RayCam hosted Coast Salish and Syrian community members’ cooking skills for a sold-out event on November 1. Taking over the RayCam gym, music and protocol were presented, and a delicious meal was shared. Members of the two communities came together for a meal which functioned as a genuine entry-point to each other’s cultures and the socio-political realities of carrying trauma, conflict, and poverty.

The foods were prepared by local cooks, both Indigenous and Syrian. The menu consisted of baked salmon, bannock, and foods from the Dara area of Syria tabbouleh, yogurt chicken, basil rice with vegetables and beef, and baclava and Turkish delight.

The day started early with participants live on CBC Early Edition talking about the event, the various foods being prepared, and the desire to build relations between the two communities around RayCam. CBC Host Rene Filippone interviewed Robin Garcia (Musqueam) and Jin Yusof (Kurdish refugee).  Later on the same day, CityTV covered the event and included their voices again.  CBC Vancouver also published a web article on the issues connecting the two communities. RayCam is committed to supporting all members of our neighbourhood and believes understanding and mutual aid is the best way forward for communities overcoming structural poverty and social conflict.

RayCam is grateful for the support from Heart of the City Festival, Sustenance Festival, Studio Full Bloom, Chef Lekker Catering, and volunteers and staff from Raycam Cooperative Centre.

Music program included a Coast Salish song and words about protocol, and after the dinner Gordon Grdina (oud) and Emad Armoush (vocalist) performed songs from the Middle East. Emad a vocalist from Syria performed with local resident and improviser extraordinaire Gordon Grdina, who has had a lifelong passion for the sound of the oud.

To learn about more RayCam Renew programs as well as our effort to build 200+ new homes and a new community centre signup at www.raycam-renew.ca