Through the Lens: A Photographic Exploration of Exclusion, Inclusion, and Belonging in the Childcare System

Qayqayt, qʼwa:n̓ ƛʼən̓ (Kwantlen), Katzie, kwikwəƛw̓ əm (Kwikwetlem), xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Stó:lō, sc̓ əwaθn məsteyəxw (Tsawwassen), and Tsleil-Waututh territories/New Westminster, BC.

NEW WESTMINSTER, March 25, 2023—Pacific Immigrant Resources Society (PIRS) is excited to announce Through the Lens: A Photographic Exploration of Exclusion, Inclusion and Belonging in the Childcare System opening Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Anvil Centre.

Through the Lens is a photographic journey created by participants of the “Building A Child Care System That Works for Immigrant and Refugee Women” project. On this journey, they explore their experiences of exclusion, inclusion, and belonging in the childcare system. These photographs aim to raise awareness about the barriers immigrant and refugee women face, and to encourage critical dialogue about the need for an equitable and inclusive approach to building a childcare system. Touching on stories of discrimination, isolation, resilience, but also joy and empowerment; the exhibition offers an opportunity for community members and decision-makers to engage and learn from the lived experiences of immigrant and refugee women.

The exhibition is open from March 25 to May 2, 2023, on the fourth floor of the Anvil Centre (777 Columbia St, New Westminster, BC). The opening reception will be held on March 25th, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.


In 2021, after decades of advocacy, all Canadian provinces and territories signed the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) agreement. This commitment represents a significant step toward establishing a universal high-quality, affordable, accessible, and inclusive childcare system for all Canadians.

PIRS’ project “Building a Childcare System that Works for Immigrant and Refugee Women” was launched to make sure that immigrant and refugee women are represented at the decision-making tables and that their voices are included in the development of the system, particularly in the context of pandemic recovery. The project brings together immigrant and refugee women who have direct experience with the childcare system as parents, caregivers, educators, and advocates. The project is funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada.

To learn more about the project, or donate, please visit:


Established in 1975, Pacific Immigrant Resources Society (PIRS) is a pioneer and leader in the provision of accessible, inclusive, low-barrier programs that develop immigrant and refugee women’s knowledge, skills and confidence so they and their families can thrive in their new home. Recognizing the intersectional barriers faced by immigrant and refugee women in accessing childcare in Canada, PIRS seeks to ensure that the needs of their constituents are integrated into the design of the universal childcare system.


Media Contact:
Gabriela Cervantes
Project Coordinator
(778) 608-4098

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