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Two days of multicultural food, music and culture on the way

The annual event takes place on May 25 and 26
Agnes Okonmah and Vanessa September Bentle at the pan African booth at last year's Timmins Multicultural Festival.

A popular annual event celebrating the vibrant cultures in the area is expanding to offer an extra day of fun.

The Timmins Multicultural Festival is gearing up for a two-day celebration of food, music, and information from cultures in the city from all over the world on May 25 and 26.

“I’m surprised the community doesn’t smell like all of these wonderful international dishes that are being prepared. They’re cooking up a storm,” said organizer Marnie Lapierre.

Expanding the event allows for more conversation and gives people a chance to learn, she said.

“The first day is smaller, taking place in the auditorium, and it is a presentation from our membership talking about their heritage,” she said. “It breaks down those barriers, and you find out what your neighbours are all about.”

Funding from sponsors allowed the society to bring in some performers from out of town, including the Efik Class Performers, who represent African cultures.

“They will be doing traditional dances from Africa in full massive costumes,” said Lapierre. “It is the first time there has been a performance like this.”

There will be another performance with an alpine horn on site as well.

“I’ve only ever seen them in the cough drop commercials and in movies, so I’m really excited,” said Lapierre.

Local performers aren’t being forgotten, though. Many performers from Timmins are on the bill, including the New Moon Singers, the Maharalika Filipino Dancers, Tony Ciccone, who will play the accordion, and Celtic balladeer Bill Farquhar, are all ready to take the stage on Sunday.

Representatives from China are also back at the festival, and the dragon dance performers will participate in the parade and show throughout the festival.

“The dragon is back!” said Lapierre. “It’s very appropriate because it is the year of the dragon.”

On Saturday, May 25, starting at 12:30 pm, presentations and conversations about cultures will be open to the public for a monetary donation at the door.  

On Sunday, May 26, performances will be happening throughout the day at the McIntyre Arena.

The parade of nations will open the event on Sunday at noon. Booths for 25 nations will be set up with food, cultural art, and volunteers to answer questions and teach attendees about their culture. 

The Anti-Hunger Coalition will also have copies of the Taste of Timmins cookbook for sale.

The tentative schedule for the weekend is available on the Timmins Multicultural Society 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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