The Reach Gallery Museum holds a tour with artist Marian Penner Bancroft on Saturday, Nov. 8 as part of the “By Land and Sea (Prospect and Refuge)” exhibition.
The free tour starts at 1 p.m. and is followed by a conversation on forced migration, relocation, refugee repatriation and resettlement.
Panel members joining Penner Bancroft are Jennifer Mpungu, refugee program coordinator with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), and resettled Ethiopian refugee Direz Meliki.
Penner Bancroft’s exhibition and story charts the journeys of her father’s Mennonite family from what is now the Ukraine and her mother’s Presbyterian farm family from northern Scotland.
One of her art pieces is the famous 700-year-old oak tree in Chortitza, the history-making site of the first Mennonite gathering in Southern Russia in 1789. A seedling from this tree is currently growing on the west lawn of The Reach.
Mpungu willspeak about the current refugee policy in Canada and how our country has responded to its international obligations towards refugees in the face of this escalating crisis across the world.
Meliki will share how it feels to walk in his shoes as a government-assisted refugee resettled to Canada.
For Meliki, the promise of a country where he would contribute his intellect and creativity hit a wall as soon as he landed here.
His is a story of survival and resilience trying to build community, make a living and deal with finding his way, in more ways than one; he’s blind.
The “By Land and Sea” exhibit runs until Jan. 4 at the museum, 32388 Veterans Way. To register for the tour or for more information, visit thereach.ca.