We usually hear about the problems of cultures colliding, but things were different in Castlegar Monday where more than just two rivers converged — people and their cultures converged.
For the second year in a row, the International Culture Festival was held at the Castlegar Community Complex. The event has two purposes — to celebrate the cultural diversity found in Castlegar and to raise funds for the Castlegar Refugee Project (CaRe) which is now supporting two refugee families. It was successful on both fronts.
The event was filled with displays, information, activities and even food samples from a wide range of countries including Japan, Philippines, Norway, Russia, India, Mexico and Ukraine. Visitors could take part in Arabic calligraphy, origami folding and henna tattooing. A Doukhobor choir and some brave young adults from India sang.
“It is meant to be a celebration of all the many cultures in Castlegar,” said CaRe volunteer Rosemary Manarin. “Thank you for everyone who came out. It is awesome — the support of this international event.”
Some entertaining dancing was a highlight of the stage performances as the crowd was encouraged to join in with a dancer who was set to perform a hip-hop number sung in French and an African dance. The gutsy volunteers were coached along in the dance routine much to the delight of the audience who cheered them on. Young and old, East and West came together on the dance floor as the participants dipped their toes into another culture.