Youth group organizes festival showcasing immigrant experiences in Moncton, NB – New Brunswick

A group of young people aged 15-20 organized Culturefest, which debuted on Sunday. The Sunday festival showcases immigrant-owned businesses, food and culture from Moncton’s multicultural communities.

The effort grew out of the YMCA’s Community Action Network Program. The group met three times a week for seven weeks and had a budget of $1,500 to put together a project of their choice.

Community Action Network coordinator Hannah LaPointe said in an interview Sunday that the bulk of the group was made up of immigrants from a variety of backgrounds.

“A lot of them were really passionate about highlighting immigrant stories, highlighting local immigrant-owned businesses and local businesses in general, and really highlighting all of the cultures in the Greater Moncton area. Making sure people know they’re here and ready to be part of the community,” she said Sunday.

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The festival featured food stalls from immigrant-run businesses and other merchandise and cultural performances such as a dance performance by Moncton’s Chinese Cultural Association.

Abigail Gonzalez, 16, who immigrated to Canada from the Dominican Republic a year and a half ago, said she enjoys socializing with other young immigrants.

“I learned a lot from my Pakistani friends, from my Brazilian friends, I also have some friends from Africa. I feel like we all learned from each other,” she said.

The group’s next step is to create a website to discuss the immigrant experiences in Moncton.

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Gonzalez said they would publish first-hand accounts of immigrants and share resources.

“Getting here isn’t as easy as it sounds,” she said.

“Coming to school and making friends, that’s not the same culture, it’s not the same habits that people have, so it’s kind of a cultural barrier. I believe that Canadian openness and friendliness is all we need.”

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© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Youth group organizes festival showcasing immigrant experiences in Moncton, NB – New Brunswick


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