Alberta Culture Days will showcase Red Deer’s artistic diversity September 23-24 – Red Deer Advocate

September is festival month in Red Deer and next up is a two-day multicultural celebration of the arts.

Alberta Culture Days 2022 will take place September 23-24 in and around Festival Hall in Red Deer.

The offering will be more diverse, inclusive and plentiful than in previous years, showing how central Alberta’s arts and culture scene has grown and been enriched by newcomers from around the world, organizer Jan said. Underwood of the nonprofit Care for Newcomers.

The festival arts market will include henna tattoos and Chinese calligraphy as well as exhibitions of more traditional painting and ceramics, literary and performance art.

Free stage performances will include dancers from Country Pride, Métis jiggers and the Red Deer Native Dance Troupe, as well as Armenian, Filipino and African dancers. These dance performances will take place all day on Saturday, September 24, accompanied by musicians and singers.

Underwood said the dancers will demonstrate their moves on the evening of Sept. 23 for anyone who wants to learn, and there will be a free family dance on Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The food trucks parked next to the Festival Hall on Friday opening night will be replaced by ethnic food vendors serving specialties from different countries on Saturday.

Underwood said the decision to expand this year’s Alberta Culture Days festival is “partly to raise awareness of diversity in Red Deer, so people know it’s there, and partly to celebrate it.”

The two-day event, held in partnership with Country Pride Dancers with provincial funding, will showcase the “incredible skills” newcomers bring to this region, she added.

This includes such intriguing activities as weaving rugs of stories from Afghanistan.

There will also be vendors selling traditional clothing, such as ribbon skirts available with jewelry and Native art at the Red Deer Native Friendship Center booth.

“We’ll have a real variety of vendors,” Underwood said, including at least four food-related vendors selling baklava and other ethnic treats.

There will also be plenty of activities for kids and family, including glitter, face painting and crafts like making Chinese bookmarks.

The festival runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on September 23 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on September 24 at Festival Hall, adjacent to Red Deer’s Memorial Center.

For more information, visit the Care for Newcomers Facebook page.

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