Calgary’s Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture to celebrate diversity later this week

Click to play video: 'Festival touted as Alberta’s premiere Black History Month celebration' Festival touted as Alberta’s premiere Black History Month celebration
Lanre Ajayi with the Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture joins Global News Morning Calgary to discuss the 30 local artists and community organizations, featured at Ethnik Festival celebrations – Feb 22, 2022

There is still another way to salute Black History Month in Calgary as February ends.

On Feb. 26, the Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture is celebrating Afro-Canadian and Caribbean communities.

Watch: Learn more about Calgary’s 2021 ETHNiK Festival of Arts and Culture

There will be a wide variety of artists and speakers at the online event, including Mayor Jyoti Gondek.

“They are all from different, diverse backgrounds, which is one of the central focuses of our organization: to create an inclusive opportunity and a platform whereby everybody can have their cultural voices heard,” Lanre Ajayi with the festival told Global News on Tuesday.

“We’re trying to create an opportunity for our artists… to showcase their creative ideas through music, through spoken word, through dancing.”

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Speakers and artists at the 2022 edition of Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture. Courtesy: Ethnik Festivals

In addition to the fest, Ajayi also describes Canada as having a lot of variety — “a big pot of varieties of spices where everybody can shine and contribute.”

“It’s so unfortunate that we still have challenges within this community, for individuals who are not really opening up and accepting every individual,” he said.

Read more: Prominent Calgarians remembered during Black History Month: ‘Understand the contributions’

Understanding cultural differences is what the Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture is trying to do, Ajayi said.

“To showcase our culture, our food, our fashion, our music, our lifestyle so that everybody can have a space and a place to be themselves. We do an inclusive festival… Nobody celebrates in isolation. That is why we have these diverse voices, diverse ethnicities come together on this platform,” he said.

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“As a nation, we need to think forward and look forward. In the things we do, we should think of all of us and be inclusive so that we can create this beautiful and wonderful nation that everybody can prosper and do things and feel free to be themselves.”

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