Stages of Immigrant Settlement is an exhibition by new Canadians who immigrated from across the globe to Kelowna. Each participating photographer captured images that represented various themes related to health and wellbeing, including safety and security, social support, professional identity, cultural changes and identity. The photographers curated the exhibit to tell their stories as a collective while maintaining individual points of view and experiences.Exterior and public spaces are depicted on the surrounding walls. Reading the captions, familiar places like the global food aisle at your local grocer, or the skating rink at Stuart Park may be a source of anxiety to one new Canadian, or a place of comfort to another. The hanging installation depicts interior scenes, welcoming the public to experience more intimate spaces. Stages of Immigrant Settlement invites the community to see Kelowna from the identities and experiences of new Canadians seeking to integrate and belong.
Conducted by Dr. Shirley Chau of UBCO’s School of Social Work, the photovoice exhibition is part of a three-year study supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health and Research. Photovoice is a research method wherein participants are provided with equipment to capture images that illustrate and describe some aspect of their life experience. The study is designed to build community and knowledge to understand immigrants’ experiences of health and wellbeing in relation to their immigration and settlement.