Thanks to the 4,000 residents and visitors of Whistler that came out to celebrate diversity in the corridor on Main Street (this week was the first annual Whistler Multicultural Celebration).
With the support of RMOW, Main Street was able to be a Main Street!
The quality of the food, music, dancing, arts and participating kiosks made it a celebration that will be remembered by all attending. As Mayor (Ken) Melamed mentioned in his opening remarks, "Whistler has a new face" and everyone out was proud to see the cultures come forward. The Filipino community demonstrated their leadership and multiple talents, and will inspire many other cultures in the community to mobilize for next year.
The event wouldn't have been possible without the hundreds of passionate volunteers, team leaders and partners who believed in this innovative project since the start.
Chair of the Whistler Multicultural Celebration Organizing Committee
Cultures learning from each other
To the more than 2,000 locals and visitors alike from around the world who joined in beyond all expectations for our first Multicultural Festival on Main Street Monday evening, many thanks.
Growing up, I always felt proud that, unlike the homogenizing melting pot of our neighbours to the south, we Canadians celebrate a mosaic of cultures. True, it may be a vertical mosaic, as sociologist John Porter argued, from rich to poor. But on Main Street Monday, we were all enriched by the languages, food, dance, music, dress and health of more than 30 cultures learning from each other.
Thankfully we were able to secure small grants from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and Canadian Heritage for our Canadian Multiculturalism Day festivities. It was great to have Mayor Ken (Melamed) come to our Filipino Forum Sunday night and with Councillor Tom Thomson, pitch in and help out throughout the festival Monday. John Rae, Christa Vandeberg and others at muni hall helped us in arranging the road closure and other details.
As a community and grassroots endeavour on a shoestring budget and a prayer, thanks mostly to Nicole Guertin, her diverse LOKL.com connections, and close to 100 volunteers including Caterina Alberti, Hailey Guille and Steve Clark. Working through several planning meetings and until 1 a.m. on the clean up, we were well served by dedication and fun together.
To all the restaurateurs, merchants and residents along Main Street, who went out of their way to serve the long line-ups, we should declare this to be Whistler's international zone. And to all the stage performers, street dancers and others who entertained from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., what colour creativity and talent you showcased from the treasures of our wider human family.