Multicultural Arts Education in the Post-Secondary Context?: Creating Installation and Performance Art in Surrey, Canada

Sasha Colby


In 2007, Simon Fraser University’s satellite campus in Surrey, British Columbia, received an Official Languages Dissemination Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to examine the role of official bilingualism in the multilingual context through installation and performance art. This essay considers the processes of creating student-based art about language identity in the case-specific example of Surrey. Positing the significantly multilingual community of Surrey as a “microcosm of the emerging national reality,” the author discusses the challenges of representation, the “concealing art” that unchallenged official bilingualism represents, as well as the social benefits of making centralized public arts space a legitimate venue for multicultural arts education and student-based expressions about language and identity.

Photo by: Jordan Manning


multiculturalism, arts education, official bilingualism, performance, diversity in Canada

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