By Carolina Di Giulio
Markham will be having its first annual Diversity Festival at the Aaniin Community Centre outdoor park this Saturday, Sep. 22nd, from 11 am – 9 pm. Proceeds from the festival will support the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, and Cystic Fibrosis (CF) of Canada.
The festival is being hosted by the Moksha Canada Foundation, a not-for-profit organization since 2014, that has run charity and community events across the GTA. The Diversity Festival had recently been held in Toronto at the end of July, with more than 20,000 in attendance.
This will be the first time that Markham will have this festival. The event is sponsored by TD Canada Trust and Terence Ma of Splendid China Mall, with support from local businesses and artisans. The Diversity Festival’s goal is to showcase and celebrate cultural diversity within the community, and to raise money for a good cause.
“We feel that the different communities [within Markham] are separated, and we want to bring them together, to mingle and to learn about each other’s different cultures.” said Sunil Channan, Co-founder & President of Moksha Canada Foundation, who has been living in Markham for the past 20 years.
All ages are welcome, and admission is free. The festival will include live musical performances, dance competitions, a cultural fashion show, art exhibitions, food vendors, and a kids play zone.
Markham high schools such as Milliken Mills, Markville, Father Michael McGivney, and Bill Crothers will also be performing at the festival. The opening ceremony, with the playing of the national anthem, will be held at 4 pm.
“The city of Markham is very diverse, and we want to break down barriers, to share each others heritage, and promote intercultural, intergenerational understanding.” adds Channan.