There are slightly more than 35 million people, of all ages, living in Canada. These people represent over 200 ethnic groups, with 13 of these ethnic groups consisting of over 1 million people each.
Immigration has contributed to the diversity of Canada’s growing population. In fact, about 22% of Canadians today were not born in Canada. If Canada’s current immigration policies and rates remain as they are, it is projected that by the year 2031, about 28% of Canadians will be foreign-born. This means that the population of Canada will become even more ethno-culturally diverse than ever before.
From the food that we eat, the way that we cook, the traditions we celebrate or the social activities we partake in, we all have so much culture to share with one another. Now that we live side by side, from your next-door neighbours to our fellow Canadians from other provinces, we all have a very unique opportunity to not only maintain our own cultures, but to learn from other cultures who reside around us and share the beliefs, practices, and habits that can lead to a stronger and happier community to be.
As a community, anything that we plan must be with the consideration of these ethno-cultural diversities – being leisure social activities, sports, educational activities, or even healthcare. In anything that we do, we need to have a good understanding of our population diversity and provide our service, or activity in a manner that is respectful of all. To be able to do this, as a community we need to create opportunities to get to know each other’s culture and perspectives. An easy way to begin is by sharing food and music. So, we are planning a cultural get-together for residents of Whyte Ridge and Linden Ridge sometime early in the New Year. My family & I are proud Canadian-Iranians who live in Whyte Ridge, and will be contributing our signature cultural dishes to the event along with helping coordinate it. However, we’re going to need help from other volunteers in the area! If you’d like to help us out or get involved in any way, please contact me at: Diversity@Whyteridge.ca