Culture Fest rolled out the food and brought in the people at the Stockade Building in Kinetic Park.
The festival celebrated the diverse arrays of culture in Swift Current. It offered people the chance to step outside their traditional diets, branching into foods they may not typically expect of the Southwest.
Brad Woods, partnerships and events coordinator for the City of Swift Current was in charge of hosting the day and oversaw the many different facets of the celebration.
"We've got everything from Sao Paulo dancers, we've got some African drumming, some singers, some dancers and things like that," said Woods. "Just a full lineup of performers."
One of the more popular things outside of the food was the Orange Shirt decorating booth. Children were invited to come over to the tables, where volunteers from the Swift Current Branch Library helped children adorn Every Child Matters shirts with glitter, finger paints, and stickers. This expression of childlike creativity, combined with the indigenous rights message, helped to encourage a fun approach to diversity.
Another station that piqued many individuals' interest was the stone-knapping workshop. Held by Gabriel Essuance Lamarche, onlookers were able to watch as the master knapper shaped pieces of obsidian and other stones into traditional stone works, like arrowheads and short blades.
"He's actually a flint knapping expert," said Woods. "Turning stone into tools. He's doing a display all day at his station, as well as potentially getting up on the performance stage."
Still, the food was a major focus. Hungry folks from the surrounding Kinetic Park were able to stop in, often accompanied by friends and family, and sample delicacies from around the world. Plates were lined with Phillipino, Mennonite, and even some Métis cuisine.
The Métis representation also included an art gallery, with works depicting historical and culturally significant works.
Culture Fest was a local celebration for Culture Days, a nationwide celebration of diversity in Canada. For Swift Current, the need to understand and celebrate the diverse backgrounds that form the people is more important than ever, according to Brad Woods.
"I've learned a ton over the last four years just working with the cultural community and the Truth and Reconciliation Committee," said Woods. "It really expands your world, and I would encourage everybody to get out and take part in some of these activities."
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