The Chinese community in Nanaimo is always a big supporter of the annual Multicultural Festival. This year's event takes place in the Old City Quarter on Saturday (June 15).

The Chinese community in Nanaimo is always a big supporter of the annual Multicultural Festival. This year's event takes place in the Old City Quarter on Saturday (June 15).

Festival celebrates different cultures

NANAIMO – The sights, sounds and tastes of a variety of cultures from around the globe will be featured at the Multicultural Festival.

The sights, sounds and tastes of a variety of cultures from around the globe will be featured at the Multicultural Festival in the Old City Quarter Saturday (June 15).

The annual event, which gives residents a chance to celebrate the community’s diversity, takes place between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Wesley Street.

The street is closed to traffic to make way for two entertainment stages, vendors, educational displays, the international food tent and a children’s play area.

Robyn Tonack, marketing and events coordinator with the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association, said the event is about sharing experiences and educating residents about different cultures.

“It’s to bring everybody together and showcase how great of a city we have,” she said. “It’s on the street, so there’s lots of room to move around. There’s something for everybody at this event.”

On the music and dance stages, residents can check out a diverse lineup, including marimba music, belly dancers, a lion dance, a Latin American band, Korean and Japanese folk songs, Chinese square dance, a Snuneymuxw First Nation greeting, prayer and blessing song, and a Celtic fiddler.

In the food tent, people can sample everything from Chinese food and smoked salmon to Vietnamese food and specialty cheeses.

Tonack said the range of international products for sale will include silver jewelry, First Nations clothing, African baskets, Turkish imports, First Nations art and flavours of the Mediterranean.

She said the event is family friendly – the children’s area includes bouncy castles, face painting and crafts – and is popular with people of all ages who want to check out a day of cultural diversity, learning, shopping, eating and entertainment.

For more information, please call 250-754-8141.