“Natsu Matsuri” at Folklorama
This August, Winnpeg’s Folklorama, the largest and longest running multicultural festival in the world, celebrated 45 years. Celebrating diversity and promoting cultural understanding is the mission of this festival.
August in Winnipeg marks Folklorama, which is the largest and longest running multicultural festival in the world. This year, Folklorama celebrated 45 years, and the Japanese community in Manitoba has been involved for most of those years. Celebrating diversity and promoting cultural understanding is the mission of this festival. We were one of the six founding members.
“Natsu Matsuri,” a summer festival, was the theme for our pavilion this year. Over 6,000 guests visited us the week of August 3rd to 9th, and were treated to lively entertainment involving local performing groups and artists. It was an opportunity for our community to perform including Hinode Taiko, Aurora Dance Group, Kaede Dancers, martial arts groups, koto players and more.
Guests were enticed by the diverse palate and aromas of traditional (assorted sushi, miso soup, Japanese curry, manju, sake, Japanese beer) and trendy Japanese foods (Natsuri-dog, kakigori) prepared by volunteers daily. Our cultural displays area showcased our history in Manitoba and Canada, and promoted a cultural understanding through displays and demonstrations that featured local artists, groups, handicrafts, and souvenirs.
This year, we were pleased to host provincial board members from the National Association of Japanese Canadians, who were holding their meetings in Winnipeg during Folklorama.
The Japanese Pavilion at Folklorama is a major community event. The pavilion, with the involvement of over 160 volunteers each night, gives us an opportunity to share our food, music, dance, and culture with many guests and visitors. Folklorama is a time for fun, enjoyment and appreciating each other’s cultures and tradition. The festival brings generations of community members and families together to celebrate our accomplishments, showcase our culture and heritage, meet new and familiar faces, but mostly have fun!