Young and old alike shared a piece of their heritage with each other at the festival.

International culture abounds in Castlegar

International Culture Festival a huge success for the Castlegar Refugee Project.

Over 800 people came out to support the International Cultural Festival held Monday at the Castlegar Community Complex. The event was a fundraiser and educational opportunity for the Castlegar Refugee Project. The group hopes to bring a refugee family to Castlegar sometime this spring.

Over 30 different groups showcased a wide variety of heritage aspects throughout the day. Dancing, calligraphy, henna tattoos, ethnic foods, origami and tea ceremonies were just some of the cultural treasures to be found.

The overwhelming response to the event was heartwarming to Castlegar Refugee Project chair Rosemary Manarin. “It has been wonderful, quite amazing,” she said. “We have had really good support. It is great to see the community coming together like this and sharing so many different cultural experiences.”

The fundraising aspect was definitely a success with about $10,000 coming in, bringing the refugee project’s finances to the point they can move to the next step in bringing a family here.

The festival turned out better than event organizer Julie Leffelaar had expected. “For me it was about the mingling around of the cultures,” she said. “I think Castlegar was ready for and needing this intercultural exchange. It has shown that Castlegar has a lot of spirit and talent.”

Leffelaar feels confident in the show of community support. “It feels like a mandate or yes from the community [for bringing in a refugee family],” she added.

Organizers are very thankful for all of the support they received as putting on the event did not cost them any money, enabling all of the funds received to go directly towards the refugees. A big part of that was thanks to RDCK Areas I and J and the Castlegar and District Recreation Commission not only providing the use of the facility but also suggesting the Family Day date, which turned out to be a perfect match for the festival.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

The portion of highway is down to single-lane alternating traffic. Photo: Connor Trembley
Commercial trailer catches fire near Castlegar

Traffic was delayed along Hwy 3

Numbers indicate positive COVID-19 tests, January through September. Map: BC Centre for Disease Control
Twenty-five cases of COVID-19 reported in Nelson, Castlegar and Trail in 2020

New data from the BC Centre for Disease Control shows numbers of cases per community

Castlegar Search and Rescue members practicing their skills at the Kinnaird Bluffs. Photo: submitted
Why search and rescue is a free, non-judgmental service in B.C.

Castlegar Search and Rescue talks about why they do what they do

Katrine Conroy has won for the fifth time in the Kootenay West riding. Photo: Submitted
Katrine Conroy ready to tackle challenges after election

Conroy won the Kootenay West riding for the fifth time

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Most Read