Sharred Journeys is a new program that embraces West Vancouver’s rich cultural diversity, bringing people together through stories, conversation and activities. By exploring what we have in common, as well as our differences, this program inspires openness, respect and curiosity. Shared Journeys invites us to make new connections and to help build a strong and welcoming community.

This program was launched July 4, with an unveiling of the book we have chosen for our One Book, One Community district-wide reading program and a performance by Vancouver's Inter-Cultural Orchestra.

There are many ways to participate, including the One Book, One Community reading program; book chats; lectures; film screenings; an educational exhibit; a panel discussion and a winter celebration. We invite you to pick up a Shared Journeys Passport at any of the Library Service desks for a full listing of programs. 

For every event that you participate in, we will provide you with a Shared Journeys ballot which you can use to enter a prize draw for one of two $100 gift certificates to Park Royal. 

One Book, One Community  

Book cover of Homes: A Refugee StoryA One Book, One Community initiative, a District-wide reading and discussion program that encouraged West Vancouverites to come together and explore ideas by reading a single book: Homes: A Refugee Story, by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung. At Book Chats led by Library facilitators, people came together to engage in conversation about compelling themes,  develop new connections through stories, and learn about the cultural diversity of West Vancouver.   

Homes: A Refugee Story 

Homes: A Refugee Story | Further Readings



Where we came from — Lectures 

This two-part September lecture series examined the complex migration patterns and legacy of racism that shape our community. 

SuperdiversityDaniel Hiebert, Professor, Dept. of Geography, UBC. 

Does Canada’s history of racism continue to shape our communities?  Henry Yu, Associate Professor, Dept. of History, UBC

Philosophers' Café 

In fall 2019, our Philosophers’ Café topics reflected our Shared Journeys themes. 

Film Screening

All Our Father's Relations — This award-winning documentary which follows the Grant siblings, born to a Musqueam mother and Chinese father, as they journey from Vancouver to China in an attempt to rediscover their father’s roots was screened in September. The film is a unique look at the interconnected histories of Chinese and First Nations communities in early British Columbia, revealing how they supported and lived alongside each other in the face of racism and marginalization. Director Alejandro Yoshizawa will introduce the film and answer questions after the screening. 

Connecting our stories

A Friday evening event: Shared Journeys: Connecting Our Stories, was a panel discussion on the ways that stories connect us and the diverse journeys to this place. Guest panelists included: Winnie Yeung, author of Homes: A Refugee Story (WVML's inaugural Shared Journeys One Book, One Community title); Chepximiya Siyam’/Chief Janice George, hereditary chief and master weaver from the Squamish Nation; Ahmad Danny Ramadan, award-winning Syrian-Canadian author and LGBTQ refugee activist; and Maureen Lee, District Principal of Student Support Services for the West Vancouver School District.  The panel was moderated by Alexander Dirksen. 

Winter Celebrations

This all-age event celebrated the many ways winter is celebrated around the world and in our own community. Participants learned about different cultural celebrations, made festive crafts and enjoyed holiday treats. 

Program Participants

Henry Yu
Henry Yu is an Associate Professor of History, and the Principal of St. John’s College, UBC. He received his BA in History (Honours) from UBC and an MA and PhD in History from Princeton University. Prof. Yu’s research and teaching has been built around collaboration with local communities and civic society at multiple levels, in particular in the digital humanities.
Winnie Yeung
Yeung has been an English teacher for over ten years. Homes is her first book and received extensive critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction and the 2019 Writers’ Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing. Homes was also a finalist on CBC’s Canada Reads 2019.
Daniel Hiebert
Daniel Hiebert is a Professor of Geography at UBC who specializes in issues of public policy. Professor Hiebert’s personal research interests focus on immigration policy, the integration of newcomers into the housing and labour markets of Canadian cities and the consequences of the growing ‘super-diversity’ of Canadian society. He has also participated in a number of public advisory roles. He served as a Co-Chair of the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration, and is currently a member of the Deputy Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s Advisory Council. Professor Hiebert's website.
Chepximiya Siyam’ / Chief Janice George
Chief Janice George is a master weaver and teaching artist from the Squamish Nation. A hereditary chief, trained museum curator and educator, she has integrated the Squamish teachings from her Late Grandmother Kwitelut-t Lena Jacobs who was directly connected to pre-contact times, and other Squamish ancestors into her teachings.
Ahmad Danny Ramadan
Ahmad Danny Ramadan is an award-winning Syrian-Canadian author, public speaker and LGBTQ refugee activist. Since his arrival to Canada as a refugee, Ramadan published his award-winning debut novel, The Clothesline Swing. He is currently working on his next novel and a collection of short fiction. His children's book, Salma the Syrian Chef, is to be released in 2020. He was named among the Top Immigrants to Canada 2017, won the Social Activist StandOut Award and won the Independent Publisher Book Award for LGBTQ fiction. He is currently finishing his Masters in Fine Arts, Creative Writing at UBC.
Maureen Lee
Lee's background includes over 25 years of working with children, youth and families as a teacher, administrator and elementary counsellor in the public school system. This experience grounds her belief that all clients have the strengths and ability to make positive changes in their lives. Lee is currently the District Principal of Student Support Services for School District 45 (West Vancouver) and has a small private counselling practice. She believes that in education and counselling, there is a moral imperative to improve issues of social justice. As such, she works with staff to increase knowledge, awareness and practices to make our schools safer and more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ members of our school communities.
Alexander Dirksen - Panel Moderator
A proud member of Métis Nation BC, Dirksen's work is driven by a deep personal commitment to decolonizing himself and his community. He currently serves as Program Director for Community Knowledge Exchange (CKX) and sits on the City of Vancouver’s Urban Indigenous Peoples’ Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors of Apathy is Boring and on the Partnerships Committee of the Vancouver Foundation.

We acknowledge the Squamish Nation, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the Musqueam People, who since time immemorial have lived on the land now referred to as the Greater Vancouver and Sea to Sky regions.

Learn about our Honouring Reconciliation programs and activities.

Thank you to our Shared Journeys funders: