UBC REFUGEE SYMPOSIUM & OPERA
Breaking the Cycle: Canada’s Refugee Record on the Global Stage

Our symposium has now ended. Please find reflections, videos and a collection of photos from our events on News & Views.

About

Join us at UBC for a multi-day symposium, Breaking the Cycle: Canada’s Refugee Record on the Global Stage, alongside an opera and an art exhibit titled The Consul in order to stimulate discussion on the various aspects of the global refugee crisis. The UBC Opera Ensemble, the Liu Institute for Global IssuesUBC Community Engagement, the Faculty of Arts, the Peter A. Allard School of Law, Green CollegeSt. John’s College, Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC), and other partners have come together to host the program. Operatic performances will take place on campus and at community venues – adjoined by conversation featuring prominent academics, community leaders, people who came to Canada as refugees, and impassioned advocates.

Through mobile opera performances, the display of these important art works, panel presentations, video storytelling, and conversations, we aim to advance a deeper understanding of different aspects of the global refugee crisis and Canada’s role in the resettlement of refugees. We hope to foster networking among UBC students, faculty and staff, people who arrived as refugees, refugee service providers, community members, professionals and volunteers.

The Consul, an opera by Gian Carlo Menotti, charts the perils of those fleeing persecution. Menotti was moved by events during and after World War II, when many nations would not admit refugees. Written in 1949, this topical opera was awarded the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Music and features a melodic score along with a gripping narrative story lightened by some magical touches.
Opera Performances Dates at UBC: November 3, 4, 5 // 7:30 pm, November 6 // 2:00 pm
Purchase Your Opera Tickets

Please Note: Some audience members may find the material in this opera to be emotionally triggering as it centres on issues of asylum and the repression of migrants.

Accompanying the opera and symposium is an art exhibit courtesy of the Penticton Art Gallery and curator, Mr. Paul Crawford, featuring the 45 works of Judith Foster called ‘The Consul’. This collection was created in the 1950s after the artist had attended the premiere of Menotti’s opera. She was so taken by the compelling music, plot and the sheer raw emotion of the story that she revisited the performances roughly 33 times. The message of the opera inspired Judith Foster to create this incredible series of paintings. Along with her art work, the Penticton Gallery has also lent us paintings by Syrian artists titled ‘Behind the Lines‘. The collection will be on display in the Old Auditorium (Room 100) from November 2nd – November 6th.

The Liu Institute “Seeking Refuge” video series will be shown at each panel event.
Follow the conversation on Twitter using #RefugeeUBC.

Ways to Give Back

For those of you who wish to donate to support refugees to settle into their new communities locally, the Metro Vancouver Refugee Response Team has a useful website that provides a great list of places and ways to donate or provide assistance in Metro Vancouver.

UBC Refugee Relief will host a fundraising and information booth at the Old Auditorium the evenings of Nov. 2nd – 5th. The group is composed of a diverse team of students and staff from UBC, fundraising to support the private sponsorship of a Syrian refugee family wanting to come to Canada. Learn more by speaking to one of their representatives.

A fundraising and information booth will be hosted at each Liu Institute panel event by MOSAIC’s Refugee Settlement Support Projects. Funds raised by the UBC community and other attendees supports MOSAIC, a Vancouver-based non-profit organization, in their work connecting refugees with private sponsors, welcoming refugees at the airport, providing orientation to private sponsors and privately sponsored refugees, and supporting the settlement of refugees in Metro Vancouver.  Learn more about ways to give back in your community through this innovative program.

Full Schedule

Events are free and open to the public but registration is requested.
Tickets to The Consul can be purchased through UBC Opera by telephone (604.822.6725), online
 or in person at the Old Auditorium or Freddy Wood  Box Office at UBC.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19th
12:00 PM
Venue: Welcome Centre, Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC)
Mobile Opera by UBC Opera Ensemble
Audience: Refugee families staying at the Welcome Centre

 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21st
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Venue: UBC Campus (The Nest, Musqueam Post, Global Lounge, Old Auditorium)
Lunch and Campus Tour for youth and young adults from refugee families based in Metro Vancouver, organized by ISSofBC and hosted by UBC students and UBC WUSC Student Club.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Venue: Vancouver Art Gallery

Mobile Opera by UBC Opera Ensemble

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Venue: St. John’s College – Fairmont Social Lounge, UBC
Mobile Opera by UBC Opera Ensemble, discussion with graduate student residents studying refugee issues as a component of their studies.
Open to public, but space is limited. Please RSVP to sjc.events@ubc.ca.  Light refreshments provided.


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1st
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
, followed by dinner. Dinner tickets are available with advanced registration at 604-822-9012 or kitchen@gcdining.ca. Please bring $20 cash.
Venue: Piano Lounge, Green College,  UBC 
No registration required.
Mobile Opera by UBC Opera Ensemble
The Refugee Crisis in Global Perspective: Challenges in Canada and Abroad
Asha Kaushal, Assistant Professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law in conversation with Kirby Huminuik, Liu Scholar and PhD Candidate in Counselling Psychology

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd 
6:30 PM
Venue: Old Auditorium, 6344 Memorial Road, UBC. Link to UBC Map
Opening Event: Refugee Journeys

Musqueam Welcome by Debra Sparrow
Panel Discussion: Breaking the Cycle: Canada’s Refugee Record on the Global Stage
Moderator: Moura Quayle, Professor, Strategic Design; Director, Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC
Panelists:
Catherine Dauvergne, Dean, Peter A. Allard School of Law
Robbie Waisman, Holocaust survivor speaker
Tima Kurdi, Aunt to Alan and Ghalib Kurdi and refugee advocate
Chris Friesen, Director of Settlement Services, Immigrant Services Society of BC
Followed by Audience Q&A

RSVP for Wednesday’s Opening Event
Light refreshments will be provided.

