Culture Days was a hit this week in Steinbach and talks are happening that could see the event return next year.
It all took place at the Pat Porter Active Living Centre and Executive Director Audrey Harder says this was a fun, educational opportunity which saw big crowds each night.
“It was beyond what we expected, it was amazing,” she reports. “We had a lot of people come and the food was fabulous of course, the entertainment was amazing, I actually learned so much about different cultures as well it was great.”
They are looking to bring back the event for next year.
“Probably for the same time next year but do a full week, is what we’re talking about,” she says.
It will require funding as well as community support. Harder says they are already looking for grants to access.
“We got a grant this year, so we're looking forward to maybe trying again with that grant next year or another grant,” she explains. “And I reached out to other organizations. I didn't just try to do it all ourselves and that, I think, is what made it even better. Because I don't know how to teach somebody about another culture. So, we reached out to other cultures to get them to do it and to get them to share their experiences and get them to share their food and everything, because that's what it's about, right? It's not about me, it's about everybody coming together.”
Harder says that while Culture Days included great food and entertainment, the event was also meant to bring people together and learn about each other.
“I’ve known a lot of people from the Philippines and have friends from the Philippines, I knew nothing about the Philippines until that day on last Wednesday,” she admits. “It was amazing how much I learned and how diverse the area is, because you don't know, and all the different types of cultures and how it came to be, it was quite the experience for me. I was very excited, and I had a lot of feedback as to how much people learned about that and they enjoyed that quite a bit.”
The event kicked off on Monday for Metis night, and Jane Penner was one of the many people in attendance.
“I wanted to be more educated, to find out more about the first nations people,” says Penner. “And I love to see them dance, and I wanted to try their food and it was very delicious. I just had a good time, it was great!”
The second day featured Ukraine and Ken Dyck reports the food was fantastic, having enjoyed the full meal with perogies, sausage, soup and dessert.
Both Penner and Dyck spoke enthusiastically about their hopes that the event would return to Steinbach.
Janice and Marita were excited to participate in the final day of celebrations with Filipino night, saying it was a lot of fun. They noted that it reminded them of Cultures in the City, a feature of Steinbach’s annual Summer in the City which happens every June.
-With files from Carly Koop