Residents will have an opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Latin America when the fifth annual Latin Fest returns to Galt Gardens July 6.
The event will highlight Latin American culture through food vendors serving up Latin American dishes, along with music and dancing with a Latin American flavour.
Music will be supplied by Calgary, the Mash Cover Band and Klave Latin Band, along with a pair of Lethbridge bands, Dos Tierras and Latin Rev.
There will also be dance groups representing a number of Latin American countries including Colombia, Argentina, El Salvador and Venezuela.
There will be a number of food vendors serving up ethnic dishes, most of them representing Latin American countries, though other ethnic groups will be participating as well.
The festival, which features free admission, will run from noon to 9 p.m. and will include a beer garden in addition to plenty of family-friendly fun including a bouncy castle, cotton candy and ice cream.
The event is organized by the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association in partnership with local Latin American cultural groups. Participating associations include the Colombian Cultural Club, Mi Colombia Linda, Corazon Salvadoreno, Venezuela Llena de Gracia, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras, Sabor Argentino, Grupo Latino, Nicaragua, Ecuadorian Social Club, Peruvian Group and Alma Salvadorena.
Events such as Latin Fest, along with the monthly dinners put on by the SAEA in partnership with local cultural groups, help to build bridges between people from various ethnic backgrounds in Lethbridge.
“A lot of people have misunderstandings about other people’s cultures,” says Richard Odei-Wontumi, executive director of the SAEA. “Our aim is to break these barriers so people have an avenue of understanding one another. It’s a blend. We try to make it inclusive.”
The SAEA’s monthly dinners include the June dinner, “Taste of the Caribbean,” taking place June 28 at the Multicultural Centre, 421 6 Ave. S.
Tickets are available at the SAEA office (phone 403-320-1577) or online at http://www.saea.ca.
The dinners serve to not only bring together people of different backgrounds, but also help people from other countries establish connections in the community.
“Every culture that comes is unique and different,” says Odei-Wontumi. “By doing cultural nights, we want them to fit in. It’s part of community building in Lethbridge.”
“Canadian culture is built on immigration,” he adds, and one of the SAEA’s roles is to help bring the city’s diverse cultures together “in building the City of Lethbridge and Canada.”