LINC’s The Language of Art Show

Posted On Thursday September 14, 2023
Akhter, Jasmin (2)
Waiting by Jasmin Akhter

The Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program proudly presents The Language of Art Show. LINC, a free English program funded by Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for Permanent Residents, Convention Refugees, and Protected Persons, has decided to exhibit its students’ artistic talents for the first time ever this year.

The idea originated from Holly Hashimi, Registration and Recruitment Assistant of the LINC department. “I was inspired by one of our student artists, who taught me how to do glass mosaic work. She showed me her work as an art teacher in her home country of Ukraine, and I was fascinated.” Hashimi’s vision was simple: to share this abundance of creativity with the Keyano community and the residents of Wood Buffalo.

Hashimi discusses the impact of the LINC program on newcomers in Canada, stating, “Some of our students’ main social experience in Fort McMurray is attending LINC classes, where they can learn with others at a similar language level. I wanted our students to unite with the community through a medium that speaks to all: art.” This shift from language instruction to artistic expression gives students a sense of belonging, where students can connect beyond words.

“Art and creative expression are just one way we all can speak the same language. We do not always need words and characters to transmit our message.”

One of the artists featured in the show is former LINC student Jasmin Akhter, originally from Bangladesh and came to Canada in 2009; she says her artistic journey began at a young age. Akhter reminisces, “Since I was little, I loved playing with clay and mimicking everything around me. I was intrigued by puppet shows during my childhood, which have inspired much of my creativity.” Her love for hyperrealism is also present in her artwork – from landscape to the portrait of a girl patiently awaiting her loved one, her style evokes feelings of illusory beauty in viewers.

She reflects on the significance of the LINC program, stating, “The instructors of LINC taught me how to be ambitious. They inspired me to return to school, and I am currently a student in the Social Work Diploma program at Keyano.”

During the reception, four local artists will create live demonstrations, including a Rangoli mosaic, which will be crafted from sand and bright materials that symbolize transiency.  

The Language of Art show is a tribute to newcomers in Canada and the universality of art, and we invite viewers to explore these themes of cultural transformation, immigration, and language.


Location: Keyano College Art Gallery
Saturday, Sept 23, 6:00–9:00 pm
Exhibition Dates:
September 23 - 29, 2023