Fourth annual Multicultural Event held virtually

July 8, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The fourth annual Shelburne Multicultural Event was held virtually last Sunday (June 27) in celebration of Canadian Multiculturalism Day.

“It’s important to celebrate Canadian Multicultural Day right here in Dufferin County because it instills values, traditions, and a sense of purpose and belonging in our community and our community members; especially our youth who are our future,” said founder Althea Alli, at the opening of the event.

Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27), was first celebrated in 2003, and recognizes the diverse cultures that make up Canada.

Since 2018, the Shelburne Multicultural Event has been spearheaded by local resident Althea Alli, who after moving to the community with her family in 2013 was looking for a way to foster the celebration of cultural diversity within the community.

As part of the Sunday virtual event, local dignitaries and community leaders participated in a 30-minute panel where they discussed a variety of topics from the importance of celebrating other cultures, the use of inclusive language, and advocating for equity and inclusion.

Following the panel, award-winning poet Jamaal Jackson Rogers shared his poem “Medicine”, which he explained was written following a personal conversation with an Indigenous Elder.

In previous years the Shelburne Multicultural Event has included the showcasing of art exhibits, performances, and food, but this year the event looked to give back to the community – honouring individuals and organizations who went above and beyond in bringing the community together.

Award categories that residents were nominated under included youth under 24, 24 plus, businesses, and organizations.

Recipients of the awards were Gabriella Spencer, Janine Scott Beckford, Seanna Thomas, Lola Oyefeso, Sherwin Stephens, Yehya Soliman, and the Muslims of Dufferin.

“Congratulations to all of our winners. We had an overwhelming response of nominees and it was quite hard for our community to choose,” said Alli following the awarding. “Thank you all for stepping up and being leaders and supporters in our community.”

At the end of the event, Alli unveiled the launching of the Shelburne Multicultural Event apparel, which is designed with the events logo.

“All the proceeds for the sale of the apparel goes to our community initiatives for diversity and inclusion and our youth, to help them find their way as well,” said Alli.

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