Multiculturalism celebrated at Stratford Winter Carnival

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The different cultural strands that make up P.E.I. were celebrated through an afternoon of cuisine, art, dancing and entertainment in Stratford Saturday.

The "Tapestry" multicultural event saw more than a dozen cultural groups gather at the Town Hall gym to showcase their different cultural traditions.

"It's a celebration of Island life and all the different cultures that make up the Island tapestry," said one organizer.

One highlight of the event is the different food served at the booths, said the organizer.

"Nothing breaks down barriers faster than good food. It's really lovely to see folks talking about the food they brought and how it's made," said the organizer. "It's really interesting to see the connection people make through food, music and art."

The afternoon included performances of drums, dancers, martial artists and other entertainment.

The event was part of the Stratford Winter Carnival, which continues all weekend. 

Sunday's activities begin with an adult mixed volleyball tournament at town hall at 11 a.m. Teams will consist of six to eight players but there must be at least two females on the court at all times.

A sleigh ride and petting pen follows from 2-4 p.m. Great Northern Adventures is hosting the free event at 924 Fort Augustus Road in Mount Herbert. Hot chocolate will be served.

There will be a family fun hour at the town hall from 2:30-3:30 p.m. for parents and children up to seven years of age.

The 2013 winter carnival wraps up with an adult badminton tournament at town hall at 4 p.m. Donations of $10 or more will be accepted with proceeds going to the Autism Society of P.E.I.

The "Tapestry" event has been held for six years and was previously called "A Celebration of Island Life." The events attendance has increased every year, with it previously being held in a much smaller section of town hall.

Leti Larosa, chair of the P.E.I. Asian Heritage Society, helped run the Filipino Canadian Group's booth at the event.

Larosa, who has been involved in the event since it began, said it has a two-way goal between newcomers and Islanders.

"It's a very good way for Islanders to understand our culture and also for us to be able to integrate with Canadian culture," said Larosa. "It's a very friendly atmosphere where new people meet Islanders and there's education for both sides."



Participating Cultural Groups at Tapestry

- Chinese Association of P.E.I.

- Indo Canadian Association

- Korean Association of P.E.I.

- Bhutanese Community 

- Island Acadian Group

- Filipino Canadian Group

- The Caledonian Club

- Olinda's Lebanese Kitchen

- Afghanistan Community of P.E.I.

- Asian (Chinese) Cultural Artist Group of P.E>I.

- Pakistan Community of P.E.I.

- Canada and China International Business

- Island Crokinole Club

Organizations: Autism Society of P.E.I., P.E.I. Asian Heritage Society, Filipino Canadian Group Indo Canadian Association International Business

Geographic location: P.E.I., Stratford, 924 Fort Augustus Road Mount Herbert Afghanistan Community Pakistan Community Canada China

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