Pier 21

Pier 21

Adult Education

Rebecca MacKenzie-Hopkins, Public Programs Manager | Gestionnaire de la programmation publique 
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 | Musée canadien de l’immigration du Quai 21

Short Interview

In honour of Filipino heritage month, a new commemorative month in Canada, Rebecca organized an event that was held at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. The event included a film presentation and a panel with the Filipino film makers and movie subjects from Labrador. It also included choir and dance performances, an artist’s installation as well as authentic food to taste, which was all created and performed by the local Haligonian Filipino community.

Rebecca recognized the event would be more powerful if various modes of communication could help to express elements of Filipino culture in the Canadian context. According to Halliday’s (1978) theorization of the social functions of language, “a mode is understood as an outcome of the cultural shaping of a material. The resources come to display regularities through the ways in which people use them. In other words, in a specific context (time and place) modes are shaped by the daily social interaction of people” (pg. 22). This compilation of various modes (oral, visual, spatial, gestural, etc) as a reflection of Filipino heritage worked together with the social interaction of attendees to fully immerse the makers and the audience in understanding  and articulating important elements of culture, thus reflecting that language is always socially situated. Listen below to Rebecca describe the synergy of this event.

Check out this link to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 | Musée canadien de l’immigration du Quai 21 available in English and French: https://pier21.ca/

Kristine Kovacevic, Interpretation and Visitor Experience Manager | Gestionnaire l’interprétation et de l’expérience du visiteur
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 | Musée canadien de l’immigration du Quai 21

Short Interview

Kristine highlights Refuge Canada, an exhibit created by Pier 21 to represent what it means to become a refugee. The idea that nobody wants to be a refugee, but anyone can become one depending on their circumstances is brought to life through re-enactment, stories, and videos.

The end of the exhibit allowed for attendees to share their experiences of how refugees have contributed to their own communities. According to Thibaut and Curwood (2018), “technologies not only have expanded the opportunities for meaning making but have also shaped the relationship between the writer and the text, allowing the author to also become a designer and producer” (p. 49). These adult learners did not simply move through the exhibit passively, but rather they were able to develop their own understanding through ongoing interaction with the exhibit, for example, using their own life experiences, through an interactive computer program, they found out whether or not they would have been a refugee in another time and place. These adult learners at the end of Refuge Canada were asked to comment in writing on their own personal understanding and experience with refugees’ contributions to Canada and the world. Listen below to Kristine illuminate the Refuge Canada experience.

This is the link to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. This website is offers much to discover for educators in both English and French: https://pier21.ca/

Here is a link to the Refuge Canada Travelling Exhibit, available in English and French, which includes lesson plans for teachers: https://pier21.ca/host-refuge-canada-our-newest-travelling-exhibit