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Mark Sakamoto in Conversation with Jeanne Beker

Woven together through interviews with his maternal grandmother, Mitsue Sakamoto, and paternal grandfather, Ralph MacLean, Mark Sakamoto’s Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents shares wartime recollections from contrasting sides of a human tragedy to offer a unique perspective on the idea of a Canadian family. Released in 2014 to sweepingly glowing reviews, Forgiveness also won 2018 Canada Reads, as defended by Canadian fashion journalist, icon and entrepreneur Jeanne Beker.

In 2017, Jeanne Beker donated a special trunk to the Museum. This simple wooden crate had accompanied her parents, Holocaust survivors, and sister to Canada in 1948 to begin a new life. Along with the trunk, Jeanne also shared her parent’s story of survival and rebuilding. The symmetries between Mark and Jeanne’s family histories, as descendants of survivors and bearers of a family trauma passed down, are part of what will make this next edition of Pier 21 Reads so powerful.

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Family Bonds & Belonging Opening Soon

What is family? The answer to this simple question is central to a new exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Family Bonds & Belonging opens March 9th and welcomes visitors of all ages to discover the many different ideas of family together, those of biology, choice, association and place.

With touching, beautiful and quirky displays the exhibition leads visitors through four themes - belonging, growth and change, gatherings and generations - and ultimately celebrates Canadian identity by exploring families and family history, linking past to present and province to nation.
Family photo albums, oral histories and a series of home movies screened in a full-scale 1970s themed rec room share nostalgic portrayals of early and contemporary families. Visitors will connect with the traditions of families who came as immigrants, and families who have always been here through beautiful and rare artifacts.

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Call for Photographers - Pier 21 Artist-in-Residence

Photographers are invited to submit proposals to be the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21’s Artist-in-Residence. This year, the Museum is accepting proposals from photographers who want to be inspired by the new exhibition Family Bonds and Belonging, from the Royal BC Museum, on display at the Canadian Museum of Immigration from March to November 2019. The six-month residency enables an artist to create new work that contributes to the Museum’s mandate while advancing their art practice.

Family Bonds and Belonging celebrates Canadian identity by exploring families and family history, linking past to present and province to nation. The exhibition honours and interprets the many ideas of family - those of biology, of choice, of association and of place. Through artifacts, family photos, home movies, heirlooms, costumes, clothing and oral histories, visitors will connect with the stories and traditions from early and contemporary families, immigrants and those who have always been here.

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