It wasn’t planned that way but the Galt Museum’s new exhibit “Changing Places: Immigration and Diversity” is perfectly timed as it is all about immigrants and their contributions to the community. It is perfectly timed with the news of 25,000 refugees coming to Canada this year and 240 of them coming to Lethbridge by the end of 2016 according to Lethbridge Family Services including 125 by March 1.
It is far from the first time Lethbridge has welcomed immigrants.
“Changing Places: Immigration and Diversity” features first hand accounts of the stories of a diverse group of 20 immigrants conducted by curator Wendy Aitkens including videos accompanying the text of their stories.
They came from all over the world including Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia There are six videos featuring groups of the subjects, three interactive modules, a reading corner. It also includes pieces about the support services available to help acclimatize the newcomers to Lethbridge and Canada.
The exhibit opened Oct. 31 and runs until Jan 17.
“We started this project two years ago, but it’s interesting now because of the Syrian crisis, which is the most serious situation we are facing for refugees,” said Aitkens.
“Our focus was on immigration starting after World War 2, right up to today,” she said, noting the exhibit covers post Second World War immigrants right up to the more recent arrival of the Bhutanese community.
Churches like St. Patrick’s were a big part of helping immigrants to acclimatize immigrants. In the ’80s and ’90s, a group from the church helped 100 immigrants from Vietnam and Eastern Asia to settle in Lethbridge.