02 - New Arrivals and Immigration: A Century of Welcoming Newcomers to Canmore

On The Table

Apr 8 2022 • 55 mins

Ron Ulrich, Executive Officer of the Canmore Museum, hosts this episode’s round table discussion on immigration and welcoming new Canadian arrivals into Canmore. He is joined by Meagan Reid from the Bow Valley Immigration Partnership, Dr. Adriana Davies, noted author and Heritage and Culture Consultant, and Canmore resident who immigrated from Mexico City, Tannia Burelo.

They discuss Canmore’s history as a railway town and coal mining community before it blossomed into its current incarnation as a tourist destination, and examine the ways in which the shifting regional identities shaped past immigration and current diversity in the area. Adriana Davies shares pivotal historical insight and stories, and Meagan Reid imparts information about what Bow Valley immigration looks like today.

Tannia Burelo shares her perspective as an immigrant from Mexico who moved from Ontario, where she’d originally moved five years ago, to Canmore, and her perceptions about settlement in the region, the impact COVID had on her newfound community, and the struggle to maintain one’s identity in a new life. The discussion is very open and insightful, exploring the importance of organizations and community in welcoming immigrants into their new homes.

About the Guests:

Meagan Reid came to the Banff region for outdoor recreation but stayed for the community. Since its launch in 2014, Meagan has coordinated the Bow Valley Immigration Partnership (BVIP) where she helps stakeholders from every sector and walk of life work together to ensure the Bow Valley is a place where all residents can participate, thrive, and know that they belong.

Dr. Adriana Davies is a well-known researcher, writer, editor and poet. She was the Executive Director of the Alberta Museums Association for thirteen years and Executive Director of the Heritage Community Foundation for ten years. She is the author of From Realism to Abstraction: The Art of J. B. Taylor, The Rise and Fall of Emilio Picariello, and From Sojourners to Citizens: Alberta’s Italian History. Dr. Davies was invested in the Order of Canada in 2010 for her contributions to heritage. In 2015, she was awarded a knighthood (Cavaliere d’Italia) by the Government of Italy for her contributions to the preservation of the Italian language and culture, and her research and publications on Italian immigration to Canada.

Tannia Burelo has an educational background in Human Resources and is originally from Mexico City. As an immigrant to Canada, Tannia is well aware of the importance of cultural differences that exist in the workplace. She believes that in order to create a mentally healthy workplace, employers have to consider the cultural differences of their employees. Tannia is a volunteer for Bow Valley Immigration Partnership as a part of the Immigrant Advisory Group and for Canadian Mental Health Association Alberta Division as a Community Animator for the Rural Mental Health Project.

Resources discussed in this episode:


The Canmore Museum: website | facebook | instagram | linkedin

Meagan Reid | Bow Valley Immigration Partnership Coordinator: website | linkedin

Dr. Adriana Davies | Heritage and Cultural Consultant: linkedin | books

Tannia Burelo | Immigrant Advisory Group - Rural Mental Health Project website | linkedin

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