The A.N.B.U. TeamAbuse Never Becomes Us
Since A.N.B.U.’s inception, we have experienced first-hand the need for Tamil-specific services to be catered for our community. It is our hope that a community centre such as this will have the capacity to contribute to the betterment of our community. Our hopes for a community centre include services that would support the most marginalized individuals and groups in our community. Programs and services should prioritize children, seniors, LGBTQ+ communities, and those impacted by violence, trauma and mental illness. We envision this community centre to organize programs and events and focus on rebuilding, supporting, and empowering members in our community.
Sumathy BalaramFounder and Artistic Director, Uyirppu Women’s Arts
Uyirppu is the only theatre company for Sri Lankan Tamil-speaking women, founded by and for women. We address social issues facing women in Toronto, and we have a history of working with Indigenous women as well. Our work is best described as art therapy, where we draw out the experiences of women through workshops and discussions, and develop scripts based on them. Though we receive funding from the Toronto Arts Council, a non-profit organization it is hard to find affordable auditorium spaces for our theatrical productions. We feel that theatre is an important medium to allow people to process and dialogue in resolving social issues through empathy.
Natkeeran KanthanNoolaham Foundation (Tamil Digital Archive)
It is vital that the Tamil Community Centre be non profit and not taken over by or taken advantage of by commercial elements, and also not dominated by a single organization, in order to protect the archival space. We hope that there will be space for a Tamil library and archive and possibly museum. We would also like to see programming around the library, archive, museum and documentation.
Dr. Parvathy KanthasamyVice Chair, Vasantham Wellness Centre
We recognize the need for affordable and culturally informed spaces where programs related to health and mental health, especially for women, families and seniors can be held to benefit the Tamil community. With many of our most vulnerable and economically disadvantaged community members living in the North East of Scarborough and South East of Markham, a community centre in this area would greatly help an underserved community. We can see this community centre being a valuable and accessible space for non-profit organizations like ours to provide vital services to the Tamil community as well as other communities in the area.
Cheyanne RatnamCo-Founder and Lead, Ontario Children's Advocacy Coalition
Coming from a diaspora of family breakdowns and forced separation due to war can facilitate a loss in getting to know our roots and ancestors due to being on foreign lands. The loss of our culture and language would be a loss not only on a personal level, but to the world. A Tamil Community Centre would be integral to maintaining and sustaining a people with a rich ancient culture for our diaspora to pass on to our own children, and children's children. Safe convening spaces that are recognizable and offer engagement with not only people of the diaspora but also activities that strengthen other displaced communities is important. The ability to teach and share our culture with others aligns with diversity, and the inclusionary values of a society with a strong tapestry of immigrants. I support a Tamil Community Center.
Dr. Rudramoorthy CheranPoet, Professor of Sociology and Criminology, University of Windsor
The Canadian Tamil diaspora contains some of the most prominent literary figures writing in the Tamil language today. The Tamil literary community holds regular gatherings and events for which they struggle to find culturally reflective space. The Tamil Community Centre could meet that need, especially through the inclusion of a dedicated Tamil language library and archive. There is also a great need to document and archive the experiences of these literary and intellectual figures while they are with us. I believe that this Centre would be a space where that important work can be undertaken.
Selvan SellathuraiProgramming Director, Manaveli Performing Arts Group
As the premier theatre group within the Tamil Canadian Community, Manaveli Performing Arts Group has been providing meaningful theatre and art programming for over 2 decades. Throughout this time, we have always had to rely on the generosity of individuals to secure gathering and rehearsal spaces. Securing these spaces and coordinating the logistics related to these spaces have always been a major drain on our resources and been a hindrance to how efficiently we provide our programming. Having a common space in the form of TCC will help us be more efficient in our programme delivery by helping us focus on what we do best - theatrical arts.
Thanusha TharmakulasinghamPresident, Canadian Tamil Professionals Association
As an organization that facilitates conversation through workshops and career networking events access to affordable space is one of our biggest constraints. Since the proposed community centre will be in a central and accessible location it will enable us to focus on strengthening our services and programs and less time on resource management. Furthermore it will increase the awareness of initiatives other community organizations are working on due to working in the shared spaces.
Haran VijayanathanExecutive Director, Alliance for South Asian Aids Prevention
Folks who identify as queer and Sri Lankan and tamil are marginalized within a marginalized community. As we are in the 21st century, and identities, other than heterosexual, are visible - it is imperative that when creating new spaces, we build to be inclusive so that we build healthy and inclusive culture and community. Suicide rates, homelessness, mental illness plague the 2SLGBTQ+ communities in general. When we look at racialized communities, it increases. Therefore we need to build a community centre that is truly representative of the diversity within our community and be a source of education and support as we address homophobia and transphobia from within, and we feel this centre could meet that need.
Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance
As an organization that advances the needs of Tamil youth in Canada, we look forward to the creation of a Tamil Community Centre. CTYA finds great promise in the spaces this initiative would create for Tamil youth in the areas of culture, arts and recreation. Many of our youth members and broader community that we cater to reside in the Scarborough area. Creating central hubs for community advancement offer a means for marginalized communities to grow and develop.
TESOC Multicultural Settlement Services
As a charity that is dedicated to providing opportunities and services to newcomers and immigrants from the Tamil community and other ethno cultures, we offer our full support to the development of a Tamil Community Centre. A centralized hub for community services, congregation and activities is much needed for the Scarborough community. This proposed community centre will further advance community partnerships in service delivery and build off of efforts made to date to assist the most marginalized in our communities.
Tamil Nadu Multicultural Association of Canada
The Tamil Nadu Multicultural Association of Canada (TMAC) has been operating for over 20 years and last three years in particular as a registered not for-profit agency in Ontario serving Islamic and Tamil Communities with a focus in preserving Tamil culture, language and heritage. TMAC supports the development of the Tamil Community Centre in Scarborough, and looks forward to the opportunities and spaces it will create to preserve Tamil identity and celebrates the richness of our collective heritage and histories. Archival spaces are vital for diasporic communities to learn, understand, share, document and preserve important moments of history that ensures the future generations to enjoy and uphold the Tamil culture and identity. As such, TMAC supports this important project and the benefits it will provide to all community members and the future generations
Canadian Tamil Sports Association
As an organization that has worked over the past 31 years to provide the Tamil community in Canada with recreational and sporting activities, we are looking forward to the development of a Tamil Community Centre in Scarborough. More than 20 professional athletic clubs with over 2000 athletes are a part of the Canadian Tamil Sports Association, many of whom reside within the Scarborough area. The amenities that the Tamil Community Centre would offer, through the form of a gymnasium and outdoor playing fields will directly benefit our members and the broader Scarborough community. Sports are a great medium for community development and we feel this project will notably improve the lives of Scarborough residents.
Jaffna Medical Faculty Overseas Alumni – Canada
It’s an excellent opportunity to be able to use a Tamil Community Centre to expand our efforts surrounding advocacy for improvement of wellbeing and mental health in the Tamil community. As a collection of medical professionals, we lead initiatives such as Tamil health awareness campaigns and believe a community centre in Scarborough would serve as a great hub for those activities.