Di­verse group throws di­ver­sity party

New fes­ti­val to cel­e­brate city’s many cul­tures, world flavours

StarMetro Halifax - - HALIFAX - Yvette d’en­tremont Metro | Hal­i­fax

A group of young pro­fes­sion­als, many of them im­mi­grants, have stepped up to fill the void left by the dis­ap­pear­ance of Hal­i­fax’s an­nual mul­ti­cul­tural fes­ti­val.

This Satur­day, Fu­sion Hal­i­fax will host a day-long free fes­ti­val on the Gar­ri­son Grounds.

In­tended to bring the com­mu­nity to­gether to cel­e­brate cul­ture and di­ver­sity, the Fu­sion In­clu­sion Fes­ti­val is a col­lab­o­ra­tion of more than 20 com­mu­nity part­ners.

“It is re­ally em­pow­er­ing and mo­ti­vat­ing to see peo­ple that are com­ing from out­side the coun­try and want to do some­thing for this coun­try,” said Ali Al­ger­mozi, di­rec­tor of Fu­sion Hal­i­fax’s im­mi­gra­tion and di­ver­sity ac­tion team and one of the event’s or­ga­niz­ers.

“They are very happy and thank­ful for the op­por­tu­nity they have been given and so this is a way to plan an event that’s by the com­mu­nity for the com­mu­nity. We want to cel­e­brate our dif­fer­ences, learn about one an­other and we want to make sure that peo­ple re­ally get that first-hand im­pres­sion.”

Al­ger­mozi said they wanted to help fill the gap left when the city’s long-run­ning an­nual mul­ti­cul­tural fes­ti­val was canned. They ini­tially wanted to of­fer a two- to three-day fes­ti­val, but opted to start small with the in­ten­tion of grow­ing next year. “We wanted to con­tinue on the same track that hap­pened ev­ery year but at the same time we also wanted to do some­thing dif­fer­ent, be a lit­tle bit more in­no­va­tive and cre­ative,” he said. Be­tween 20 and 30 ac­tive vol­un­teers spent the last eight months plan­ning the event, se­cur­ing sponsorship from TD Bank and other busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“Be­cause it’s our first year do­ing this, we are not sure it will suc­ceed or flop. But what re­ally mat­ters is ev­ery­one is will­ing to take that step for­ward and make some­thing hap­pen so ku­dos to Hal­i­fax. Our com­mu­nity is amaz­ing.”

There will be on­stage per­for­mances show­cas­ing cul­tures from across the globe, ven­dors sell­ing unique prod­ucts and food sell­ers shar­ing flavours from Africa, the Caribbean, In­dia, Korea, the Mediter­ranean, and more.

There’s also go­ing to be a “bub­ble soc­cer” world cup, with peo­ple from many na­tions al­ready rep­re­sented. That event will in­clude peo­ple of all ages play­ing soc­cer in gi­ant bub­bles.

Ku­dos to Hal­i­fax. our com­mu­nity is amaz­ing. Ali Al­ger­mozi

Hazem Ben nazr/fu­sion Hal­i­fax

some of the vol­un­teers mak­ing the Fu­sion in­clu­sion Fes­ti­val hap­pen.

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