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Residents of the Pembina Valley gathered to experience the cultures of those who have moved to the region from different countries.

Winkler held its fourth annual Culture Fest at Bethel Heritage Park Saturday.

Culture Fest represented over 30 cultures with cultural booths, entertainment, food and drink from many different countries, and all activities were free.

Planning for the event was a six-month endeavour of diligent work by volunteers, facilitated by Regional Connections. Volunteer Coordinator of Regional Connections Elaine Burton says all the volunteer's work was exceptional.

"It was outstanding, that includes the entertainers and the table booths. Everyone was so excited to be there, they just get dressed up, and it’s been a wonderful event."

Carman held the opening ceremony for their first Multicultural Month Saturday as well.

A group of Carman residents gathered over a year ago to plan an event for Canada 150 and to celebrate the 28 unique cultures of people who had moved to the Carman, Dufferin area.

The Multicultural Month was decided on to represent a number of the cultures over the month of September to learn about our neighbours through music, dance, activities, stories, and food.

Planning Committee member Rita Bisht, who will be helping at all events over the month explains celebrating culture brings a community together.

"The sharing of ideas and getting to know another country's culture brings a deeper sense of closeness. At the end of the day no matter how light or dark our skin is or the type of accent you have we all share similar values, dreams, and the yearning to succeed."

The ceremony opened with the National Anthem sang by Miriam Pol and the event also featured Kevin Chief and the Norman Chief Memorial Square Dancers.

Chief, former MLA of point Douglas, says the celebration of new cultures and the cultures of the Metis, First-Nation and Indigenous people go hand in hand.

"You couldn't tell the story of our Province without talking about the Metis. For our dancers who are Metis, and our dancers who are First-Nation and Indigenous, of course, that’s a part of our heritage and our history. Wherever you're from and call yourself Manitoban that is as much a part of your heritage as it is ours. To take time to say this is an important part our history, part of Manitoba heritage if we're going to celebrate culture if we're going to celebrate heritage it only makes sense to celebrate that part of Manitoba’s history."

The beginning of September was the celebration of Eid al-Adha, “Festival of Sacrifice”, a practice of the local Muslim community.

Imam Abdul Kadir, the leader of the Mosque in Winkler and the Pembina Valley, shared Eid al-Adha is a celebration of faith.

CultureCover02Beginning with prayer at the MIA Pembina Valley Centre in Winkler. Submitted photo

Muslim families at the event in Winkler, September 1, enjoyed the event and shared the meat with family, friends, and neighbours.

The Multicultural events have shown the acceptance and desire to learn about the diversity of people and cultures found here in the Pembina Valley.

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