The summer season is finally around the corner and with it there is a myriad of cultural activities that will enlighten our community and give us once more a chance to learn, share and enjoy culture.
Brandon is becoming a cultural centre that attracts people from inside and outside the province to many events that have a strong emphasis on multiculturalism and cultural diversity. Let’s look at some of them.
Sunday, May 11, is not only Mother’s Day in Brandon, but also a great opportunity to experience mind-blowing performances and delicious food from Asia.
In 1993, the federal government declared the month of May as Asian Heritage Month, a time to highlight the contributions of Asian Canadians to Canadian society. This festival will celebrate Asian culture through music, dance, fashion and food, featuring local performers as well as performers from outside the city. This one-day event is free and it’s family friendly. Save the date as it is a way of doing something truly special with you mother in case she enjoys cultural activities.
The Asian Heritage Festival takes place on May 11 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the foyer at Brandon City Hall.
June 21 is the National Aboriginal Day. This special date gives many people the chance to learn more about aboriginal people and their contributions towards the country’s development and progress. First Nations, Métis and Inuit people have the opportunity to showcase their cultures and achievements on this day.
National Aboriginal Day events are held in every region across Canada. Activities and events include summer solstice festivals, barbecue fundraisers, social networking gatherings with traditional and contemporary music, dancing, singing and sacred fire ceremonies. In Brandon, the event will be hosted by the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples Council. This organization will hold a free family event at École New Era School at 527 Louise Ave.
Another event that is slowly but firmly becoming a staple of Brandon cultural scene is the Multicultural Summer Festival. First staged in 2009, this festival aims at being a counterpart to the Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival. Happening at Princess Park in Brandon, the Multicultural Summer Festival is a multidisciplinary festival that celebrates cultural diversity both locally and globally.
In the past, this festival has been unique in putting together an impressive group of the most diverse performers. Its organizers have managed to keep this festival free and family friendly. If you want to learn about the culture of the different groups that make Brandon their home, then you need to be at Princess Park on July 5 and July 6.
If you are the kind of person who likes to explore culture by taking some of it home, in the form of crafts, food and other products, then the Global Market in the Downtown Hub of Brandon is a must. In 2008, Perth’s Dry Cleaning closed its operations and gifted the land to CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association). With a great community vision, the organization decided to pursue a community market opportunity on the vacant land.
Collaborating with community and business, the dream came to fruition when the Global Market opened for its first summer in 2012. The market is a community-based initiative driven by a multi-sector collaboration of community organizations, business, schools and community volunteers.
With noticeable improvements every year and a growing vendor variety, the Global Market is becoming a place to go when looking for a seasonal, permanent outdoor market venue in Brandon.
Located in the heart of our downtown, the market offers products from local producers, artisans and crafters, food vendors and community groups.
The Brandon Global Market is located at the corner of 12th Street and Rosser Avenue. It usually opens in July and runs until the weather permits in the fall.
On July 4 and 5, there is yet another cultural event scheduled: the very popular International Women Food and Craft Market. Both the Multicultural Summer Festival and the Global Market have partnered in the past for this community initiative. It consists of giving immigrant women the opportunity to share their cultural products, and it has been a popular spot to try world food in previous years.
The Asian Heritage Festival, The National Aboriginal Day, the Multicultural Summer Festival, Global Market and the International Women Food and Craft Market are all perfect examples of the direction this city is taking in terms of opening up to the world and becoming a multicultural place, in harmony with the rest of Canada.
They represent a huge effort of many volunteers, non-profit organizations and a municipal strategy to make Brandon a welcoming place that is proud of its rich culture. There is no doubt that a vibrant cultural summer awaits!
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 3, 2014