Winnipeg students learn multicultural harmony through art

About 40 students and educators participated in the 'Building Bridges' workshop on Wednesday by the Creative Foundation. The one-day workshop uses various disciplines of art to foster multicultural harmony.

There is power in our uniqueness, says Sunday Olukoju, president of the Creative Foundation.

Local filmmaker Randy Guest explains to a workshop with Winnipeg students how framed images loose the context of what surrounds where the image is being captured. (CBC)

Dozens of Winnipeg students spent the day learning how to live with different cultures in harmony.

About 40 students and educators participated in the 'Building Bridges' workshop on Wednesday by the Creative Foundation. The one-day workshop uses various disciplines of art to foster multicultural harmony.  

The group believes that art is universal and accessible. And no matter the language or the genre, art forms can connect people.  Participants in the workshop were exposed to diversity using hands-on techniques and exercises.

"Canada is not a melting pot, Canada is a mosaic, where [there are] different people, different cultures, different beliefs, but in that distances there's a connecting point a connecting light," explained Sunday Olukoju, president of the Creative Foundation.

Olukoju has only been president of the foundation for a year and the event is a bit of a revival for the organization. The group had run workshops annually int he past, but hasn't put one on since 2004.  

For Olukoju, culture is more than ethnicity and what country you are from, it's who you are.  

"Being able to be aware of the differences we share as human beings and the fact that we all have differences," Olukoju continued.  "There is power in our uniqueness."

Presenters at the workshop included visual artists Yisa Akinbolaji and Becky Thiessen, intercultural and diversity educator Sue Hemphill and local filmmaker Randy Guest.  

Guest was the director of a music video that was produced by students and faculty at Berens River School in northern Manitoba.  The video has had thousands of views online and was used as an example of how art can connect people.

The group hopes that the students walk away from the workshop more culturally competent and better equipped to be global citizens and future leaders.