Hundreds take in 35th edition of festival
Liya Zhou, a local Tai Chi instructor performed Saturday, along with two of her students, at Motif. Zhou said the those who would like to participate in her Tai Chi class are welcome in Crescent Park Thursday nights at 6:30. Lyndsay McCready photograph
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.