Get your passport for the Multicultural Expo

By Lindsay Ducharme

Come February residents won’t need to leave town in order to experience a different culture when the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo hosts their annual Multicultural Expo.

“The Expo is an annual event that we put on, it’s really about bringing diverse cultural groups together.  We are going feature food, dress, traditions, customs, and dances from all over the world,” explained Caitlin Downie, executive assistant at the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo.

“It really creates a sense of community.  It gets everyone together in one place to really appreciate the diversity of our community,” she continued.

The Multicultural Expo is a tradition dating back decades.  Downie explained that the Association has been involved in the community since 1985 and the Expo was one of the very first events created. Attendees will be taken on a tour of the world as they make their way through each country and immerse themselves in each culture.

“This year is going to be a little bit different than past years, so even if you have come to past events, this will be quite different, it’s going to be on a larger scale.  As people walk in we are going to be giving out passports and as you walk around the room you will be introduced to all the different cultures represented here in our community.”

Downie said that the Expo currently has 15 different cultures confirmed to participate, including the Philippines, Thailand, India, the Bahamas, and Ireland. While she noted the diversity in the confirmed participants she also stressed that event organizers are hoping to add many more cultures to the Expo. She encouraged cultural groups to participate emphasizing the expo as an opportunity  “to show the community glimpses of the beauty and magic of your culture. The chance to make your culture shine out from all the rest and showcase all you love about your culture, be it traditions, dances, art, handicrafts, food, landscapes etc.”

“This event not only brings our community together but aims to break down the barriers between cultural groups and increase cross-cultural awareness, understanding, and appreciation,” she continued.

The Multicultural Expo presented by the Multicultural association of Wood Buffalo will take place on February 16th.  For more information and to register a cultural group email or call 780-791-5186.