World Refugee Day Celebrations 2021

You are invited to celebrate the accomplishments and successes of refugees living in our communities this WORLD REFUGEE DAY* through a series of events under the theme: Stories told – and the memories they leave behind.

Throughout the week MAP will be holding a number of events open to the public free to share the journeys and experiences of refugees who came to Canada. Stories enable us to understand our world and others through a very powerful and human connection. Whether funny or sad, simple or deeply philosophical refugee stories take us along with the storyteller. 

 Join us for one or all of the events to mark this special day. Check out details about each event and the participants – and register below.

June 15: Looking for home

A roundtable discussion with refugee claimants, non-profit housing providers and settlement workers on providing a home to refugee claimants in BC. Sponsored by MAP and the BC Non Profit Housing Association. 

The vast majority of refugee claimants start their lives in Canada in one of our shelters. Bearing the scars of their former lives and experiences they are ill-equipped to succeed among BC’s homeless. This discussion will highlight a typical journey for claimants and what housing providers need to know to give them a chance on a real home. 


June 17 at 7:00pm: The Power of Stories: A Conversation on Refugees and Literature

In partnership with MAP and Vancouver Public Library we invite you to join us for a conversation with three writers who have helped shape our public conversations with the power of their stories. 

Kim Thuy, Samra Habib and Kamal Al-Solaylee will engage in challenging conversations around our understanding of who we are, and increase our empathy for the lives and histories of our neighbours. 


The event will open with the Proclamation of World Refugee Day by the City of Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. 

June 18 12:00pm – 1:00pm: Stories told and things left behind

MAP invites you to join us at lunchtime to listen to three refugees from around the world share their journeys to Canada and what was left behind. A mixture of spoken word, poetry and story-telling, with a live follow up Q&A from our hosts. Perfect with your cup of tea!


June 19 10:00am – 1:00pm: Story writing workshop with The Shoe Project

MAP invites aspiring story writers who are also refugees or protected persons to join a writer’s workshop from 10 am – 1pm. Partnering with The Shoe Project MAP invites you to learn how to write a story from your childhood with writing experts Caroline Adderson and Shanga Karim.


June 19 7:00pm: World Premiere of After Arrival

World premiere of the film ‘After Arrival”, a documentary exploring the experiences of three LGBTQIA+ community leaders who arrived to Canada as refugee claimants.

MAP is proud to present the film which was directed by Gergely Toth and produced by Alexandra Dawley in partnership with MOSAIC and Victoria Coalition For Survivors of Torture (VCST).

Following the virtual film screening we look forward to an interactive virtual discussion moderated by Alexandra Dawley (MOSAIC) with the incredible people featured in the film: Kristi Pinderi, Dennis Juarez and Norma Lize. 



June 20 2:00pm – 3:30pm: UNITED: an afternoon concert of Music and Poetry

As a celebration of all the art and ideas, culture and beauty that refugees bring to our communities MAP BC invites you to attend a live concert of music and poetry on Sunday June 20 – World Refugee Day!

This traditional MAP World Refugee Day event brings culture from the four corners of the globe to remind us how refugees enhance our communities by sharing what is intrinsically theirs.

Hosted by Saleem Spindari (MOSAIC) the concert features the return of 2020’s super popular poet Rawan Moon and the lovely violinist Sari Alesh from Syria.

Hassan Al Kantor also joins our concert line-up to discuss his new book ‘Man@the_Airport – how social media saved my life’ that documents his seven months trapped in Kula Lumpur Airport and how he escaped. Don’t miss this riveting addition to our program.



*June 20 – World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations in 2001 to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the UN Convention (1951) regarding the status of Refugees.  World Refugee Day is an international day to honour refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.