Saskatchewan celebrates its diverse mosaic during CultureFête
CBC’s CultureFête brought cultures from around the world to the lawns of the CBC Broadcast Centre on Saturday, Sept. 25. Part of Culture Days, CultureFête showcased tastes of cultures from around the world that help form the cultural mosiac of Saskatchewan.
In between samosas and spring rolls cooked by the Regina Immigrant Women’s Centre, spectators were free to indulge in aboriginal story telling or dancing, mini language lessons put on by the Saskatchewan Organization of Heritage Languages, a photograph series put together by immigrant and refugee youth who now live here in Saskatchewan, interactive poetry with Saskatchewan poet Robert Currie, or partake in an interactive photo project that assembled photos of the people who were in attendance with a quote about what culture meant to them.
Ballie Omar, a member of the Regina Immigrant Women’s Centre, explained that CultureFête brought “all sorts of communities together from different backgrounds, and as we gather, you can see the mixture and the different cultures. Each one is displaying what they know best – we’re learning from each other.”
There was no shortage of opportunities to learn things such as how to play Sepak Takraw or how to make origami.
“[Culture Days] is a grassroots celebration of culture across the country,” says Jill Spelliscy, one of the organizers for the event. “Who doesn’t want to celebrate what makes our souls sing?” And singing there was.
With live musical acts ranging from local country singer Jason Plumb, Greek musicians Arkadia, and a violin quartet led by Denique Leblanc. “It’s a really good exposure to realize the talent, the music, and the different events,” Roberta Wallace, one of the violinists, divulges. Events such as CultureFête help to bring awareness to all the unique cultures that surround us and shape us, but often go unnoticed.
“I think the awareness [of our local culture] definitely could be higher … I think we need to build it, grow [it], and nurture it,” elaborates Sarah Cibart, one of Roberta’s co-fiddlers. “I think often when we think Saskatchewan, we think of Aboriginal or sometimes French, but we have to highlight that we do have cultures from all around the world. Events like [CultureFête] really highlight the cultural diversity that we have,” says Denique Leblanc. “When we say ‘culture,’ we say the main ones that we have in our city.”
“I think there’s a stereotype to our province that we’re not cultured, or as big as the rest of the cultures; we’re not producing as much as the other cultures, but that’s not true. You go to an event like this and you see all the different people here that put work in, and you see different people that are putting on different events of different kinds. I think Saskatchewan kind of needs to get its big break,” Cibart recaps.
Anyone who attended CBC’s CultureFête would have to agree with Cibart – there were limitless amounts of different things to learn about from all over the world. It was a real crowd pleaser.
“Well look at the people around,” poet Robert Currie states. “I think they’re really enjoying the event, and we’re seeing people from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures. I think it’s important.”
More photos from CultureFête: