History

Founding NBMC President Professor Canstantine Passaris (right) with former NB Premier Frank McKenna (left) and his Royal Highness Crown Prince Charles of the United Kingdom (centre)

Founding NBMC President Professor Canstantine Passaris (right) with former NB Premier Frank McKenna (left) and his Royal Highness Crown Prince Charles of the United Kingdom (centre)

On October 7th 1971, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announced at the House of Commons that multiculturalism would be an official government policy of Canada. In 1982, section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms fully recognized multiculturalism. During this time, multicultural associations were being formed in New Brunswick in the three main cities. In 1983, the three active multicultural associations in New Brunswick – the Multicultural Association of Fredericton, the Multicultural Association of he Greater Moncton Area, and The Multicultural Association of Saint John – all recognized that each spoke for themselves but no organization spoke for the entire New Brunswick multicultural community. A strong, unified voice was needed on the federal and provincial level, something no single city could accomplish or properly represent.

Article clipping of the Multicultural Association of Fredericton’s 10th anniversary with long term members, including NBMC life-time members Ibrahim Ghanem and Madhu Verma

Article clipping of the Multicultural Association of Fredericton’s 10th anniversary with long term members, including NBMC life-time members Ibrahim Ghanem and Madhu Verma

In order to best elevate and communicate concerns, anxieties, hopes, and aspirations of these multicultural groups and engage in issues at a provincial and federal level, an umbrella organization, in the form of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC)- was formed and incorporated in 1983. At the start of the New Year in 1984, NBMC officially opened its doors.

NBMC participated in the creation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, which laid the groundwork for Canada to become the international leader on immigration and multiculturalism that it is today. Finally, 1988, the Canadian Multiculturalism Act was enacted by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney with recommendations from The New Brunswick Multicultural Council and other multicultural and immigrant serving groups all across the country.

Article clipping from 1988 of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council

Article clipping from 1988 of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council

The New Brunswick Multicultural Council encouraged the development and formation of new multicultural associations in areas throughout New Brunswick where no such associations existed. At the time of creation, NBMC only had three organizations listed in its membership and today boasts 16 member organizations. NBMC continues to support and connect its members through training and events, while also promoting public awareness and engagement in the multicultural reality of Canada and New Brunswick.

The New Brunswick Multicultural Council, staffed by passionate and exceptional individuals, has been advocating for a more multicultural and inclusive New Brunswick since 1984 and continues to do so today.