The Culture Showcase at Roseau Valley School in Dominion City drew a lot of attention with people raving about the celebration of diversity. 

Vice-principal Jennifer Collette says the event was run like a mini Folklorama with a variety of pavilions. 

“We had a parent who was running the German pavilion and she said, ‘This is my anniversary today of when we came to Canada.’” 

Collette says the woman came prepared to share her culture with the community. 

Daniela Driedger was born in Germany, just south of Stuttgart. When she was 10 years old, she and her parents along with her three siblings made Canada their home. 

“She had so many artifacts of where she was from and the clothing that they would have worn as children.” 

There were eight pavilions, and Collette says they tried a great variety of food.

Elena Chubey and Tyra Bodz wear Ukrainian dresses, dancing.Elena Chubey and Tyra Bodz. (Photo Submitted)

“At the French-Canadian pavilion, our French teacher and their class made crepes and poutine for everybody. So, everyone got to have a sample. At the Anishinaabe pavilion, we had a parent, Nicole Atkinson, she made all the fry bread and bannock for that. At the Germany pavilion, they had pretzels and sauerkraut. For the Ukrainian pavilion, the museum in Gardenton actually came and they presented a lot of artifacts from the museum, and then they brought Paska bread and we had perogies and sour cream. At the Mauritian pavilion, that student prepared quite a bit of food there as well, and some special drinks that they would have there. And Chilean, I made homemade salsa with a student. It was pretty spicy,” she adds with a laugh. “So, we did the salsa there. And New Zealand... the teacher who was in charge of the pavilion made a dish that would be a Samoan dish. And then the Red River Métis, they had berries and that kind of stuff for kids to try, different types of blackberries and blueberries. So, I think everyone was really full when they left here.”

Around 15 students and adults group photo.Grade 7/8 Class at Roseau Valley School with David Smith and Shelley Johnston from Triple R and Community Futures from Morris who helped sponsor the event. Vice Principal Jennifer Collette says the students were instrumental in planning and executing the event. (Photo submitted)

Cultural entertainment on the main stage was also captivating. Collette says the Culture Showcase was a real celebration of diversity. 

“For us, we feel that is really, really important. It fosters inclusion and understanding and respect amongst different cultures and identities and creates a stronger and more vibrant community. It just helps to develop empathy and understanding of everyone around you.” 

Collette says the Culture Showcase on May 1st was part of the Southern Health-Sante Sud “Love My Community” Challenge. 

“They actually showed up yesterday to come see what it was all about and they were like, ‘Wow! How did you put this together so quickly?’ They were just totally amazed at the response from the community. We had community members who came in and we had Community Futures Triple R, they saw the poster for the event and said, ‘We want to sponsor this, this is an amazing idea, how come this hasn't been done in southern Manitoba?’” 

With such a strong response from the school community and the public, Collette anticipates holding this event again, but with evening hours to make it easier for the public to experience the different cultures in the community.

Anishinaabe pavilion.Anishinaabe Pavilion. (Photo Submitted)