Fort McMurray creating multilingual national anthem for Canada Day

Not sure this is the best way to celebrate multiculturalism as the two official languages are part of integration (have more sympathy in case of Indigenous languages). Similarly, I would not be in favour of taking the citizenship oath in a non-official language, Indigenous possibly excepted:

The Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo is making a multilingual version of O Canada to celebrate Canada Day.

The idea was born in part from the fact there are 50 languages spoken in Wood Buffalo, says executive director Therese Greenwood.

“It’s not something that people are generally aware of when they think of Fort McMurray,” Greenwood said.

Given the community is currently faced with an economic downturn, flood recovery and a pandemic, the association wanted to do something that would bring the community together, she said.”What we’re asking people to do is show your Canadian pride by being creative. Have your kids draw Canadian flags, dress in red and white, do whatever you want to do to celebrate the day,” Greenwood said.

“Eat a butter tart while you’re singing.”

Greenwood said there are already two submissions, one in Cree and one in Russian, with many more coming in.

Daisy Mella, 16, is sending in her submission; she’s singing in Tagalog.

Mella, who moved to Fort McMurray from the Philippines five years ago, said the strong Filipino community makes it easy to stay connected to her culture, while projects like this help.

“It’s really important to celebrate where you come from,” she said.Rory O’Hearn, a music teacher in Fort McMurray, has been trying to find ways to get his students excited about music class from home.

He’s putting a call out to his more than 400 students hoping for a few dozen kids to sing O Canada in Cree, French and English.

“I like to give them some kind of challenge and something to look forward to,” O’Hearn said. “A lot of them are bored at home.”

O’Hearn said he’s excited to celebrate Canada Day even if the traditional celebrations aren’t an option this year.

“I’m hoping this can bring some kind of joy.”

Galina Bala submitted her Russian version of the anthem. She was excited about the project, because she wanted to celebrate multiculturalism.”The closer we get, the greater life is,” Bala said.

Bala said she likes the feeling she gets when people speak to her in Russian in her day-to-day life, even if they only know one word. And to her, this multilingual anthem project is meant to give people the same feeling, but on a larger scale.

“Different languages with the same meaning… That’s what’s great about it.”

All of the videos will be posted on the association’s YouTube page. It will create one version of O Canada using all of the submissions for Canada Day.

“This kind of project is not a hard sell. People are all over this kind of thing,” Greenwood said.

The deadline for submissions is June 14.

Source: Fort McMurray creating multilingual national anthem for Canada Day

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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