My Brampton Day: CBC Toronto and Brampton Library come together to 'celebrate' community connections
CBC hosts a day-long event at Springdale Branch Library
CBC Toronto partnered with the Brampton Library for a day of interactive events capped by a lively panel, highlighting the best the city has to offer.
"We want to make this a celebration of things that will come, to listen and to hear all about the vibrancy of our great city." Brampton Library CEO Todd Kyle said.
The day kicked off with the unveiling of a sculpture by local artist Abiola Idowu. Called Reading Girl, the sculpture welcomes visitors to the library both literally and metaphorically inviting them to join her and share a story.
Jessica Gerardi, 16, a library regular, loved the addition.
"Libraries are a big community space and having a monument made by Brampton artists adds to that community feel," she told CBC.
"I'm really looking forward to the day when I hear someone say 'meet me at the Reading Girl," added Kyle.
In the afternoon, visitors participated in an interactive art exhibit led by Abiola Idowu, sponsored by Brampton's art council.
Aanchal Tripathi Gulati and her two children enjoyed getting involved in this art project "In the last 2 years this is the first time we have had something like this." Gulati calls it a pleasant surprise and adds, "it's nice to see something where families can come together."
A number of CBC journalists were also on hand, leading a series of listening sessions, a chance for the community to highlight issues they think deserve more coverage.
Prasanna Rajagopalan, CBC Toronto's Director of Journalism and Programming said it was a great opportunity to hear first hand about issues affecting Bramptonians.
"The issues that they discussed in the context of a pre-election period help us identify how we shine a light on those issues and hold those in power to account," he explained after the event.
This first ever collaboration between CBC and the Brampton library was capped off by "All Roads Lead to Brampton," a lively one-hour discussion that attracted a packed house. The panel was made up of some of the city's brightest talents from the arts, culture, business and sports scene.
Actor and director Kiran Rai, Toronto FC player Ayo Akinola, author Jael Richardson and chef Rick Matharu provided the audience with a thoughtful and enthusiastic conversation about how Brampton influenced and shaped their careers.
Jael Richardson highlighted Brampton's diversity as a key creative driver. Richardson, executive director of the Festival of Literary Diversity based in Brampton, explained what makes Brampton stand apart.
"What makes Brampton so special for me, what I love about it is that the people in Brampton, we recognize we are underdogs," Richardson told the audience. "We have chosen to pick this place to let our story play out … and there is a special connection in that."
The panel also discussed the "bad rap" the city gets and how it's motivated them to pave the way for the next generation of leaders. For Kiran Rai, Brampton is the foundation for her art. As a storyteller, she told the audiences she's always striving to offer a fresh perspective on a community that's misrepresented.
"That's the power of storytellers, that's the power of film and art. We can share our own narratives, not in a way that vilifies our communities," Rai told the crowd, many of whom nodded in agreement. "That's the power of artists, that we can do that and change that narrative and change that perspective."
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