Kelowna’s Folkfest returning, but it surely’s totally different | Information

Kelowna’s popular Folkfest celebration was a little less folksy this year.

Past versions of the event, which celebrates multiculturalism, have featured ethnic food booths lining the rim of the floor space of Prospera Place.

But several popular booths, such as the German one and Caribbean one, were missing this year, a fact noted by Folkfest chairperson Edna Von Dach. But just the fact the event was being held again, after a pandemic-induced hiatus, was worth celebrating, she said.

“We are proud to have groups from around the world share their food, culture, and dancing,” Von Each said. “Canada is the greatest place to live in the whole world.”

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said the Canada Day celebration was being held on the traditional unceded territory of Indigenous people.

He urged people to reflect on the way Indigenous people have been treated, and he also offered words of welcome to Ukrainians who have settled in Kelowna since the Russian invasion of their homeland.

“Our hearts go out to you for everything you’ve been through,” Basran said.

The Canadian flag represents “hope, prosperity, and peace,” Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative MP Tracy Gray said.

While Canadians should rightly celebrate their country’s achievements on July 1, they should not be focused solely on the past, Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola Conservative MP Dan Albas said.

“We can also think about how much further we can go in the future,” he said.

It was teamwork that got Canadians through the early stages of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Kelowna Mission Liberal MLA Renee Merrifield said. “It’s a joy and a privilege to be gathered again today,” she said.

“Being Canadian does not mean we are perfect, but it does mean we continue to grow and move forward together,” Merrifield said.

The Canada Day celebrations in Kelowna were to conclude last night with a fireworks display.

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