The beginning of August marks a time that many Manitobans look forward to all year – two weeks of culture, food, diversity, entertainment, and a celebration of multiculturalism known as Folklorama.
Like many people in our community, my family and I have been attending Folklorama since it started in 1970. I have had many memorable experiences and have made many lifelong friends. My wife, Sowmya, has also danced at the India and Tamil Pavilions.
Canadians are proud to live in a diverse and welcoming country where people of all backgrounds can have a real and fair chance at making a better life for themselves and their families.
Unfortunately, too many Canadians continue to face racism and discrimination that prevent them from fully participating in society.
That’s why in Budget 2018, our government has renewed its commitment to multiculturalism and invested $21 million over two years for the Multiculturalism Program, $2 million to an initiative to address racism, and $9 million over three years to Canadian Heritage to support black youth at risk.
Last month, our government announced that it is investing an additional $23 million into the Multiculturalism Program to continue bring communities together and celebrate our differences.
This year, I plan to attend several pavilions, including the Budapest-Hungaria Pavilion and Serbian “Kolo” Pavilion – both of which I’m proud to share are located at the St. James Civic Centre in the Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley community.
It’s not only events like Folklorama that celebrate multiculturalism in our community. In June, I had the pleasure of attending a Swedish picnic and Midsommar celebration at the Swedish Canadian Home on Roblin Boulevard. This event was a celebration of Scandinavian culture and the summer solstice, where attendees could enjoy Scandinavian delicacies and dance around the maypole.
If you would like to share your fond Folklorama or other multiculturalism event memories with me or you require assistance with any federal matters, please contact my office by phone at 204-984-6432 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This column was featured in The Metro and The Headliner on Aug. 1. To view this column online, visit Canstar Community News’ website here.