The Westman Multicultural Festival in Brandon returned last week, and the 2024 edition was deemed a success.
This year, six pavilions were featured across the city, the festival ran for three days and ended on Saturday night.
Gautam Srivastava is on the festival’s planning committee, and he says over the three days more than 20,000 people passed through the pavilions. “You know with fewer pavilions there was a risk that people wouldn’t be as interested but that wasn’t the case. We saw phenomenal crowds all three days with things really ramping up on the Saturday.”
Srivastava says the festival returned this year following the pandemic and because they moved the date back slightly it coincided with other things like weddings, conferences and other events that have returned and that put a premium on venues.
“We were ready to go with more pavilions this year, but we couldn’t find space to house all the groups. That was the main issue, the venues. All our groups were organized and ready to go this year, but we just couldn’t get the space we needed.
The Multicultural Festival committee held a one-day event this past summer just as a way of getting things kick started.
“This festival is a way of getting to know your neighbours. It means even more to me as it reflects the change in dynamic in Canada towards multiculturalism. I’m a 70’s baby of Canada and the country wasn’t like this 30 or 40 years ago. The festival to me means showing all the cultural diversity we have in our community, so people have a better understanding of who the different cultures and people are that represent Westman.
Srivastava adds they’ll be hosting another summer event in late July.