As part of The Welcome to Canada fund from Canada Council for the Arts, CBJ offered access tickets to Syrian refugee families in 8 cities on our tour. Company dancer Junior Gaspar Caballero shares his experience on meeting the refugees:
My name is Junior Gaspar Caballero, and I have been dancing with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen since 2014. I moved to Canada from Paraguay five years ago to pursue ballet studies and my dream of becoming a professional dancer.
This season, I am delighted to have performed for Syrian refugees in 8 cities across the country. Most recently, a group of refugee families attended our Swan Lake performance in Saskatoon. I met with the group afterwards, and even though they did not say much, I could see the sparkles in their eyes. Their sponsors told us how nice it was to do something with them other than taking care of their immediate needs.
Many of my colleagues, including my Artistic Director, were once newcomers in Canada. We have bonded through dance and travelled in our new home together – in my first season with the Company, I toured to all 10 provinces in the country. I am thrilled that we can reach other newcomers through dance.
For me, dance means self-expression, career, passion, challenge and a sense of accomplishment. I look forward to sharing my art with you one day.
Junior Gaspar Caballero
CBJ Company Dancer