*‘The Consul’ art exhibit will be displayed in Room 100 of the Old Auditorium. Visit the 45 works of Judith Foster.

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd
Panel at 5:00 PM followed by the Opera at 7:30 PM
Venue: Multipurpose Room – Liu Institute for Global Issues, 6476 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Panel Discussion: Finding Refuge: Refugee Resettlement, UBC Student Engagement and the Benefits of Generosity
Moderator: Deb Zehr, Director, Community Engagement, UBC External Relations
Panelists:
Katie Rosenberger, Executive Director, the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA)
Elizabeth Dunn, Associate Professor, Psychology, UBC
Lisa Brunner, PhD Student, Education Studies; Lead, UBC Migration Network
Kuol Deng Biong, UBC Undergraduate Student, World University Service of Canada (WUSC) – UBC Club Ambassador; Arrived in Canada as a refugee
Sarah Cameron, International Transition Advisor, International Student Development, Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge & Resource Centre, UBC
Followed by Audience Q&A

RSVP for Thursday’s Panel Discussion
Light refreshments will be provided.

7:30 PM
Venue: Old Auditorium, 6344 Memorial Road, UBC

Opera Opening Night Performance
Purchase Your Opera Tickets

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4th
Panel at 5:00 PM followed by the Opera at 7:30 PM
Venue: Multipurpose Room – Liu Institute for Global Issues, 6476 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Panel Discussion: The Fate of Women, Marginalized Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Moderator: Efrat Arbel, Assistant Professor, Peter A. Allard School of Law
Panelists:
Fadi Yachoua, Syrian refugee lawyer
Kerstin Walter, Director, Settlement Orientation Services
Jana Husseini, ISSofBC Youth Settlement Worker
Chris Morrissey, Advocate, Rainbow Refugee Committee
Followed by Audience Q&A

RSVP for Friday’s Panel Discussion
Light refreshments will be provided.

7:30 PM
Venue: Old Auditorium, 6344 Memorial Road, UBC
Opera Performance
Purchase Your Opera Tickets

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5th
Panel at 5:00 PM followed by the Opera at 7:30 PM
Venue: Multipurpose Room – Liu Institute for Global Issues, 6476 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Panel Discussion: Public Opinion on Migration
Moderator
: Rima Wilkes, Professor, Sociology, UBC
Panelists:
Rima Wilkes, Professor, Sociology, UBC
Zdravko Cimbaljevic, LGBT refugee and activist from Montenegro
Dr. Shayna Plaut, Research and Project Manager of the Global Reporting Centre, Liu Scholar Alumna
Followed by Audience Q&A

RSVP for Saturday’s Panel Discussion
Light refreshments will be provided.

7:30 PM
Venue: Old Auditorium, 6344 Memorial Road, UBC
Opera Performance
Purchase Your Opera Tickets

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6th
2:00 PM
Old Auditorium, 6344 Memorial Road, UBC
Final Opera Performance
Purchase Your Opera Tickets

 

*For any issues with registration or questions about the symposium, please contact Lindsay Marsh, Communications Manager at the Liu Institute for Global Issues: Tel: 604-822-1672 | lindsay.marsh@ubc.ca

Consul_icon-270x250

 

About the Opera

Opera in Three Acts // Sung in English
Gian Carlo Menotti // Composer & Librettist
Dates: November 3, 4, 5 // 7:30 pm
November 6 // 2:00 pm
Venue: Old Auditorium, 6344 Memorial Road, UBC
Purchase Your Tickets here

Norbert Baxa Conductor
Nancy Hermiston Director
Members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra

The Consul, an opera by Gian Carlo Menotti, charts the perils of those fleeing persecution. Menotti was moved by events during and after World War II, when many nations would not admit refugees. Written in 1949, this topical opera was awarded the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Music and features a melodic score along with a gripping narrative story lightened by some magical touches.

About the Art Exhibit

JUDITH FOSTER / The Consul
BEHIND THE LINES: Contemporary Syrian Art

Artwork credit: Judith Foster, mixed media

Room 100, Old Auditorium
Wednesday, November 2: 3:00 – 7:30 P.M.
Thursday, November 3 – Saturday, November 5: 4:00 – 7:30 P.M.
Sunday, November 6: 11:30 A.M. – 1:30 P.M.

  • Jessie Tougas

    Last year, when Stephen Harper was still Prime Minister and Martha Piper was still Acting President of UBC, I petitioned Pres. Piper to take immediate action on the Syrian Refugee Crisis. The petition received (only) 68 signatures, Pres. Piper never responded, and UBC failed to take action the way other Canadian universities did. Now, with the crisis still rampant, we need to let incoming President Santa Ono know that this is a top priority. Millions of Syrians have been displaced, but just 2.6% have been offered settlement somewhere in the world. At least 12 million Syrians cannot access food or medicine. There is still much work to be done, and UBC has the resources to help. If you are participating in or attending this Refugee Symposium, please encourage Pres. Ono to take action on the Syrian Refugee Crisis: https://www.change.org/p/get-ubc-to-take-immediate-action-on-the-syrian-refugee-crisis