Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Cultural celebrations great for everyone

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Many of you know that one of my favourite things about Manitoba is how proud we are of our great diversity.

Last month I saw this pride showcased at the wonderful Ukrainian Day in the Park held at Rainbow Stage in Kildonan Park.

Ukrainian Day in the Park is a celebration of Ukrainian independence and of the Ukrainian-Canadian community that is an important part of our cultural fabric. The event has been put on by the Manitoba Provincial Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress for over 20 years.

I was very proud to see such a successful event taking place in our community. Despite the unco-operative weather, over 1,500 people came out to enjoy the festivities. Families from many different backgrounds sampled tasty food, listened to joyful music, and watched the dancers spin and jump.  Not only do cultural events allow people to take pride in their own family’s culture, but people from diverse backgrounds get to learn about each other’s culture as the community comes together.

Our government is committed to supporting the many cultural groups that call Manitoba home. Since 2001, we have provided 1,225 grants totalling $6.7 million to more than 219 organizations through the Ethnocultural Community Support Program. This year many North End organizations received ethnocultural support grants. The Trinidad and Tobago Society of Winnipeg received a grant for its Independence Day Celebration and the Ethio-Canadian Dancers Group received a grant to organize an Ethiopian cooking class. These are only two examples of the 15 organizations based in the North End that received grants this year.

The organizations which receive grants play important roles in our communities. Some of them, like the Ukrainian Park Camp, support youth by running day camps. Others put on cultural celebrations like Ukrainian Day in the Park. With help from the grants provided by our government many of these organizations also offer music, dance, language and cooking classes that encourage language and heritage retention.  

Our government is committed to making Manitoba a good place for new immigrants to make their home. Building bridges between ethnocultural communities is an important part of this effort and the Ethnocultural Community Support Program helps to encourage these important links.

The Ethnocultural Community Support Program accepts applications for grants in April and October every year. As always, I am eager to help our community members in any way possible. For more information on the ethnocultural groups in our community, or on how to apply to the Ethnocultural Community Support Program, please get in touch with my constituency office by phone at 204-632-7933, by email at Mohinder.Saran@yourmanitoba.ca or come visit us at 80 Mandalay Dr.

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