PEI

Newcomers to be featured on new banners in O'Leary

The Town of O'Leary will be putting up banners this summer on 12 light poles on Main Street, each featuring a different photo of a newcomer to the area in a town setting.

'We'd like to make them feel more welcome'

Newcomers learn to skate this past winter at the O'Leary arena. (Submitted by Scott Smith)

The Town of O'Leary will be putting up banners this summer on 12 light poles on Main Street, each featuring a different photo of a newcomer to the area in a town setting.

Town officials are calling the displays "diversity banners" and say they want to signal that they are welcoming everyone.

"O'Leary has always prided itself on being a welcoming community," said Judy MacIsaac, the town councillor who came up with the idea. 

"We have lots of people moving here from Ontario and B.C., but we also have the newcomers from foreign countries like India, Vietnam, we have a Filipino community here and they are all moving into our town. So we'd like to make them feel more welcome.

"They'll see that they are a part of the town."

Learning from one another

A local photographer will be helping with the project.

The town is seeking half the cost of the project from the province's community revitalization program, and the town will cover the other half, MacIsaac said. 

The diversity banners should be up by June and will stay up until fall. 

MacIsaac said the people of O'Leary and the newcomers are enjoying learning from one another and doing things together, through events such as learning to skate at the local rink and online cooking classes arranged by community navigators across P.E.I. 

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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