“I learned that you should always tell your stories, even if you are shy. It helps you by laughing and someone can learn about your experiences” says 11-year old Jorge Escalera Arroyo.
Jorge was one of five newcomers who recently participated in a 6-week program introducing newcomers to the art of storytelling and community radio.
The Newcomer Radio Group project was conceived and facilitated in partnership with Trent Radio with funding provided by the Community Radio Fund of Canada. The goal was to support newcomers in Peterborough with skills and opportunities to tell their stories. In doing so, we hope to help diversify voices and perspectives in local media and arts. The group was facilitated by Laurel Paluck, Producer-Oriented Project Coordinator at Trent Radio CFFF 92.7FM.
“I have worn many shoes, but storyteller was never one of them,” says Abhishek Udawat, a newcomer from India. “When I started, I wondered what I had to say. I soon discovered that I have a lot to share and that people want to listen. This program gave me the confidence to learn and use these skills.”
Each participant was provided with audio gear including a professional recorder and headphones to bring their stories to life. Putting their skills to the test, they developed their own short stories, recorded and produced them for broadcast. Their work was featured on Trent Radio in May during the Voices from Our Communities and is now available online as podcasts.. Their stories touched on a diversity of themes from first days in Canada to new experiences, food, language, bullying and mental health.
Following the success of this first group, a new group of seven newcomers are currently participating in the second round of this training program with their work to be featured on Trent Radio CFFF 92.7FM and in podcast formats in July 2021.
Many thanks to Maar’s Music for their support in sourcing recording gear for this project!
Introducing the Newcomer Radio Group
In Winter 2021, the New Canadians Centre partnered with Trent Radio to create the Newcomer Radio Group where newcomers had the unique opportunity to gain hands-on training in storytelling and technical skills in audio production. Over six weeks, the group learned and practised new skills while supporting and encouraging each other.
Abhishek Udawat – “Tomato Juice” and “Triggers”
Abhishek Udawat recalls the memory of his plane ride to Canada in 2018 and another story about identity and a common question immigrants are asked.
Anuj Arora – “A Bowl of Indian Soup”
Anuj Arora tells the story of his journey to Canada and a friendship that started over a bowl of Indian soup.
Jorge Escalera Arroyo – “My Story”
11-year old Jorge Escalera Arroyo recalls memories of his family’s move to Canada over six years ago and making friends at school.
Esther Izarnotegui – “This Is Home”
Esther Izarnotegui shares heartwarming stories of her family’s new experiences in Canada from language to weather to mental health. These experiences make it clear to her that “This Is Home.”