Motif showcases citys diversity

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Hundreds take in 35th edition of festival

Motif showcases citys diversity

As Moose Javians entered the gates of Happy Valley Park this weekend, they left Moose Jaw behind and entered into a celebration of culture, food, music and friendship from all over the world.
The Motif Multicultural Festival celebrated its 35th anniversary Moose Jaw style, with a party.
As you walked into the festival the aroma of the different foods from the many booths filled the air. One of those spicy smells was coming from the Southern Plains MÉtis Local 160's booth. Noreen Stephen, one of the booth's workers, as well as a Multicultural Council member, said at the booth the public could try an Indian taco.
Stephen said the Southern Plains has been coming to Motif for many years now and will continue to come for many more.
"This is just a great way to celebrate all the different cultures in the community."
Stephen said from what she had seen Friday and Saturday, she felt there were a few more people than in years past. She said this could be because it was the 35th anniversary or because the festival itself had gotten bigger.
To help create an atmosphere of culture, The Southern Plains MÉtis brought in an approximately 30-foot teepee. Inside the teepee kids were invited to do crafts or just take a look at what once was a common sight on the prairie landscape.
Stephen said besides the food, this year's entertainment was phenomenal.
She said her favourite performances are always the children.
"It is just so nice to see them coming into their culture and the thing is you know they are only going to get better at what they do as they grow older."
Mary Vierling, a war bride from Dublin, Ireland, said she has been coming and working Motif for as long as it has been around. Being the Motif veteran she is, as well as the only full Irishwoman working the Irish booth, Vierling said she has loved having the opportunity to share the details of her country with the people attending the festival.
She said it is also a treat to visit all of the other booths.
Next door to the Irish booth, for those visiting the festival and who were of legal age, not only did they have the opportunity to test some of the traditional foods of Jamaica but also a flavourful Jamaican rum punch. Chris Dash was one of those enjoying the cool refreshment.
"I am having a great time. I really enjoy trying all of the different traditional foods and hanging out with my friends."
Dash said he has visited the festival in years past and thought 2009 was better than ever.
"Where else can you enjoy the sun, eat great food, awesome entertainment and hang out with your friends?"

Lyndsay McCready can be reached at 691-1256.

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Happy Valley Park, Dublin Ireland Jamaica

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Recent comments

  • Humberto D
    September 18, 2009 - 17:33

    Resident you need a reality check as to what things cost nowadays.

    I had the pleasure of going Friday and gladly paid 8 dollars for a whole evening's worth of entertainment.

    My brothers' band was one of the acts and they came all the way from Regina hauling a lot of stuff. And they did this for free without asking for so much as gas money. I know the Irish band was mostly from Regina.

    That 8 dollars also has to pay for equipment rental for three days, advertising, hiring security, etc.

    Try going to the movies and see what they charge you for popcorn and a drink.


    Having volunteered at Motif in the past, I can tell you that most booths/groups are swamped by the amount of work that has to get done in the weeks leading up to and the three days at Motif. Sure it would be nice to have a dedicated person as cashier but you do the best you can.

    But yeah, 12 dollars for a three day pass is hardly expensive. The money raised by these groups is all for a good cause.

    Once again, a great job done by all. The food was great as usual.

  • Resident
    September 18, 2009 - 17:25

    My wife and I visited Motif again this year, looking forward to sampling the different dishes and taking in the stage show. The first shock was the cover charge, $8 each just to get in??? With parking it was almost $20 spent right off the top, for what?

    Not realizing that it didn't start until 3pm, we arrived (and paid) at 230 and had nothing to do while the booths just started setting up. Why not run it from noon til 10pm instead to get an entire afternoon? 3pm is thunderstorm time, and an uncovered stage doesn't work well in a downpour.

    Not to mention the money issues and waiting for change at each booth... especially the ones without a dedicated person making change... wouldn't a much better option be a central ticket booth where you buy tickets and then exchange a certain number of tickets for food at each booth?

    I love Motif, and I love the different foods, but I think they've priced themselves out of reach for a lot of people now. I don't think I'll bother attending next year...

    • Youth
      December 08, 2009 - 04:03

      My goodness, why complain so much about something so little? It's true that the price has gone up a bit from a few years ago. It's also true that price of the equipment and work necessary for this whole event to come together has gone up. Notice that when labour goes up, entry fees follow suit. It's not surprising our outrageously priced at all if you've attended any event, be it a movie, musical, play, concert, etc. in the past few years. It takes time to set up all the equipment, stage, booths, etc. If you want fresh food (and I'm assuming you do), then you can't ask for an earlier time. Food doesn't magically appear for them to sell, it must be prepared for the customers like you, and that does take time. It doesn't actually take more than a few minutes to do the whole money/food exchange at each booth. The reason that it would be impossible for the the food tickets to work is because each booth is run by a different organization and they each spend their own money, not the Multicultural Association's money, on ingredients, cutlery, dishes, etc. There would be no revenue for the people working the booths if all the money was paid directly to the ticket sellers. Motif is one of the only event of it's kind left in Moose Jaw and if everybody had this attitude, it would be canceled before we knew it. Promote it among your friends and neighbors and you may even see the prices go down in the future.

  • Expected
    September 18, 2009 - 17:22

    Resident-Typical response from someone who wants everything for nothing and very rarely volunteers to help. Just does what they're good at, complain about everything.

    My wife and I attended, enjoyed the entertainment, food and drink and the smiling faces of all in attendance on Saturday evening. We also witnessed the energy the vokunteers put in to make the food lines move quickly.

    Congratulations to all of you for a job well done and Thank You for giving us your time!!! Bravo!

  • j
    September 18, 2009 - 16:45

    surprisingly unexpected!!!

  • CHALKY
    September 18, 2009 - 16:03

    Resident from Sk have you been to a grocery store lately???? Eight dollars to get in and two dollars for parking is a problem? I guess you don't park in parkades often or go to other venues in the province. The Motif is one of the cheapest events of the season. Try Regina events and get a picture of the real world. Anything rented must be paid for and the park must be cleaned up including garbage containers and jiffy biffies for you convenience. A little cheese with the wine please.

  • Justin
    September 18, 2009 - 15:51

    My god. My wife and I visited Motif again this year.

    Again? So you've been there before? Perhaps you forgot, then, then admission - which is good for three days - has been eight dollars for a number of years now.

    The time the event starts is also unchanged from prior years. Perhaps next year you can make an effort to remember, rather than complaining all over again.

    I'm sure Motif will be splendid again next year, and you can miss it as you sit on your porch, muttering about how the world has gone to hell in a handbasket.