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Letter: Colourful return for long-standing event

Ukraine was greeted with 'incredible roar of support' at the Timmins Multicultural Festival
Multicultural Marine
Marnie Lapierre, President and Co-chair of the Timmins Multicultural Festival, enjoys summer-like weather at the International Peace Park Project in the Schumacher Lions Park, behind the McIntyre Arena.

After two long years the Timmins Multicultural Festival welcomed everyone back to celebrate our community’s unique diversity on May 29th. The Timmins Multicultural Society also celebrated its 50th anniversary of hosting this festival. There are not many events that can  boast such a long-standing history in Ontario. This would not have been possible without our city’s wonderful support from the volunteer multicultural organizations who created the lively exhibits and performances. Are generous sponsors made it possible to be able to host this  event once again at the McIntyre Arena. We would like to Barazzutti Strybos Barristors and  Solicitors, the City of Timmins, Johns Neon Signs, Kidd Operations Glencore, Lady Luck Family  Restaurant and Convenience Store, Lakeshore Gold/Pan American Silver, Timmins and District  Multicultural Centre, Newmont Porcupine, Travelodge, and the Ukrainian Cultural Group of  Timmins. 

In case you were unable to attend, let us paint you a picture of this wonderful event. In a  colourful array of people and flags, we had nearly 200 participate during the indoor parade. Thirty-two countries from around the world were represented. The last country to enter, Ukraine, was greeted by an incredible roar of support by attendees and participants. There were 14 exhibits and some countries combined under one continent to provide attendees with the opportunity to engage, taste, and enjoy multicultural experiences from around the globe.  

The stage was alive with dance and music with the following line up:  

  • Zoimar Monroy & Northern Latin Flavour (Sudbury) salsa dancers  
  • Nasha Rodyna Dancers (Sudbury) - Ukraine 
  • Timmins Police Pipes and Drums - Scotland 
  • Tony Cicconne, Accordion, Italy 
  • New Moon Singers, Pow Wow Demonstration  
  • Paul Sebalj - Croatia  
  • Lisa Froment - Francophone 
  • Jeawelle Cariaga,Jeanine Grace Estabillo, Leona Estabillo - Phillipines
  • Jeff Baldock sang Small Town with a Big Heart, all about Timmins 
  • And William Farquhar Celtic Representation 

During opening ceremonies, Marnie Lapierre current president and this year's co-chair of the  festival acknowledged the decades-long leadership of past president Marjorie Boyd, and presented a plaque dedicated to recent past president Helen Yaschyshyn as for her dedication and commitment to the Timmins Multicultural Mociety and Timmins Multicultural Festival over the past few years. Both individuals have left a lasting positive impact on this community and the festival. 

By end of day, those booths selling a taste of their country had sold out, new partnerships had been announced, such as the 50:50 draw with the Kinette Club of Timmins. A partnership with  as Northern College regarding year-round multicultural program experiences in the community,  and a few other local organisations who wish to support this yearly event. And a commitment with Newmont Porcupine to sponsor in part over three years which will aid toward an extended longevity of the festival. 

We'd like to thank the community who came out in droves to connect, to experience and to enjoy the day's events. The support through donations at the door was remarkable and we  thank you all for making our day incredibly special. Thank you to Mark Kinsman and Jamie  Klomp from Kinz and Klomp. Your unique presentation was extremely engaging and fun for the audience and was a definite change up from years past. Thank you to Marc Durocher and  assistant Caelan Hutchinson of Marc Durocher Photography for spending the day capturing all  the activities on film. And thank you to Luc Chalifoux of Midnight Express DJ Services for making  it all sound great. We’d also like to thank John, the arena staff member who helped us with set  up and all the last-minute changes! Thank you to our day of event volunteers, members of the  community who reached out to support through their time and energy. Alina Kasperait, Angele  Police, Sherry Tremblay, Joyce Johnston, Alexa Yashyschyn, Alexis Vaillaincourt, Anton  Yashyschyn, Luca Barazzutti, Maija Barney, Natalia Fortin, Carl Gupo, Karina Loza and Brenda  Yanel MacCoy 

In closing I'd also like to thank the executive committee who worked behind the scenes to  coordinate this year's festival; past president Helen Yashyschyn, vice president Rita Loza, secretary Andrew Persad, and treasurer Janet Rogers. We've already started taking notes for next year and will commence planning in the weeks to come. We encourage everyone who is seeking to be a part of the event to reach out to those multicultural representatives who hosted the booths this year or to our executive committee.  

See you next year! 

Marnie Lapierre 
President, Timmins Multicultural Society