The Old City Quarter will be the site of the Multicultural Festival on Saturday.

The Old City Quarter will be the site of the Multicultural Festival on Saturday.

Diversity celebrated downtown

Multicultural Festival to be held on Saturday in the Old City Quarter.

Nanaimoites will have the opportunity to experience the world this weekend without having to leave the city or bring their passport.

On Saturday (June 13) the Old City Quarter will be the site of the 10th Annual Multicultural Festival.

This year’s festival runs between 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and includes traditional dance performances from various countries such as China, India, Saudi Arabia and the Ukraine.

Lynne Henshaw, Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association marketing and events coordinator, said the whole point of the festival is to celebrate diversity within the city.

“The purpose of the festival is really to celebrate the diversity and inclusions in our community,” Henshaw said. “Nanaimo has got many multicultural groups and the objective is to pull as many of these groups together as possible.”

The one-day event features a range of diverse musical performances by Bill Helin, Celtic Chaos, Shane Philip, Oscar Clemotte, La Familia and Yanni Sahamis.

“We’ve got student groups who are going to be performing as part of the dance acts and music acts,” Henshaw said.

New to the festival is an international short film viewing room hosted by Film Buff Video. Activities for children include creating Japanese fans, hula lessons and First Nations storytelling.

Henshaw said the festival has lasted a decade because the community continues to embrace culture and diversity.

“The community is interested and intrigued and wants to learn more about the different and diverse cultures that are in our community,” Henshaw said.

Festival admission is by optional donation to the HIPPY program, which is run by the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society.

For more information about the festival, please visit

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