community Impact campaign. All proceeds will be added to the principle of the Caring Community Fund and your investment will grow and supply funds in perpetuity.
An enormous thank you goes out the Multi-Cultural Kitchen for donating your time and serving delicious bites of food with recipes originating from Japan, Czech Republic and Spain. Thank you to all of the presenters for the incredible impact you’ve had on our community.
Thank you to our Community Impact Celebration sponsor: