Morden – Cultural Celebration Builds Morden’s Community
February 18, 2020
For more than a decade, Morden has been celebrating the diversity of its residents.
Morden’s Multicultural Winterfest is a joint effort between the city, Regional Connections, and the community, and took place Saturday inside and outside the Access Event Centre. The event features both indoor and outdoor activities, cultural entertainment from all over the world, and plenty of food.
Shelly Voth, Morden Immigration Coordinator, says not only is the event an excellent way to enjoy the winter season, but it also has significant benefits for the community.
“It allows Morden residents of different backgrounds to show and celebrate their culture to the rest of the community. Having all residents of Morden and area see and celebrate diversity builds on our inclusiveness and community pride. It’s a fun way to enjoy winter. Lots of outdoor winter activities as well as indoor entertainment, free food, cultural and community displays, and kids’ activities.”
As more people move from outside the region, the event continues to grow, with fifteen cultural display tables and ten cultural groups on entertainment at the 12th annual event.
“It was a factor for sure,” says Regional Connections’ Volunteer and Integration Coordinator Alesha Hildebrand. “We knew we were going to have a boost in numbers attending, and we also had a boost in all of our programs because of this. We’re recognizing that, and making sure we have enough activities to meet that need. We want people to experience as much as possible, and get to experience as many things as they can.”
Hildebrand adds many residents want to give back to the community they’ve become a part of, and have done so in many ways.
One such group is Morden Through The Lens, which had its first photo exhibition at this year’s event.
The idea was created by Jahangir Talukdar back in May 2016, and as a new Canadian from Bangladesh, he wanted to create a community for local photographers.
“Over these years, the group gained over 150 members from all over Pembina Valley and is growing strong,” says Talukdar. “For the first time in the history of Morden Winterfest, Morden Through The Lens will be hosting their first photography exhibition. With photographs of local life as well as from all over the world done by the multicultural members of the group. It is a new cultural wave for Morden and Pembina Valley.”
Jahangir Talukdar says they are incredibly thankful for the city’s and community support to make this possible, and Morden Through The Lens continues to be a creative and active community and will likely take part in community events again.