Hijab Awareness Day Brings People Together through Neighbourhood Small Grants Program

For Immediate Release                                                 January 27, 2016

Victoria, BC – Community members of the Hillside-Quadra neighbourhood and beyond are invited to the Hijab Awareness Day this Saturday, January 30. The free event, which will be held at the Quadra Village Community Centre (901 Kings Rd.) from 1-5 pm, will feature booths representing ten different countries and how they view and wear the hijab, a headscarf worn by some Muslim women.

Visitors will be able to speak to members of the neighbourhood’s Muslim community to learn more about the hijab and the reasons it is worn, and free hijabs will be given away at the door. From 3-5 pm in the basement of the centre, a fashion show open to women and girls will demonstrate different styles of hijab.

The event is funded through the Neighbourhood Small Grants program, a joint initiative of the Victoria Foundation, the Vancouver Foundation, and the Quadra Village Community Centre. The program helps to connect and engage residents in their community by encouraging them to come up with their own ideas for how their neighbourhood can be strengthened. Through a pilot in the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood, grants of up to $500 were awarded in November 2015 to eighteen community projects. All projects had to meet at least one of the Neighbourhood Small Grants program goals: to connect and engage neighbourhood residents, to share residents’ skills and knowledge within the community, to build a sense of ownership and pride, or to respect and celebrate diversity.

In addition to the Hijab Awareness event, several other projects funded through the Neighbourhood Small Grants program in the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood have been funded or will wrap up by March 2016. Neighbours on one street gathered to celebrate the winter solstice in December with a multicultural potluck. Creative community members learned about the medium of acrylic paint through a free art lesson. Other projects include community clean-up days, free belly fit classes, an Aboriginal drumming workshop, and a neighbourhood talent show.

“The Hijab Awareness event embodies the spirit of the Neighbourhood Small Grants program,” says Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “This event is an opportunity for neighbours to learn from each other and celebrate our diverse community.”

“Hillside Quadra boasts a rich breadth of cultures,” says Kelly Greenwell, Executive Director of the Quadra Village Community Centre. “We’re excited about this fun way of moving beyond stereotypes and towards enriched relationships with neighbours.”

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Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth largest of nearly 200 nation-wide. The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. To date the Victoria Foundation has invested more than $158 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in B.C. and throughout Canada.

Media contact:
Robert Janus, Director of Communications
Victoria Foundation
P. 250.381.5532      C. 250.886.6112   E. rjanus@victoriafoundation.bc.ca