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Festival promises food, music and culture

Organizer says there's an amazing line-up this year
Multicultural Marine
Marnie Lapierre, president and co-chair of the Timmins Multicultural Festiva, in a file photo.

Timmins' award-winning Multicultural Festival is ready to share the cultures that make up the city this weekend.

The event is on Sunday, May 28, at the McIntyre Community Centre, starting with the parade of nations at noon.

Marnie Lapierre said that the setup for the event is well underway and organizers are ready to welcome the community for food, fun, music and cultural sharing.

“Our line-up is amazing this year,” she said. “We’re so fortunate that Timmins has a growing diverse population, that we’re able to draw on the talent of people who have just moved into the region and want to participate and share their traditions and cultures.”

Organizers have also teamed up with the Anti-hunger Coalition Timmins to offer the Taste of Timmins cookbook featuring recipes from many of the groups that will be present for the event.

“They wanted something that spoke to the community, and would garner a lot of interest in people exploring their heritage,” she said. “I’m sure a lot of people will recognize recipes that family members have made in the past, and new ones they’ve never tried before.”

The cookbook will be available at the festival.

There are over 30 groups participating this year.

“I know there’s more out there that want to join, and by all means, reach out,” she said. “They’re all doing all these great activities in the community and every day I’m seeing something new pop up.”

This is the 51st anniversary of the event.

The festival was named one of the top 100 festivals in the province at this year's Festivals and Events Ontario conference.

Donations will be accepted at the door, and all the funds raised will go toward next year’s event.

“It truly is representative of how diverse and inclusive our community is and can be,” said Lapierre. “It’s a great way to bridge those engagements between the public and people who are new to the community.”

RELATED: Multicultural festival officially one of the best in Ontario

Anyone attending the event is encouraged to share their own culture and attend in their own traditional garb.

“We encourage everyone to dress up in their own heritage,” she said. “In a kilt, in a sari, in any type of traditional dress, they’re most welcome to do so. It really adds to the flavour at the event.”

Lapierre said watching people connect and learn about something new is always a great part of the event.

“You see the conversations and the connections happening,” she said. “It’s just wonderful.”

She said the rush to the booths after the parade of nations is always amazing to see.

“It’s absolutely heartwarming,” said Lapierre. “The throng of people that go to the booths and enjoy the food and engage with all the cultures that are there, I love it.”

Anyone looking to get involved in the festival or volunteer their time can reach out on the official festival Facebook page.

Amanda Rabski-McColl, LJI Reporter

About the Author: Amanda Rabski-McColl, LJI Reporter

Amanda Rabski-McColl is a Diversity Reporter under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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