Small town lifeFor New Canadians
Living in a small Canadian town – is it possible for an immigrant?
For immigrants living in a big city, moving to a small town and losing the resources that a big city has to offer can be hard. People don’t want to lose the connections and the feeling of comfort that they have gotten used to.
A few weeks ago, in a small community of Eastern Ontario, Renfrew/Lanark County organized a special potluck event in the town of Almonte. The aim of these events is to encourage a positive view on the future of new immigration settlement in Eastern Ontario. The Almonte locals invited immigrant communities from the City of Ottawa to participate in the event.
A lot of efforts were put into creating an environment in which a refugee and an existing community could prosper and grow together. The Renfrew / Lanark local Immigration Partnership is a great example of how a local community can do just that.
We wanted to explore the possibilities of immigrants living in a small town regardless of their immigration status.
During the Potluck Event,
I met a local new Canadian, and independent immigrant, Roopesh Kakkat, who made this task of exploring new grounds easy and interesting.
Roopesh agreed to share his story and answer our questions so that we could create a clearer picture of what building a new life in a small town can look like.
Roopesh is an inspiring and hard-working young man, who travelled from India to find his home in Almonte. Although his journey wasn’t easy, he is now settled and has become an important part of the local community.
The best way to find out more about building a life in a small community is by asking the right questions.
HAPY Creative Studio organized and facilitated a video interview in Almonte
with one goal in mind: To understand better how and why a New Canadian could build a new life in a small Canadian town.
It is impossible to ask and get answers to all the questions people may have, but this was a day of many discoveries for all participants. We hope to have sparked a conversation that will continue to spread. An initiative that may help unify the efforts of many individuals who are trying to make a difference in their community.
I am grateful to all people who joined me in this initiative.
People who made this video interview possible:
- Roopesh Kakkat -Owner of Pizza-ria Unlimited
- Lana Johnston – Community Language Support Program, Renfrew / Lanark Local Immigration Partnership
- Shawna Baker – Community Language Support Program, Renfrew / Lanark Local Immigration Partnership
- Janine Yutronkie – Algonquin College
- Heather Badham – Almonte resident
- Cathy Reside – Almont resident, Founder of The Good Food Tour
- Silvana Valentone – Catholic Center for Immigrants, Ottawa
- Liz Smith – English Language Coach, Ottawa 613-255-2826
- Iwona Buziak-Mohamed – Founder of HAPY Creative Studio