Interpretation of what Canada means, can take on many forms for people who arrive from elsewhere.
CBC’s Kim Trynacity spoke with six people who have chosen to make Canada their home, and discovered that a photograph can their expose deep and unique attachment to their new country, and reveal personal tales of hardship and hope.
The result of these conversation is “Look at My Canada,” and the photos taken are as unique as each participant’s story of arriving and living in Canada.
Each participant – all of whom have been through programs at Norquest College – were asked to take a photograph that best represented how they are becoming Canadian. The photos prompted a deeper discussion with participants about what brought them to this country, and why home is now Canada.
Click through the gallery above to see the six photographers' images, and hear why they selected the picture.
Have a picture that means Canada to you? Tweet us @CBCEdmonton or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the photographers
Akuage Kir came to Edmonton from South Sudan in 2007. To her, the flower represents multiple layers of learning and hope for the future of her family. The photo was taken last week when Akuage took her daughter to the hospital. It was there, she was struck by the beauty of the flower, and what it represents.
Growing up in southern China, Lili rarely saw a clear open sky in her city of ten million people. The skyscrapers, the noise and the difficulty of getting ahead for her young son prompted she and her husband to move to Canada. LiLi loves the quiet of Edmonton, and is captivated by the big prairie sky.
Cora Crickmay came to Edmonton from the Philipines 17 years ago. She tried living in Calgary, but found Edmonton was more fitting to her "country girl" style. She married a Canadian man, and a few years ago, was able to relocate her parents to Canada. Two months ago, they too became Canadian citizens.
Anita Rao and her husband researched the world before deciding that Edmonton was the best place for them. Studying the economic downturn in 2008, Anita learned that Alberta held the best prospect for them to pursue jobs and prosperity. They left India and bought a home in downtown Edmonton. Anita secured a job with Norquest college, where she marvels at the diversity and opportunity before her.
Jeewan Chapagain was born in Bhutan. He came to Canada 3 years ago from a refugee camp in Nepal where he lived for 19 years.The most difficult adjustment for Jeewan, was learning the names of people he met. He says he had never met anyone named "Brenda" until he came to Edmonton. He's grown to love the cold winters in Edmonton, though admits it was hard for him at first. He had never seen snow, and wondered what the powder was, that was covering the ground. It had a lasting impression on him.
Hiyam Qrati was a refugee from Iraq and Syria. As a University English teacher in Iraq, she knew it was time to leave when families around her were getting killed. After her husband died in a car crash, she packed up her children and left her home country. She came to Edmonton two years ago where she is grateful for the peace and tranquility of a safe environment for her children.
Kim Trynacity conducted these interviews with fellow researcher Brenda Mein as part of her Masters of Intercultural and International Communications through Royal Roads University in Victoria.