One of the community’s most popular events, Powell River’s seventh annual Celebration of Cultural Diversity festival takes place on Saturday, November 18, at Powell River Recreation Complex.
With a goal to celebrate different cultures and their inclusiveness within the community, the event’s attendance has more than doubled in its seven years. Last year’s celebration saw more than 1,300 people pass through the doors, according to event coordinator Patti Coburn.
“The event has grown into an unparalleled opportunity for residents and visitors from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds to gather in celebration of their cultural roots,” says Coburn. “It’s about the appreciation of your neighbours. The key to the success of this event is the number of volunteers who come to share their ethnic cultures.”
This year’s event includes 17 different countries and more than 30 cultures represented with performances, food, demonstrations, information and more.
A grand prize of a four-person helicopter tour courtesy of Oceanview Helicopters will be awarded to one lucky attendee who collects a minimum of seven different cultural display booth stamps.
“What a wonderful way to see Powell River and appreciate where you live, with the opportunity to take a helicopter tour,” says Coburn.
Initially presented by Powell River Diversity Initiative (PRDI), the annual event has become a celebration of the mosaic of cultures represented in the area’s growing population, says PRDI president Marilyn Carey.
“In Canada, we are a mosaic,” says Carey, “and that means celebrating cultures, languages, foods, dress, arts and dance within the community in which we live.”
In addition to nine countries providing food this year, the entertainment lineup includes One Voices Choir, Filipino dancing and singing, Li Chinese singers, a multicultural drum circle and African singing and music by Nelson Nagenda, among others.
New this year to the festival is a screening of The Button Blanket Story, a film about Tla’amin Nation culture that was funded through grant monies.
“We wanted to use the grant money we received,” says Coburn, “to highlight the first culture right here in Powell River.”
Celebration of Cultural Diversity
When: 10 am-3 pm, Saturday, November 18
Where: Powell River Recreation Complex