2 min read

Bread: Rising to the challenge of Community Development

Next week, on Canada Day, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) will unveil their latest interactive documentary: Bread, at the Sidewalk Citizen Bakery.

This exciting, online arts project originated from a Carya Community Development program facilitated by Mariette Sluyter, and has been four years in the making.  We’re incredibly excited and proud to see it come to fruition.

Roman Katsnelson, Managing Director of Community and Economic Development at Carya, talks about the making of Bread and its relevance.

“Bread originated as a Community Development project for older adults. These projects are an attempt to reframe the relationship between older adults and their communities, and to bring their wisdom and experience to the table – literally, in this case.

As you’ll see in the film, participants in Bread came from many different countries and cultures – Pikani Blackfoot, Eastern European, Indian, Canadian folks – each bringing their own bread recipes and techniques.  The idea was to help people make connections about this common, simple theme. As the group continued to meet, they began to share stories which were rich in culture and human resilience through loss; a more complex  theme which is also universal among elders. 

We heard stories of survival, family loss, immigration, war, residential schools, the holocaust. We heard stories of resilience – the strength to find beauty and belonging in the aftermath of survival. All while baking bread. 

So why is this so important? 

We are alive with a great generational divide and that divide is threatening to swallow up parts of our history and culture.  Only by engaging our elders and tapping into their strength and experience, can we start to bridge that gap. 

These days when we want bread we buy it at the store. It’s convenient and on a basic level it nourishes us.  But in buying our nourishment at the store, we’re missing the history and stories which were kneaded into our bread by our elders and their elders before them.

Bread is about cultural nourishment for communities, nourishment which comes from our elders.”

Carya runs inter-generational community development projects across Calgary.

Read more or get in touch to see how you can get involved.

Watch the trailer for Bread here.