Just six more days until the Westman Multicultural Festival comes to Brandon! Taking place next week, February 8-10 throughout the city!
This is the first year the festival has been back since Covid and the organizing committee and their wealth of volunteers are putting the final touches on their menus, costuming, music - and for some of them dance!
Gautam Srivastava is the secretary for the executive of the Westman Multicultural Society, and a member of the organizing committee for the India Pavilion.
They've had a great response from the community when it comes to volunteers. "The volunteer sign up page has been quite active," he explains. "People have been signing up, they're wanting to get involved. And that in itself is its own experience, being able to volunteer with people from all the different diverse cultures and actually helpl!"
There are six Pavilions this year, El Salvador, India, Mauritius, Mexico Philippines, Ukraine. Information on each pavilion is available on the website and on social media.
"We've procured a partnership with Westman Immigration Services, and they have assisted us in getting volunteers for this event," shares Srivastava, "because they're really at the ground level of new immigrants into the Westman area and so they have that direct connection to that. And they've been vital for us since the summer event, to be able to run some of these volunteer-based events."
Their Facebook page and website will be continuously updated with more information on each of the pavilions including the menus and the schedule of performances.
There will also be more information on their opening ceremony which will take place Thursday evening at 5:45 pm at the El Salvador Pavilion at the North End Community Centre, 1313 Stickney Avenue, Brandon.
Srivastava says the opening ceremony will include a special program where local, provincial and federal dignitaries will be sharing. As well there will be a very special tribute to a long-standing volunteer, Mo Karrouze, who passed away in September 2020 after a long and valiant battle with cancer.
"Mo was heavily involved in the organization of the pavilions and specifically with the English pavilion," shares Srivastava, "and so we'll be doing a tribute to him during the opening ceremony on Thursday evening."