Sunday, July 4, 2010

RBC Multicultural Festival: July 2-4, 2010

With over 500 performers and 20 000 visitors expected to attend, the three day RBC Multicultural Festival in Halifax is the largest of its kind in Atlantic Canada. It features dancing, music, food and drink from all over the world, as well as craft vendors and information booths about some of the various cultures on display. And as an added bonus, this year it also included beautiful, sunny weather.

In this, the 26th year, the festival moved to a new location just across the street from Pier 21, the newly honoured National Immigration Museum for Canada. It was a fitting move, and good timing, as Pier 21 saw 60 new Canadians sworn in as citizens just two days prior, on Canada Day.

(Every young boy's fantasy: being able to wash his own life-sized Hot Wheels car.)

(Members of the Korean drum team, A-ri-rang, perform a surprisingly energetic traditional drum number. This was one of the most entertaining performances of the whole day, and by far the most enjoyable traditional Korean music performance I've ever seen. In an interesting aside, a group of a dozen doctors from South Korea were on a cruise ship coming in to Halifax this day. The doctors had heard about the festival and phoned the organizers to explain the situation. The event organizers were able to schedule this performance during the time the ship would be in port, at Pier 21 just 50 metres from the festival grounds.)

(A member of A-ri-rang performing a traditional long ribbon dance.)

(The Scotia Cuties and the RCMP Highland Dancers performing traditional Scottish dancing.)

(The girls from the Fitzgerald School of Irish Dance performing on the Main Stage.)

(Anyone who has taken a University dance class probably remembers doing this dance, the Tinikling, from the Philippines.)

(The highlight of the day for me was definitely this group called Grupo Folklorico Viva Mexico. This performance had excellent music, excellent costumes, and lots of energy. Everybody wins!)

(Traditional clothing/costumes from, top to bottom, Portugal, Iran, Russia, South Korea, and Malaysia.)