For over 10 years, the New Canadians Centre has facilitated the popular Multicultural Canada Day Festival in Peterborough on Canada Day, July 1. The festival celebrates diversity and multiculturalism, and its significance in our community and Canada. This year, over 3000 people braved the blistering heat on one of the hottest Canada Days in recent times to celebrate with us at Del Crary Park.
Photo: Ciprian Mazare
Under the theme #BringPeopleTogether, the festival celebrated various cultures from around that world and their presence in Peterborough. Over 30 food and craft vendors, and a bevy of local performers provided glimpses of the cultures, foods, music, dance, history, and fashion of Russia, India, Bangladesh, Greece, Thailand, the Caribbean, Vietnam, Panama, Zimbabwe, Latin America, and more. Festival-goers also had an opportunity to take the NCC Citizenship Challenge, testing their knowledge of Canadian history, geography, culture, and more. Family activities including face painting, henna, a Kids Zone, and more rounded off the festival.
Reflecting on the festival, Carmela Valles, former Executive Director of the New Canadians Centre and a sponsor of this year’s event says “When you arrive at the park and you see all of the international food, music and performers and you see your origins and your culture being celebrated by everyone that lives in this community, you not only feel welcome. You feel like you belong.”
The festival could not run without the support of 26 NCC staff members who plan and work the festival, and a team of 130+ volunteers who ensure everything runs smoothly. This year, we were lucky to have many enthusiastic international students from Fleming College volunteering at the Festival, further highlighting the positive impacts of community support and multiculturalism.
This Celebrate Canada event was generously funded and supported by: Canadian Heritage, United Way of Peterborough & District, City of Peterborough, Chex Peterborough, The Wolf 101.5 FM, Fresh Radio 100.5, Tim Hortons, Leon’s Peterborough, Siemens, Carmella Valles Immigration Consulting, Healthy Kids Community Challenge, Ricart, Rocky Ridge Drinking Water, Art Gallery of Peterborough, and thebus.ca.