Immigration Matters in Sudbury, Ontario

#ImmigrationMatters in Sudbury, Ontario

Inspired by her mother’s example, Bela Ravi works tirelessly to raise funds to make a difference in the lives of others in Sudbury.

Fundraising for much-needed services in Sudbury

Fundraising for much-needed services in Sudbury

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Transcript: “Immigration Matters in Sudbury, Ontario”

Video length: 2 minutes, 56 seconds

Piano and strings music plays throughout.

A view of Ramsey Lake, located near the centre of Sudbury, covered in snow is shown.

Text displays: “Immigration Matters in Sudbury, Ontario”

Bela Ravi looks up and smiles.

Bela: My name is Bela Ravi. I came to Canada from India, in 1973. I had people knocking on my door, knowing that they had a new neighbour, to see if they could help in any way.

A view from a car is of Sudbury houses and trees with the sun shining through.

Bela: I had never experienced that.

The scene fades to black.

A school facade is shown. Bela walks in the corridors of the school.

Bela: My first fundraiser was MacLeod Public School, where my kids went. We had a playground that wasn’t fenced.

An exterior street is shown, where cars pass by.

Bela: I asked friends, and went to parents and said “this is a safety concern”, and the board said that they would match dollar per dollar whatever I raised, and we raised enough money to put a fence.

Bela is talking to a school principal. They walk together down the school hallway. Bela smiles.

A school fence is shown.

The scene fades to black.

John Richer is smiling at Bela.

Text displays: “John Richer, Manager, ParkSide Older Adult Centre”

A door sign reads, “The ParkSide Centre”, and a senior walks out one of the doors.

Bela talks to John enthusiastically. Bela bends down to talk to a senior sitting at a table. She talks to him and pats him on the back.

John: Bela Ravi is a longtime supporter of the ParkSide Centre. She sees a problem and tries to satisfy that. That’s how she actually started with the fundraisers here at the centre.

The scene fades to black.

Bela is walking in the centre’s kitchen.

The stove is shown in a close up, Bela is pointing at the stove. Bela opens the convection oven doors, and closes them back up.

John: She realized that the equipment in our kitchen was not satisfactory for our lunch service to our members. She approached management and said, “we need to get you a convection oven, and we’re going to host a fundraiser”. And that’s just what she did.

The centre’s main room shows people playing pool. John is talking with one of the seniors.

John: The centre, when Bela first arrived here, it wasn’t doing well. Through the fundraisers that Bela and her family has hosted here, she’s really strengthened the financial position of the centre, and allowed us to have all kinds of different programs: arts and craft classes, line dancing, games, cards ….

John and Bela are walking down the centre’s hallway.

A senior plays pool. An arts and crafts room is full of seniors who are painting with watercolours.

A room is filled with seniors dancing. A table of seniors are playing a game. Another table is playing cards.

John is smiling while Bela talks. Bela nods her head and smiles.

John: Bela had come to us to provide help, had ideas and the drive to raise funds and to make the place a very different one now than it was then.

Art classes are shown with people painting. A senior is talking in an expressive manner and other seniors are laughing.

The scene fades to black.

A building facade is shown with a Canadian flag and a sign that reads, “Rainbow District School Board, Centre for Education”

Norm Blaseg is walking and talking with Bela.

Text displays: “Norm Blaseg, Director of Education, Rainbow District School Board”

Bela is at the wheel driving. Bela and Norm talk in the school board office.

Norm: If you came to Sudbury, and didn’t know Bela, you would find out who she is in a very short order of time. She’s had an impact in our city, and within our school community, and she’s a strong advocate of music.

A school facade is shown, as a student walks down the stairs. Bela walks down a school hallway and into the school office.

In a conference room, Bela shakes the hand of a colleague Joan Mantle Trust board member. Norm is listening to another board member seated at the conference room table. The 5 board members talk together.

A banner in the conference room reads, “Joan Mantle, Music Trust”

Norm: Often school boards have to make choices when it comes to budgets. Bela had approached the board, myself included, so we sat down, and she presented an idea, to say, “why don’t we create a music trust?”

A music teacher is conducting a music class. Students are turning their music sheets. A student is preparing his saxophone. Another student is playing the flute. The music teacher is conducting the student orchestra as they play.

A student is playing the xylophone. More students are playing the trumpet. A young girl is playing the flute. Bela is smiling. Bela and the music teacher applaud the class.

Norm: We really do feel that it’s integral that we give children those opportunities, because there’s a genuine love for music. Every time I see a school band and I hear them play, it’s been the impact of Bela.

Bela shows a family photo. An archive photo of Bela’s parents is shown. Bela looks at the photo and smiles.

A granite stone reads “The Bela Ravi Hall of Fame”, and has Bela’s photo on it.

Bela talks to John in the hallway. Bela talks to the school principal in the music room. Bela hugs several of the board members.

Bela: My sense of giving back comes from my mom. My mother would help anybody. It’s not always about money, you can give your time, you can give some love to somebody who needs it, you can give back in so many ways.

At a dinner event, a balloon reads, “Société Alzheimer Society”. Bela is laughing with another woman. A group of women including Bela are taking a photo together at a photobooth. Bela is socializing at her table at the dinner event. Bela is smiling.

Archive photos of her young daughters, Bela and her husband, and Bela and her adult daughters are shown.

Flags, including the Canadian flag, are blowing in the wind on Sudbury’s Bridge of Nations.

An aerial view of a Sudbury road, and Ramsey Lake at sunset is shown.

Bela: This city, Sudbury, this is the place I live, this is where I raised my kids, what we have around us and what my girls have become is all about this city. So I want to give back to the community that has given me all this.

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Immigrants enrich our communities.”

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Share your story #ImmigrationMatters Facebook: @CitCanada; Twitter: @CitImmCanada; Instagram: @CitImmCanada”

The scene fades to black.

Text displays: “Canada.ca/immigration-matters”

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada corporate signature is shown, along with the copyright message, “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2019”, followed by the Canada wordmark.

Immigration profile: Sudbury, Ontario (Census Metropolitan Area)

Quick facts:

  • Immigrants in Sudbury represent some 6% of the population.
  • Italy is the biggest source country of immigrants to Sudbury, followed by the United Kingdom and Finland.
  • Just over half (51%) of immigrants who came to Sudbury between 1980 and 2016 were economic immigrants, while more than a third (37%) were sponsored by family and 12% were refugees.

Did you know?

  • French is the second most-spoken language in Sudbury in terms of mother tongue and language spoken at home.

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