Inspired by the Koffler Gallery’s summer exhibition, José Luis Torres: Question d’adaptation, the Koffler and CultureLink collaborated to create a public bike tour led by newcomers reflecting stories of their migration experience. Participants met at the Koffler Gallery for a tour of the exhibition before heading east-bound to Riverdale Park.

Grace McNee (Culturelink)
It was an utter delight to see this collaboration come to fruition. I was happy to be able to incorporate some of my favourite spots in the city, and the ride was great fun. What really made this Narrative Routes ride special, though, was everyone who came out, both to listen and to share. Over the course of the ride, we became a strong, loving, open, and supportive community, of which I was honoured to be a part of.

Andrea Vela Alarcón (artist facilitator)
This kind of activity contributes to the discussion in which immigrants are not just here for the socio-economic benefits, but rather to become part of the community working towards the prosperity of this land. Sharing migration experiences in safe and friendly environments helps to open the door to a more empathic and informed society.

Olga Obilchikova (bike host)
Narrative Routes gave me amazing experience. This was the first time I ever shared my immigration story. At first it was awkward but as I listened to the others, I realized that we all go through similar difficulties. I was surprised to get so much support from all the participants. This was also very reassuring.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in Narrative Routes and share my story.

Sonie Muthoni (bike host)
It was a very well planned ride. The sharing period was a bit emotional for me because it reminded me of how blessed I am to be here – to have good, kind and loving people surround me. It felt like home.

All photos: Mary Anderson.