Victoria police build new relationships with immigrants through theatre
The goal of the “Police and Community” workshops is to build trust and reduce discrimination. (Victoria police)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Saturday, June 4, 2016 2:24PM PDT
Victoria police have teamed up with actors from the around the world for a series of theatre workshops aimed at exploring dialogue between police and immigrants.
The goal of the “Police and Community” workshops is to build trust and reduce discrimination.
The workshops first began in Saanich where local police officers teamed up with the Inter-Cultural Association in 2013 and 2014.
In a release police said the interactive performances build an understanding between the communities.
“It helps these new Canadians understand policing in Canada and how different it may be from their past experiences or how different it may be from their home country,” said Acting Chief Constable Del Manak. “The interactive nature of this Transformational Theatre approach requires our people who are participating to step out of their comfort zones a little bit, which in itself is a powerful tool towards building new understandings.”
Actors and VicPD perform short scenes based on real life events of conflict and “cultural sensitivity.” Audience members are encouraged to help with solutions to the problems.
Police noted that incidents of prejudice and discrimination still happen and theatre can be a powerful bridging tool.
“Transformational theatre in particular, encourages community dialogue and initiative, one of the truest ways we can start to build a relationship of trust and close the gaps related to racial and cultural misunderstandings,” Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria Arts & Outreach Coodinator Paulina Grainger said.
The workshops are facilitated by Transformational Theatre practitioners, Lina de Guevara and Victor Porter.
The last two performances of the series will be held on June 6 and June 8.