See the world in your own backyard as Culture Galore celebrates the sights, sounds and tastes of Christchurch’s multicultural community on Saturday.
The open-air festival is one of the city’s most popular events on the cultural calendar, rapidly expanding since the inaugural celebration of diversity in 2001.
Held at Ray Blank Park in Ilam from noon to 4pm, Culture Galore attracts more than 6000 people annually – three times the number at the first event. It has also grown from the original 20 groups involved in the big day to more than 60 this year.
Supported by both the Waimāero/Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board and the Waipuna/Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board, entry to Culture Galore is free.
Waimāero/Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board Chairperson David Cartwright says a strong community evolves through connection and communication.
“Culture Galore provides the perfect platform for developing those bonds that strengthen and unite our multicultural community,” Mr Cartwright says.
“The rapid growth in the festival’s popularity certainly highlights the success of our highly entertaining cultural showcase.
“It is now an integral part of the local community culture, providing an opportunity for groups to come together and celebrate diversity in a shared space.”
The array of stage performances include Japanese drummers and traditional dances and songs from Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines, Poland, China, Fiji, Russia, Thailand, Mexico and Bangladesh, along with many other nations.
Waipuna/Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board Chairperson Mike Mora says that the festival captures the vibrancy of an inclusive multicultural community.
“From food to arts and crafts and music and dance, the many cultures who now call Christchurch home can share their wonderful heritage and traditions at a special family focused festival,” Mr Mora says.
“Culture Galore helps unite our wider community as we all celebrate the value of diversity.”
While culture is centre stage, festivalgoers can also sample the many free “have a go” activities on offer, including stone carving, flax weaving, face painting, baseball hitting, bouncy castles, a police speed radar, henna tattoos and the fire evacuation challenge.
Among the main attractions on Saturday are the huge range of ethnic cuisines served up by more than 40 food stalls.
For the first time, Culture Galore is part of a Christchurch City Council-led Compostable Food Packaging at Events initiative to divert waste from landfill.
Under the initiative – supported by Total Waste Solutions – stallholders will serve their food in compostable packaging.
Bin ambassadors will also be on hand to ensure that organics, recyclable material or waste goes in the appropriate green, yellow or red bin.