Ever since Confederation, Black and Indigenous people, those of Asian ancestry, and other people of colour have been expressing themselves through various artforms in Canada. At Pancouver, we believe their contributions have often not received as much recognition as more Eurocentric forms of cultural expression.
As a result, many composers, playwrights, visual artists, and authors of European descent are household names in Canada, unlike the vast majority of their counterparts of other ancestries.
The mainstream’s lack of recognition for diverse artforms has led to funding inequities. Artists have been shortchanged. And audiences have been deprived of opportunities to better understand our neighbours.
The Society of We Are Canadians Too created Pancouver to foster greater awareness of underrepresented artistic communities. The online publication’s purpose is to advance appreciation of visual and performing arts—and cultural communities—through education.
In a nutshell, Pancouver will address systemic discrimination in arts and culture while enhancing Canadians’ knowledge of one another. In the process, we’ll all learn more about the histories of various communities, as well as cultural and linguistic differences within them.
More cross-cultural communication and partnerships will help arts groups from across the spectrum attract larger audiences. A rising tide of understanding lifts all of us.
We are all a product of history. Pancouver also aims to decolonize minds by shedding light on Indigenous communities on other continents. In the process, we hope to help build a more equal and empathetic society here at home.
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This learning will take many forms, including through articles translated into different languages.
In addition, various commentators will offer their perspectives on diversity with the goal of elevating awareness and building bridges. There will be no silos on the Pancouver website. We’re all in this together.
We welcome commentaries from youths and community leaders. And we’re eager to offer them in different languages to reach a broader audience.
Because Pancouver is all about education, we will also offer a “Media Classroom” for community organizations, aspiring journalists and students, and artists. We want to help people from underrepresented communities better understand how the mainstream media operates so that they can get their stories told. But it’s not restricted to specific groups. Everyone is welcome to participate.
Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has extensive experience in newspapers, magazines, television, and radio—and he’s eager to level the playing field for artists and communities, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, or proficiency in English or any other language.
One of the best ways to break down barriers is through conversation. Come and talk with us and share your story. We’re here for you.
Join the Pancouver community by signing up to the newsletter and following us on our social media channels. We want to make Metro Vancouver a beacon to the world in valuing our residents’ collective contributions to arts and culture.
Let’s all become 21st-century cultural navigators. Let’s all boost our cultural literacy for the benefit of the community!