Youth group organizes festival showcasing the immigrant experience in Moncton, New Brunswick – New Brunswick
A group of young people between the ages of 15 and 20 organized Culturefest, which started on Sunday. The festival showcases immigrant-owned businesses as well as the food and culture of Moncton’s multicultural communities on Sunday.
The efforts stemmed from the YMCA’s Community Action Network program. The group met three times a week for seven weeks and had a budget of $1,500 to put together a project of their choosing.
Community Action Network coordinator Hannah LaPointe said in an interview Sunday that most of the group’s members are made up of immigrants from diverse backgrounds.
“A lot of them were really passionate about showcasing immigrant stories, showcasing local immigrant-run businesses and local businesses in general, and showcasing all the cultures of the region. Greater Moncton. Making people know they are here and ready to be part of the community,” she said Sunday.
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The festival featured food stalls from immigrant-run businesses as well as other items for sale, and cultural demonstrations such as a dance performance by the Chinese Cultural Association of Moncton.
Abigail Gonzalez, 16, who immigrated to Canada from the Dominican Republic a year and a half ago, said she loves being able to swap stories with other young immigrants.
“I learned a lot from my Pakistani friends, from my Brazilian friends, I also have some African friends. I feel like we all learned from each other,” she said.
The group’s next step is to create a website dealing with the immigrant experience in Moncton.
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Gonzalez said they will post first-hand testimonials from immigrants and share resources.
« Coming here is not as easy as it seems, » she said.
“Coming to school by making friends, it’s not the same culture, it’s not the same habits that people have, so it’s a bit of a cultural barrier in a way. I think Canadians are open and kind, that’s all we need.
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