Community event combines music, dance, food to highlight ethnic diversity in Victoria
VICTORIA – For four hours on Sunday, September 23, the Fernwood Community Centre will come alive with vibrant music, colourful dance and delicious cuisine at the fourth annual “Include Me!” celebration of cultural and ethnic diversity in B.C. communities.
The event, held in a different B.C. location each year, took place in Surrey in 2004, Prince George in 2005 and Coquitlam last year.
“‘Include Me!’ is a great opportunity for people of different backgrounds to come together, share a bit of their own cultures, and have a lot of fun while they’re learning about each other,” says event chair Dale Whitford, a member of CUPE BC’s Committee Against Racism & Discrimination who works for UVic Child Care Services.
“It’s a safe, friendly and joyful way to promote diversity in our communities. Every time it’s held, people come away from it really energized because they’ve been able to encounter each other with openness and respect.”
The music and performance art program for this year’s “Include Me!” day features the Songhees Dancers, Uminari Taiko Japanese drummers, Gettin’ Higher Choir, Stages Performing Arts School, Metis folk singing, World-Beat DJ, and spontaneous participatory activities led by the youth performers Power of Hope.
Free finger food, prepared by the International Women’s Catering Co-op, will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis for all who attend.
This year’s “Include Me!” event is co-sponsored by the B.C. Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and its Committee Against Racism and Discrimination, and by the CUPE UVic human rights committee.
“Include Me!” runs from 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 23. The Fernwood Community Centre is located at 1240 Gladstone Street in Victoria.
Contact: Dale Whitford, Event chair: (250) 882-3833
Melissa Moroz, Event co-ordinator: (250) 472-4778
Dan Gawthrop, CUPE Communications: (604) 999-6132