Block Party celebrates multiculturalism

Canadian Multiculturalism Day is June 27 and the Vernon Museum is pulling out all the stops

  • Jun. 14, 2017 3:30 a.m.

The Greater Vernon Museum & Archives and Route Blue Wayfinder are bustling with activity in preparation for their Diversity Mural Bead Project, Multicultural Block Party, to be held on Canadian Multiculturalism Day June 27 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Bring your friends and family, and a lawn chair or blanket to Civic Plaza, located on the Vernon Museum grounds, and show your proud Canadian colours!

“We are so thrilled with the response from the community and the excitement that is building for this celebration,” said Denise Marsh, marketing and communications coordinator for the museum.

Director/curator Tracy Satin has been working closely with internationally renowned muralist Michelle Loughery, Stacey Phinnemore of Route Blue, and Gabriel Newman and Jean Manifold, both of the museum, to plan this event, that as Satin says will “step outside the conventional museum box and highlight the connection we all have to culture and our community.”

A focal point in the festivities, funded by the Government of Canada, will be a rededication of the Multicultural Mural painted by Michelle Loughery, as part of a youth engagement program. This important piece of Vernon history was recently re-glazed by the City of Vernon.

“The multicultural mural was created in response to a letter from a group of students requesting a multicultural mural be created, and also honours Pierre Elliott Trudeau and his contributions to multiculturalism in Canada,” said Loughery.

Throughout the evening, there will be dance and skill demonstrations by a selection of community multicultural groups. From the Sadok Ukrainian Dancers to the Taoist Tai Chi, the Blakey Irish Dancers, Chidori-Kai Japanese Dancers, the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band, and many more, the talent and diversity of our great community will be celebrated.

“Canada is known as a melting pot for cultures from around the world and it is exciting to see multiculturalism being so widely celebrated in our community for Canada’s 150th birthday,” said Mel Arnold, MP for North Okanagan-Shuswap.

Spearheaded by Loughery, a Canada 150 Diversity Mural Bead Community Engagement Public Art Installation will also be unveiled during the block party. The “temporary” installation features 150 painted reclaimed ocean floatation buoys, which have been provided by the Ocean Legacy Foundation, a Canadian-based non-profit which conducts clean-up expeditions to mitigate ocean plastic pollution.

“The buoys, painted by youth, elders, artists and community members will create unique storytelling exchanges, of where we come from and celebrate Canadian diversity.,” said Loughery.

Be sure to visit the interactive and informational tables as well from many of Vernon’s multicultural communities, groups and services. And media sponsor KISS-FM will have their events crew broadcasting live at our Block Party, so don’t miss out on this special museum event.

For more information, please call Satin at 250-542-3142, visit www.vernonmuseum.ca or www.facebook.com/vernonmuseum.

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