News

Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Closure of the Institutions in Ontario

Posted 2019-03-28

Flying to Freedom was presented by institutional survivors, People First of Ontario, the Council of Community Living Ontario, Community Living Ontario, the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, and L’Arche Toronto.

On March 19, 2019, people from across Ontario gathered in Toronto for a program to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the closure of the last institutions for persons with intellectual disabilities in Ontario: Huronia, Rideau, and Southwestern Regional Centres. Flying to Freedom was presented by institutional survivors, People First of Ontario, the Council of Community Living Ontario, Community Living Ontario, the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, and L’Arche Toronto.

The afternoon included talks and panels that helped remember the past and look at “how we can assist survivors and people labeled with a disability to move past institutional practices that are preventing them from exercising all their rights as citizens.” While the institutions closed, other forms of segregation, isolation, and discrimination of persons with intellectual disabilities remain and must be fought.

The panels presented projects funded through Investing in Justice (IIJ). The court ordered that these remaining funds (over $7 million) support projects that benefit survivors. L’Arche Toronto and L’Arche London are leading or participating in 6 of these projects. Some of the projects address these areas:

  • Listening to and sharing the stories of survivors and their families. Joe Clayton shared his powerful story. Family Alliance Ontario, various branches of Community Living, and L’Arche Toronto’s Listen to my Story project are recording these stories to help individuals heal, ensure a record of what happened and its impact, and create educational resources. Madeline Burghardt’s Broken is a valuable contribution.
  • Honouring people buried in the graveyard at Huronia Regional by identifying who is buried in the graves that only have serial numbers (Remember Every Name is supported by L’Arche Toronto) and creating a major art piece designed with survivors that will be placed in the cemetery.
  • Supporting Healing Therapies for survivors and other trauma survivors. L’Arche London is participating in Healing Through The Arts visual and performing art studios led by instructors from the London Arts Council, organized by a collective of agencies. Two members of L’Arche Toronto are participating in From Trauma to Trust, a free clinics run by Vita Community Services, offering a range of individual therapy and counselling including expressive art therapy.
  • Advocating for choice and legal rights including the end of institutional practices for persons with disabilities: Respecting Rights is a self-advocate driven project for rights education and law reform supported by ARCH Disability Law Centre. People First received a major grant to increase their capacity as the voice of persons labeled with an intellectual disability promoting “freedom, choice, and equality for all.”

The evening featured a sold-out performance of Birds Make Me Think About Freedom, a multi-media reflection on the stories of survivors, family members, and allies created by L’Arche Toronto’s Sol Express with Victoria Freeman in collaboration with Jumblies Theatre.

 


Statement of Solidarity and Condolences to the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nations

At the end of May, news broke of the discovery that the remains of 215 indigenous children are buried in the grounds of a residential school in Kamloops. It is a painful discovery which is being powerfully felt everywhere in our L’Arche communities and around the country.

New Community Leader for L’Arche Lanaudière

We want to welcome Isabelle Milliard as the new Community Leader in L'Arche Lanaudière. Isabelle has a background in Communications and Philanthropy, and had joined the community part-time as a fundraiser before being called to this role.

Welcome to Fiona Williams

We are very pleased to welcome Fiona Williams to the role of New Brunswick Lab Coordinator for our Inclusive Housing Solutions Lab project.

New Community Leader for L’Arche Mauricie

We are pleased to announce that Nancy Lamothe is beginning a new chapter in her life at L’Arche.

New Community Leader for L’Arche Outaouais (Agapè)

We are pleased to announce that Frederico Gauchat will take on the role of Community Leader at L'Arche Outaouais (formerly Agapè).

New Community Leader for L’Arche Homefires

We want to welcome and introduce you to the new Community Leader for L’Arche Homefires, Louise Curtis. After an extensive and rigorous selection process, Louise clearly emerged as the leader the L’Arche Homefires community needs at this point in our history.

New Community Leader for L’Arche Edmonton

We are very happy to announce that Mwando Mubanga has accepted the role of Community Leader for L’Arche Edmonton. 

Urgent Appeal re Bill C-7 amending Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

Please read this statement from L’Arche Canada. We add our voice to those of disability advocates and our partners in the movement for Inclusion and Belonging calling for amendment to Bill C-7 to protect the lives of Canadians with disabilities.

The World’s First International Lip Syncing Competition Hosted by People With Disabilities!

November 2021 - We did it! You have helped lead the way in fueling the greatest amount of online engagement we have ever seen in L'Arche! In total, our lip syncs have been watched over 90,000 times, raised over $102,000, and inspired an immense amount of joy and generosity. THANK YOU for your continued passion, enthusiasm, encouragement and creativity to keep shouting from the rooftops what we know: that the world is better because of people with disabilities.

Leading Change - Youth Leaders Group Members

Leading Change is a project where persons with disabilities learn how to help make decisions about L'Arche.




Keep informed with our newsletter.