The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Exhibit uses oral histories to explore immigrants' first day in Canada

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NANAIMO, B.C. - Jayavathana Kuganesan says she will never forget her first day in Canada, which started in 2000 at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on emigrating from Sri Lanka: "There were so many people with different faces, skin colour, hair, clothes and languages."

For Chris DeBruyne, who came from the Netherlands in 1950, thoughts of what he was leaving were top of mind: "One thinks deeply, leaving everything behind that I treasure ... and will I ever see it again?"

They're among the memories collected in "Canada: Day 1," which explores newcomers' experiences on their first day in Canada.

The exhibition — the first travelling show launched by Halifax's Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 — is being presented at the Nanaimo Museum on Vancouver Island until Sept. 1.

It includes oral histories, archival images and art works, offering visitors a glimpse of the challenges immigrants face in finding their way in a new country, says the museum of immigration.

Experiences of those who were refused entry are also highlighted.

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Online: http://www.nanaimomuseum.ca/

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