On a warm Sunday afternoon, OCISO clients were treated to a wonderful outdoor concert by Ottawa Suzuki Strings.
It was the first event hosted by the Friends of the Family program since COVID-19. Physical distancing protocols were followed. Musicians wearing masks played beautifully on the lawn of the Tom Brown Arena.
Dina Aleryani and her two daughters aged 2 and 6, thoroughly enjoyed the concert. “I love this event,” remarks Dina. “We have been lucky with the sunshine today. It’s so nice to see the welcoming faces everywhere.”
Dina, originally from Yemen, immigrated to Canada seven months ago. In addition to being part of the Friends of the Family program, she was recently matched with an OCISO mentor to help her to find employment in her field.
The isolation of the pandemic has hit newcomers particularly hard, so this concert brought a sense of joy and community to the audience.
“This is our first event since COVID-19 with Ottawa Suzuki Strings, a long-standing partner of OCISO,” says Dragana Mrdjenovic, Settlement and Integration Program Manager. “We have had a pretty good response to this event. It’s nice to have newcomer families participate in these local events which help to promote integration. Music brings everyone together!”