‘BEACON OF HOPE’: Fifth annual Tea Fest celebrates multiculturalism in Manitoba

After all the hysteria over M-103 and Islamophobia, and the erroneous reporting that all of the increased funding for the multiculturalism program was going towards anti-Islamophobia programming (FATAH: Islamist groups eligible for share of $23M in federal funding? | Toronto Sun Corrrection), one example of how some of the funding is being spent.

Very much in the spirit of the former Conservative government’s reorientation of the program to activities that bring different communities together:

Tea was the central figure in a celebration of culture Sunday at the Centre Culturel Franco Manitobain in St. Boniface.

The Islamic Social Services Association, together with the Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute, hosted its fifth annual Multicultural Tea Fest, aiming to bring people together with 20 kiosks of different cultures and faiths serving tea, goodies and sweets, as well as ceremonies and cultural performances.

H. Kasem serves tea during the fifth annual Multicultural Tea Fest at the Centre Culturel Franco Manitobain in Winnipeg on Sunday.Kevin King / Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun

“Canadian multiculturalism is a beacon of hope for harmonious and respectful co-existence,” organizer Shahina Siddiqui, ISSA president, told the crowd. “I can tell you, I’ve traveled across the world on invitation to speak about why we have it so good in Canada, and my response is always multiculturalism.”

Tea Fest is funded in part by the federal government and the province, and forms part of the city’s Islamic History Month Canada (IHMC) activities. Manitoba was the first province to proclaim IHMC in 2013, with MLA Andrew Smith (Southdale) on site Sunday to declare October 2018 as IHMC.

“At a time where politics and the media often divides people, it’s so good to have an event like this one that’s all about bringing people together and showing unity across many different cultures,” New Democratic Party leader Wab Kinew said on stage. “What a great example of Manitobans coming together across cultural lines to do something we all love, which is to enjoy a cup of tea.”

Performances included Bosnian and Kurdish dance, Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies, an origami workshop and a children’s multicultural fashion show.

Source: ‘BEACON OF HOPE’: Fifth annual Tea Fest celebrates multiculturalism in Manitoba