Prince Albert Multicultural Council celebrates Diversity on Canada Day

Two dancers from the Bengal Performers take the stage during Canada Day ceremonies at the river bank on July 1. -- Bailey Sutherland/Daily Herald

The riverbank was bustling on Saturday afternoon as hundreds gathered to celebrate Prince Albert’s Multicultural Canada Day, which featured a diverse lineup of cultural performers, a variety of food trucks, booths with both modern and traditional items on display, and an area with children’s activities.

Prince Albert Multicultural Council (PAMC) Executive Director Michelle Hassler said “it’s a beautiful day with beautiful people. It’s beautiful to see everybody here from all walks of life, coming together to celebrate as a community today.”

After only five months in the country, a PAMC staff member celebrated her first Canada Day this year at the multicultural gathering. Hassler said, “she’s really excited, it’s a good thing.”

A juggler entertains a young guest the Prince Albert Multicultural Council Canada Day celebration at the river bank. — Bailey Sutherland/Daily Herald

She noted that it’s important that both newcomers and Canadians come together and celebrate their diversity alongside one another on Canada Day.

“We want to make sure that we are welcoming and inclusive of all,” said Hassler. “We want to recognize that we respect and we support our indigenous communities, but we also recognize and respect our newcomer friends that found a safe home here in Canada to start a new life with their families.”

The Multicultural Canada Day isn’t just about celebrating, it’s also about education, said Hassler.

“This is a community gathering where you feel safe, where you feel welcome, where you will have fun, and also at the same time listen and learn about the different cultures, about the truth and reconciliation, about the residential schools,” added Hassler.

Community members caught a glimpse into different cultures from 5pm to 10pm with a variety of performers on stage, including stories of Bengal, a First Nations drum and dance troupe, a father and son Metis fiddle duo, a French performer, and ending with an Afro Latin fusion reggae band.

A fireworks display was planned to wrap up the evening, but a thunderstorm rolling through the area pushed it back to Sunday night.