The Castlegar Refugee Project will be hosting an International Culture Festival at the Castlegar Recreation Centre on Family Day, February 8. The event has a two fold purpose, raising funds for the refugee project and raising awareness about the cultural diversity that we already have in Castlegar. “It is meant to make Castlegar realize that we have a lot of international culture here,” said event organizer Julie Leffelaar.
Organizers are looking for people who would like to share their cultural heritage with the rest of the community to participate in the event. “We are looking for art, dance, music, crafts, story telling, children’s activities, food and more,” said Leffelaar. “We would love to have something from many, many backgrounds, including First Nations, Russian, Asian, Indian, Caribbean, Scottish, British, Norwegian, African…. endless possibilities,” said Leffelaar.
Anyone wishing to participate in the event can contact Julie Leffelaar at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 250-365-5442. There is no cost for those wishing to present their culture at the event. If you are interested in participating, but don’t want to do something all by yourself, Leffelaar is also coordinating those who would like to join together with others that share their heritage into groups that would work together.
The event will be open to the public from 1:30 – 4:30 pm. The small admission fee as well as any other funds raised will go towards the family that the Castlegar Refugee Project is working towards bringing to Castlegar. The family will be one that has already been in a refugee camp for some time and although a specific family has not been selected yet, the organization is hoping to bring the family here this year.
There will be a display and educational information available at the event on refugees and the the process of sponsoring a refugee in Canada.
Donations of $20 or more are eligible for an income tax receipt if they are made out to St. David’s Anglican Church, and designated for the Castlegar Refugee Project. You do not have to wait for the event to make a donation, as there are several other options available. Donations can be made through St. David’s anytime. Heritage Credit Union has set up a fund and will be matching donations made to it up to $2500. Lastly, bookmarks are being sold by donation all around Castlegar. The colourful bookmarks have Arabic lettering that translates into the words love and mercy. They can be found at the Castlegar Library, Kootenay Market, Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmasave, Castlegar Recreation Centre and Cafe Books.