Published Dec 11, 2015As Syrian refugees arrive in Canada, they will be able to experience some of our country's cultural offerings completely free of charge. This is thanks to a new initiative from the Canada Council for the Arts and Sun Life Financial, who are launching a $200,000 program to give refugees free access to arts events.
This means the money will go towards giving the refugees access to concerts, in addition to theatre events, exhibitions and more. The plan is this initiative will support arts organizations who wish to provide free access to refugees.
Canada Council CEO Simon Brault said in an announcement in Montreal today (December 11):
We know the welcome and integration of refugees is a highly complex and multifaceted process, and this initiative is one modest piece of much broader collective and national efforts. We also know that arts and culture can be a refuge, a celebration of diversity, and source of inspiration and connection. Our message on behalf of the arts community to newcomers is, 'Welcome, we are so happy to have you in our communities, we welcome you to our spaces, performances and events when you are ready.'
Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly said in a statement:
All Canadians are encouraged to join in the efforts to help Syrian refugees flourish in their new communities. I am pleased to support this initiative that will allow newcomers to discover Canadian culture through enriching cultural and artistic experiences.
Details will be announced in March, and the initiative will begin in April. It will run through 2016 and 2017.