New Halifax event a chance for immigrants to 'give back'
Saturday's day-long multicultural festival by Fusion Halifax was organized and run entirely by volunteers, many of them immigrants to Nova Scotia.
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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.
“It is very exciting to see that community groups are willing to come together to make something like this happen,” Algermozi said.
“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 on stage 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.
The Fusion Inclusion Festival happens Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Check out Fusion Halifax for a complete schedule of events.