Diversity Is Our Strength: A Taste Of The Multiculturalism Of Wheat City

This past weekend marked the 16th Annual Westman Multicultural Festival, formerly known as the Lieutenant Governor`s Winter Festival, which ran from the 31st to the 2nd. This year nine pavilions were dispersed across the city: Honduran, English, Scottish, Indian, Métis, Mexican, Mauritian, Jamaican and Ukrainian.  All the pavilions were free to attend.

pc:raelee fehr,mexican and english pavilions

On the Thursday I checked out the Métis, English and Mexican Pavilion. Those working the Métis pavilion, which was located here on campus at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium, are always hospitable to attendees. Dancers and musicians entertained guests in the auditorium while downstairs there was a screen to watch the entertainment for those who were grabbing a bite to eat.

Next, I went over to the Mexican pavilion, where the dancers were flown in from Mexico for the event. As shown here, one of the dancers grabbed a lady from the audience to dance with and entertained a full house at the Shrine Club. There was also a variety of food, merchandise and beverages available for purchase.

The last stop for me that evening was the English pavilion, located at the Victoria Inn. The entertainment was great and included a band in which one of our students plays in, the Chris Ghidoni Band. I consider myself pretty lucky to have gotten in, even though Thursdays aren`t that busy, as for the previous two years I couldn’t get in on the weekend. As the English and Scottish pavilions tend to run later and are licensed to sell alcohol, usually they’re full houses.

The Multicultural Festival is one of the few fun and free events that entice me to leave the house in the dead of winter, but it also shows how diverse Brandon is becoming. Major sponsors for the event included the City of Brandon, the Government of Manitoba, Canadian Heritage grant from the Government of Canada, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries and Manitoba Hydro. 

pc:raelee fehr,mexican and english pavilions