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The Thunder Bay Multicultural Association Announces Its 40th Folklore Festival

The Thunder Bay Multicultural Association


FOLKLORE FESTIVAL 2013, our 40th Anniversary Celebration!


Adults $5, Seniors/Students $3, Children 4-12 $1, Under 4 FREE


“Travel the World in 48 Hours” at the 40th Anniversary Folklore Festival 2013, May 4th and 5th at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay, Ontario presented by the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association.  Tantalizing international foods, incredible entertainment, “shop-the-world” booths, exhibits, an activity-packed Children’s Area, and local artists on site await you. The largest and most colourful event of the year will take visitors on a “Trip Around the World” in two fun-filled days allowing them to experience the magnificent sights, sounds and flavours which the various ethnocultural and Aboriginal communities bring to our country.  There will also be a Special Program on Friday, May 3 for local school children in partnership with CAHEP Thunder Bay (limited to the invited classes and educators arranged through the partnership).

Our 40th Anniversary Celebration will feature a HOT Afro-Caribbean theme with Feature Entertainers, “The Sattalites” (2-time Juno award winners from Toronto) rocking the house Saturday evening, May 4 at 7:30pm as visitors are invited to "Sway to Island Rhythms" and enjoy that "HOT Caribbean beat". The Children’s Area packed with free activities, crafts and the always-busy inflatable will feature our Afro-Caribbean theme and there will be many more touches during this very Special Folklore Festival.

The Festival showcases the diverse cultural heritage of Thunder Bay. More than 20 regions of the world are represented by no less than 40 different ethnocultural and Aboriginal groups. Arriving visitors are greeted by Goodwill Ambassadors in traditional costumes and the majestic fanfare of flags of the World waving above the arena, leading to our Folklore Festival main stage, the largest in Thunder Bay, where culture and traditions will be brought to life in full and intricate colour and excitement. Imagine the spectacle as the Thunder Bay Chinese-Canadian Association opens the Festival with its traditional Lion Dance. In the hours and days that follow, many hearts will be stolen during performances by junior groups like the little Le Stelle Alpine Italian dancers and the Scottish dancers. The richness of our First Nations people will be experienced as the Rising Sun Dance Group-First Nation Dancers take the stage. You are sure to feel the rejuvenation of your own youth as you enjoy the presentations by the Chaban, and Zorya Ukrainian Dance companies, Celtic Rhythms Irish Dancers, and the Filipino performers.  The beauty of the Tai Chi Sword Dancers, Russian performers, Middle Eastern Belly Dancers, and the Kiikurit Finnish Folk Dancers will enchant visitors. Back this year are the popular "Takafumi Taiko", traditional Japanese Drummers. You will be dancing in your seats and in the aisles to the fabulous Pelmanni Orchestra and marvel at the resounding sounds of The Pipes and Drums of Thunder Bay. The World Dance Centre will take us on a dancing journey around the world and these are only SOME of the incredible entertainers who will grace the Festival Stage.

Displays and exhibits circle the stage and surrounding areas allowing visitors to “shop the World” and see traditions come alive as they view costumes, artifacts, video displays, visual artists working on site, and meet the people who proudly share Canada’s heritages. Local artists including Kevin Belmore, Donna Heisholt, Greg Zelinski, to name a few, will share their works of art, and exhibitors will have treasures from India, Ecuador and beyond for visitors to purchase and take home.

Tantalizing aromas call visitors to the Curling Club where the temptations of Caribbean Jerk chicken, Greek slovaki, Polish cabbages rolls, Filipino shiskabab, Portuguese, Karen, Lebanese, and Thai cuisine, and rich pastries are just a few of the many culinary delights visitors can savour in the Food Booth area. Traditional favourites from The Aboriginal Arts & Heritage of Thunder Bay and India Canada can be topped off with a glass of imported Italian wine, a Red Stripe beer, an Espresso, or a host of international favourites. There is just time enough to gather together your exotic feast before heading back to the main stage area to experience the amazing leaps of the Ukrainian dance ensembles, the incredible talents of entertainers of all ages and the wonder that is Folklore Festival. And new Food Booths are joining us again this year.

            Enjoy international “Dinner and Dancing” Saturday night with “The Sattalites” (Juno award winners from Toronto) for the best prices in town (the Food Court with International Beers and Wines is open until 11pm). 

            Enter the free Draw for a “Trip for 2 anywhere Porter flies” courtesy of our Sponsor, Porter Airlines.

            Canada’s wealth lies in the richness that our Aboriginal and ethnic communities bring to our country.  The traditions, the dances, the songs, the foods have made the Canadian mosaic a treasure, which will long endure.  The Thunder Bay Multicultural Association warmly and proudly invites everyone to be part of this Canadian multicultural celebration.

            Festival hours are Saturday, 12 noon to 11 pm and Sunday 12 noon to 7 pm.  The Festival is fully accessible.  A Pre-Festival display and Press Conference including Entertainment will be held the week prior to the Festival at Intercity Shopping Centre with the Press Conference on April 27.  Programs including the Sponsors, Entertainment Schedule, Food and Exhibit Booths will be distributed.  Our website operates year round promoting the Festival and our Sponsors.  Opening ceremonies, with our “Parade of Nations”, dignitaries, the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association Board of Directors, and Sponsors, will be held at 2 pm Saturday May 4 on the Main Stage. 

            More than 1,000 volunteers assist in planning, and preparing the site decorations, stage, food and exhibit booths, the Children’s Area, promotion and organization.  Because of these special people, Festival visitors have the unique opportunity to experience this exquisite multicultural mosaic, the largest presentation in our Region.


Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada Funded by the Government of Ontario