The PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada’s DiverseCity Multicultural Street Festival is celebrating its tenth anniversary in Charlottetown with a new location and a Citizenship Ceremony.
With crowds that have expanded to over 12,000 festival goers, DiverseCity in Charlottetown will be held on Sunday June 26th up on the Confederation Centre of the Arts Plaza as usual, but will move from Richmond Street to Queen Street between Grafton and Sydney Streets. This part of Queen Street will be closed to vehicles from midnight on Saturday June 25th, to midnight on Sunday, June 26th.
The Association’s Executive Director, Craig Mackie says his team is thrilled to be working with the federal department of Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship to hold a citizenship ceremony on the MainStage to officially open the first of three DiverseCity festivals across PEI. "These ceremonies are powerful, emotional, and a perfect fit for the festival as an opportunity for all attendees to welcome new citizens to Canada and to participate in reaffirming what it means to be Canadian."
Mackie notes there will be many new performers, new International food vendors, and the return of popular features like martial arts demonstrations, henna application, face painting, and of course the Chinese Lion Dance. There is also a new headline band, I and the Village, who will be playing a Caribbean fusion of soca, jazz funk, and reggae to end the festival with a brand new groove and the traditional street dance.
DiverseCity recently won the City of Charlottetown’s 2016 Cultural Event Award. Mackie says, "This award recognizes the festival as a key part of summer celebrations. The PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada is proud of this recognition, and the celebration of diversity across PEI."
Following DiverseCity in Charlottetown, there will be DiverseCity Festivals in Montague on, Sunday July 3rd, and in Summerside on Sunday, July 24th. This is the third year DiverseCity will be held in these two locations.
Festival Co-manager Mark Carr-Rollitt credits the continued support from all three communities, as well as essential contributions from Federal and Provincial funders and new and returning private sector sponsors, for the festival’s growing success. Carr-Rollitt says, "We are very pleased to welcome Respon Wealth Management as our title sponsor this year. They have been impressed with the Festival and are now an engaged and enthusiastic sponsor."
DiverseCity Montague will be part of Montague Summer Days at Waterfront Park on Sunday July 3rd this year, and the dance party will end with the Summer Day’s firework display."
DiverseCity Summerside, will be part of the Summerside Lobster Festival at Green's Shore and will wrap up the week’s activities in that city.
Along with the many demonstration booths from new and established cultures that make PEI their home, the festivals in all locations will include arts and crafts, performances, music, international food, and a Festival favourite, the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society, will be a part of all three events.
The dates for the three festivals are:
Charlottetown - Queen Street - Sunday, June 26th, from 2pm to 10pm
Montague - Waterfront Park - Sunday, July 3rd, from 2pm to 10pm
Summerside - Green’s Shore - Sunday, July 24th, from 2pm to 10pm
Admission to all DiverseCity events is free.