'What being a Canadian is about': Folklorama partnership encourages cultural exchange
A partnership between Winnipeg’s biggest cultural festival and a charity is allowing newcomers to the province to get a taste of the diverse groups that make up Manitoba and a chance to share their own.
Folklorama partnered with Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services, or NEEDS to facilitate the exchange leading up to the festival.
“It's a good thing to share, you know? That's what being Canadian is about. You don't leave your culture behind you. You bring it here and it makes us all better off," said Teresa Cotroneo, the executive director of Folklorama.
Ambassadors lead workshops on cultural activities, food, games and more.
On Thursday, some NEEDS clients demonstrated a dance from Congo to youth at the NEEDS after school program.
"When we have, like a party, a wedding, people dance. It's like, when you have a celebration, you are celebrating something,” said Maria Kanaga, a NEEDS client. "They're curious. They're interested in learning. Especially when the ambassadors are coming in their traditional dress. I think the youth are just really excited."
This weekend, Folklorama is taking two busloads of newcomers to its kick off celebration.
It takes place on Saturday from 4 pm to 10 pm at the Lyric Theatre in Assiniboine Park.