Multicultural festival officially one of the best in Ontario

A local celebration is among the best in the province.

Timmins Multicultural Festival has been named one of the top 100 festivals in the province.

At the Festivals and Events Ontario conference in Niagara Falls last week, the team that puts together the Timmins Multicultural Festival was honoured with its first-ever award from the organization and was named in the Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario.

Marnie Lapierre, Timmins Multicultural Society president, said the festival has been a member of Festivals and Events Ontario for two years now.

"For the 2022 event, we decided to toss our hat in the ring," said Lapierre. "And lo and behold, the orange committee that goes through the process of selecting the top 100, selected us."

Typically held in May, the one-day festival celebrates the local community's diversity through music, food and exhibits. Last year, in its first event after a hiatus due to COVID-19, 32 countries were represented to mark the 50th anniversary.

Lapierre said that the FEO recognition is a boost for everyone who has put work into the festival and in sharing culture across the community.

"The feedback from the participating groups have been absolutely stupendous," said Lapierre. "They are thrilled as they definitely should be. They've all worked hard, it is not a one-person operation, it is 33 different organizations to share and make that bridge of connection."

It was one of only four events named from Northern Ontario.

Lapierre said that the organization has grown quickly, and they're looking forward to bringing together groups that are new to the area.

“Our membership grew exponentially over the last couple of years, which is wonderful,” she said. "The community's need to connect, and do so safely and have fun, it's one of those events that really draws people together."

Festivals and Events Ontario is a multifacial organization with a focus on advocacy for festivals in the province and the industries that make those events possible.

There will be a 2023 edition of the Timmins Multicultural Festival.

Organizers are busy working on the details and an announcement on this year's date is expected soon.

Lapierre said they're always grateful for anyone who wants to help.

"It's definitely all hands on deck," said Lapierre.

To volunteer or get more details on the festival, visit their Facebook page.

Amanda Rabski-McColl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,