Why Digital Stories?

Digital Stories offer a creative way for community members to reflect on their lives and share important life experiences. NYCH supports newcomers as they share their experience of migration before, during, and after arriving to Canada. In addition to newcomers, NYCH has co-created Digital Stories with women, youth, LGBTQ folks, and individuals of various abilities and mental health challenges. Digital Stories provide the opportunity to obtain a deeper understanding of the challenges community members face, as well as their capacity and resilience as human beings. Newcomers and non-newcomers can share knowledge as we come together to promote, create, and facilitate the sharing of Digital Stories. 


Whether you want to create a Digital Story, host a screening event, or be part of a community initiative, Digital Stories facilitate the sharing of stories and experiences, participation in story circles, as well as technological learning; all the while being supported throughout the process.   

Community Screening

At present, NYCH has 95 Digital Stories available for screening events. These can be used in small groups to facilitate discussion and in larger groups to raise awareness about the multiplicity of the varied experiences of storytellers. The stories are educational, inspirational, and thought provoking - and are a great way to engage community members and get people talking. Storytellers have generously agreed that others can use their stories for a screening project.

The Process

The Stories

The Impact

The Process



Digital Stories are created in a facilitated workshop that can consist of up to 10 participants and completed over 3-5 days.

The process involves storytelling circles, writing a script, storyboarding, taking photographs and finding imagery, recording narration, using video editing tools, screening the final videos, and follow-up.



Developing a Digital Story is not just about creating a video - it is about telling your unique story. Everyone has a story they want to tell - or need to tell - and the digital story workshop helps them tell it.

The storytelling process begins with providing a safe and supportive environment for participants to explore their histories and reflect on the events that shaped their lives. Sharing these personal stories within a group environment gives everyone the opportunity to discuss a broad range of issues and experiences.


The creation of the Digital Story itself takes a great deal of technical capacity, and the workshop sessions teach tech in a way that participants of all skill levels can grasp.

By the end of each session, participants leave with a greater understanding of computer and program technology. These skills can easily be transferred to other programs and projects.

For example, after learning the video editing software, participants have indicated that they feel more comfortable using PowerPoint and other workplace software.



Story Screenings
Story screenings are a very important part of the Digital Storytelling process. This is where participants get a chance to showcase their unique stories. The initial screening is held right after the session, before post-production and for workshop participants' eyes only. The second is held in a larger forum with invitations sent out by the participants. 

Emotional Support and Follow-Up
Currently, all workshops are followed up with an immediate debrief after the session, as well as a more detailed support session 1-2 weeks after the workshop. This gives the participants a chance to discuss any issues that may have surfaced through the Digital Storytelling process in more detail. Often, the stories shared are very private and contain a lot of history and strong emotions; giving this extra support allows the participants to come to a sense of closure. Ongoing one-on-one support may be necessary for some participants that have shared stories of an emotional crisis or ongoing concern. 

The Stories


The Impact

I finally feel like my voice is being heard
— Digital Storytelling Participant

80% of newcomers that participated in a Digital Story workshop stated that they made a connection to other newcomers and were motivated to become more involved in their community

80% of participants that created Digital Stories gained skills for English literacy and critical and reflective thinking.

85% of participants that created Digital Stories gained knowledge and skills in the areas of technology and media production. 

70% of school administrative staff that viewed Digital Stories created by newcomer youth, implemented changes to their ESL programs or processes for their newcomer student population.   

85% of organization front line staff that viewed newcomer Digital Stories indicated a greater understanding of how to meet the needs of the immigrant and refugee families that they work with. 

Watch more of our Digital Stories on our Youtube channel.
For more information, please call 416-784-0920 Ext. 2224 or send us an email.