On Saturday, June 10th 2023 the Cumberland community is invited to come together to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of the Village with a day-long celebration called BELONGING featuring live music, exhibitions, cultural performances, intergenerational events, art, lanterns, food and more!
In 1898 industrial interests and European settlers established Cumberland amidst an array of Japanese, Chinese and African-American settlements all on the unceded territory of the Pentlatch, Ieeksan, Sasitla, and Sathloot people, who are today called the K’omoks First Nation.
BELONGING honours the vibrant, dynamic and ever changing community of Cumberland, while also recognizing that many have been left behind as this story has unfolded.
Colonization, the Indian Act, Japanese Internment, the Chinese Exclusion Act, gender-based legislation, racism, extractionism, exploitation, and gentrification are also all part of the complex story of Cumberland.
BELONGING is a day to reflect on the path that has brought us to today, to recognize a legacy that includes exclusion and loss, and to renew our commitment to work together to create space in our community for past, present and future Villagers.
This exhibition tells a story of Chinese immigration to this province. Using food and restaurant culture as an entry point, the exhibition explores the great diversity of immigrant experiences and of the communities immigrants have developed. It links Canada to the long history of Chinese diasporas, addresses themes of belonging, racism, agency, resilience, and underscores the vital role of immigrant communities in shaping the province of BC.
This day-long street celebration will bring the community together for music, dance, performance, live screen printing, storytelling and fun filled connection with friends and neighbors.
Programming for this event will include both visiting cultural presentations and local musicians.
Throughout Cumberland’s settler history, teas have been a focus point for community connection and fundraising, held at local homes, halls and parks. For over 30 years Japanese women hosted formal teas at a tea house at Comox Lake!
The Strawberry Tea will bring folks together from different generations to pull up a chair, to meet each other, and be part of conversations on the theme of BELONGING.
Working with LUSH Comox Valley and community partners like the Cumberland Community School Society, the Dumpling Project will engage volunteers from across the Village and beyond in the days leading up to the event in the preparation of dumplings which are a central feature of food across many cultures.
This cross cultural offering will be served free to the community, and together, leading up to the event, community members will make 5000 dumplings!
In the weeks leading up to June 10th we’re engaging the broadest community through online surveys, pop up street surveys, and booklets distributed with a series of questions about our sense of inclusion, exclusion and BELONGING.
All responses will be incorporated into a visual art installation and a Path of Belonging exhibition set up in #6 Park on June 10th. This expression of community sentiment will also be part of a legacy publication that will be added to community archives.
This participatory community art project will invite community members to construct lanterns to hang on front steps, gates, porches of the community throughout the summer of 2023, “Lighting the Way” and welcoming fellow Villages – past, present and future – into our community. Across myriad cultures, lanterns light the way forward and symbolize brightness, transcendence and the inner light that guides us all through periods of darkness with the promise of a new day.