St. Thomas Times Journal, 11 April 2015

Poster final

Here’s looking at you, Canada.

A local agency dedicated to building a welcoming community for newcomers to Canada, and to St. Thomas and Elgin, is going to the movies.

The St. Thomas-Elgin Local Immigration Partnership is joining Canadian Film Day, a national celebration of Canadian cinema and identity later this month.

STELIP coordinator Fabiana Estrela calls it “a celebration of Canadian heritage and diversity in St. Thomas-Elgin.”

With other community partners, STELIP is sponsoring free screenings of a program of five Canadian films ranging from an Arctic drama based on a short story by Farley Mowat, to Sarah Polley’s personal documentary about her family’s secrets.

All have been critically acclaimed. Several have been nominated for, and have won, a number of awards.

Canadian Film Day is organized by Reel Canada, a non-proft which says stories Canadians tell about themselves open the door to conversations about what it means to be Canadian. Honourary national patron is former governor general Adrienne Clarkson.

The organization’s initiatives include screenings targeted at audiences of new Canadians. It says multicultural Canadian films welcome them as full members of their chosen country.

The mini-festival opens April 29 with a screening of the 2003 Arctic drama, The Snow Walker, 6:30 p.m., Port Stanley Festival Theatre. There’s a reception at 5:30. To guarantee a seat, contact Estrela at or call 226-456-7881.

It continues April 30 and May 1 and 2 with screenings in St. Thomas, Aylmer and Dutton.

A discussion is to follow each screening. There’s also a prize draw.

For information on the partnership and local participation in Canadian Film Day, click to

For information on Canadian Film Day, click to

What’s On

The Snow Walker (2003) – A pilot and his passenger struggle for survival after crashing in the Arctic tundra. Drama. Based on the short story Walk Well, My Brother by Farley Mowat.

Breakaway (2011) – An ethnic Canadian hockey player struggles against traditional Sikh family values and discrimination from mainstream hockey players. Comedy-drama. 6 p.m. April 30 at Aylmer and Dutton libraries, and 6:30 p.m. at Northside Neighbourhood Hub, 114 Confederation Dr., St. Thomas. Also, 2 p.m. May 2 at St. Thomas Public Library.

Stories We Tell (2012) – Actress Sarah Polley’s award-winning personal documentary about her family’s secrets. 11:30 a.m. May 1, Northside Neighbourhood Hub, and 6 p.m. at St, Thomas Public Library.

Prom Night in Mississippi (2009) – A high school in a small-town in Mississippi prepares for its first racially-integrated senior prom in local history. Documentary with Morgan Freeman. 6:30 p.m. May 1, Talbot Teen Centre, St. Thomas.

Sabah (2005) – When a woman of Syrian descent least expects it, she falls in love with the wrong man. She’s Muslim, he’s not. Culture and love collide. Romance. 6 p.m. April 30, St. Thomas Public Library.