Many cultures on display
Thousands gather on Montague waterfront to celebrate P.E.I.’s mosaic of multiculturalism
The sights, sounds and tastes of P.E.I.’s evolving cultural backdrop were put proudly on display this weekend.
Thousands took part in the DiverseCity Multicultural Street Festival held on the Montague Waterfront Sunday, which marked the fourth time the festival has been held in the Kings County town.
From the first performance of a traditional Chinese lion dance to a fireworks finale, the waterfront was transformed into a showcase of P.E.I.’s many different ethnic communities.
For Andrew Wang, who performed the lion dance with Brant Wei, the festival has become a summer tradition of sharing cultural experience while also learning about others.
“It’s very good, it’s a fantastic event,” said Wang, who also shared some martial arts during the event.
Yan Wang, who was selling items at the Dancing Fantasy Clothing Store’s booth, said it was his first time at the event.
The store, just recently opened on Prince Street in Charlottetown, provides dancing lessons while also selling traditional Chinese jewellery and accessories.
Yan pointed out the wide variety of cultural backgrounds, with about 50 participating in the overall event.
“We all share different cultures and we all share our different backgrounds,” he said. “And we’re all happy to live on the Island.”
The event was the finale for the three-day Montague Summer Days Festival.
Mayor Richard Collins said he was pleased to welcome the crowd into the town, which is also in the midst of a more than three-month long initiative celebrating the town’s 100th birthday.
“Each year, (DiverseCity) is getting bigger,” said Collins, noting that the fireworks display was shaped up to be “the best fireworks Montague has ever had.”
Craig Mackie, executive director of the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada, said the aim of the event was to bring the diversity of sights, smells, sounds and food of “the new Prince Edward Island.”
“Which is becoming a far more diverse place,” said Mackie.
P.E.I. Finance Minister Allen Roach also commented on the province’s diversity, noting that Islanders are welcoming new neighbours from around the world.
“It’s great to have them and to have such diversity in our community,” said Roach.
“I think that’s what makes Canadian culture, is everybody that moves to Canada and everything they bring. And I think we’re extremely lucky.”
The first DiverseCity Festival of this summer was held in Charlottetown last month.
A third and final DiverseCity event for this summer will be held at the Wyatt Heritage Properties in Summerside on Sunday, July 30.
Members in the crowd couldn’t keep their eyes off a traditional Chinese lion dance that started the DiverseCity Multicultural Street Festival in Montague this weekend. The lion dance, which featured Andrew Wang and Brant Wei, was the first of many performances held on the Montague waterfront throughout the day.