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Shaping culture

Pier 21's new exhibit crossed the country to help define Canada

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Shaping Canada: Exploring Cultural Landscapes
  • Shaping Canada: Exploring Cultural Landscapes

This week the museum at Pier 21 will officially launch its exhibition Shaping Canada: Exploring Cultural Landscapes, which features contemporary and archival photography, oral histories, public programming and events throughout the show's summer run. Last year staff met up with photographer Naomi Harris, a Torontonian based in New York, while Harris was travelling across the country photographing Canadians in their everyday. Eventually they landed on the umbrella theme of culture. "Culture is the things we do think and feel," says Tanya Bouchard, the museum's curator. They broke it down into seven themes--- identity and the land, kinship, food and family, recreation, asserting voice, maintaining belief and neighbourhoods---reached out to cultural pockets across the country (including the Halifax Lebanese community, the Jewish quarter in Montreal and Vancouver's Sikh neighbourhoods) and gathered stories to accompany Harris' portraits. "Hopefully this is the start of a discussion," says Bouchard. "This is not final, it's an exploration that will keep going." —Tara Thorne

Opening reception Tuesday June 19, 7-9pm, To September 3, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, 1051 Marginal Road, 9:30am-5:30pm, free-$8.60, pier21.ca

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