What could be more appropriate starting point for a parade that highlights the diversity and multiculturalism of Halifax than Pier 21?
It was the entry point for so many between the 1920s and 1970s that it’s estimated one-in-five Canadians arrived there when immigrating to the country.
Years later Halifax continues to be a very diverse city, welcoming people from all over the world and hosting events like Mosaic Festival, which showcases the backgrounds of everyone who calls it home.
“The Mosaic Festival is a celebration of arts and culture,” explained festival founder Ifeanyi Emesih. “It’s a celebration of diversity and inclusion and we’re doing it through music, through dance.”
But Emesih says the goal of Mosaic is to not only highlight those backgrounds, but help everyone come together.
“We want the locals to immerse themselves in all the different cultures in Halifax,” he said, “and also we want the immigrants who have moved here to learn more about the local culture as well.”
The festival started Friday night with a film festival but the parade serves as the unofficial kick off. It begins at the iconic location and move down Lower Water Street to where the festival is held on the waterfront.
A concert will be held all day Sunday, where more than 20 acts will take the stage.
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But organizers say Mosaic is more than just a one weekend a year celebration.
“We’re not just doing a parade and walking away,” said Emesih. “We’re doing a parade and we continue through our story telling abilities.”