Northeast Calgary community highlights reality of violence through theatre

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WATCH: A group of performers from Calgary's northeast communities are coming together and bringing awareness to gun violence in that part of the city. Josh Ritchie reports on the call to action following a string of shootings.

A Calgary group is looking to raise more awareness of gun violence in the city’s northeast through theatre.

The Progressive Cultural Association of Calgary has been performing for over 10 years. The group said the best way to reach the kids in the community and warn them of the dangers of gang violence was through drama.

“Our substitute culture would be making people aware [of gun violence] through theatre,” said Risham Sharma, a performer with the Progressive Cultural Association of Calgary, on Saturday.
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“Theatre leaves an impact on the minds of the kids and kids are the future of our country. We need to give them plays and everything we can to make them aware.”

READ MORE: 2 men injured in northeast Calgary shooting: police

The group of actors from Calgary’s South Asian community know it’s time for a change after a string of shootings in the northeast.

“My kid is not safe. He cannot even walk a kilometre from my house. I won’t let him, even though he’s a teenager,” said Kamalpreet Pandher, an organizer with the Progressive Cultural Association of Calgary. “You just don’t feel safe as a parent.”

The group is hoping that their call to action will get the City of Calgary to put more work into ensuring the safety of its northeast communities.

READ MORE: Victim taken to hospital with multiple gunshot wounds after northeast Calgary shooting

“People are scared in their own neighbourhoods,” Pandher said. “They don’t feel safe. Who knows who’s going to be next. Whose kid is going to be next?”

The group also hopes performances like these will keep children from partaking in gang violence.