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GlobalFest returns for a week of cultural celebrations and fireworks

By Troy Hasselman, August 21 2019 —

This year’s Globalfest, the annual cultural celebration and fireworks festival, is in full-swing again with festivities taking place at Elliston Park, beginning last week on Aug. 15 and continuing through until the festival finale on Aug. 24.

“Globalfest is a multicultural festival combined with a giant pyro-musical festival,” says Bret Crowle, GlobalFest Marketing and Communication Director. “It encompasses the OneWorld Festival which starts at 6:00 p.m. and includes over 20 cultural pavilions all of which people who attend the festival can interact with and ask questions about. They have a chance to watch performances, eat the food and even wear traditional garments from around the world. We also have the TriCo Homes International Fireworks festival. We have various teams that have all been flown in from various corners of the world to participate. They all compete to see who wins the best-of-the-best and the finale is organized by Global Fest and is composed of fireworks from all of the other presentations.”

Since its inception in 2003, GlobalFest has steadily grown and had its message of promoting cultural diversity stay ingrained into the festival as it has become increasingly popular. 

“One of the most important changes is the growth and evolution of the mandate,” Crowle says. “In the beginning it was intended to be a platform for cultural diversity to grow and for these cultural groups to have the opportunity to have a platform. That has happened and is ingrained in the GlobalFest mission for that to be of utmost importance. For the future, we want to continue to do that. Every year we get more and more cultures trying to come in and take part and I think we’ve become an advocate of sorts for them so that’s very important.”

The diversity shown in the festival is highly reflective of the diversity present in Calgary and across Canada.

“The interesting thing about this festival is that it brings people from right here in Alberta and right here in Calgary but we also bring people from around the world,” Crowle says. “As a multicultural community and country we need to acknowledge there are many different cultures that we come into contact with. Everyday we come into contact with different cultures, and it’s great to be able to provide them with a platform to showcase their culture and allow for other people to get an understanding and learn the roots of them. One of the most important aspects is allowing for people to have these interactions with one another and have different cultures come into contact with one another and learn their histories and stories.”

On Aug. 20 a particularly exciting event took place, one that fully drives home the values represented by the festival. 

“We have a very, very exciting component. We do a citizenship ceremony on China Night, this is where we swear in 100 new Canadians on our One World Stage. This is a huge deal and it’s very, very exciting not only for the people that are being sworn in but also for the people in the crowd who get to watch this exciting moment.”

GlobalFest will run until Aug. 24 at Elliston Park. General admission tickets are $21 and festival passes are $46. Information and schedules for the festival can be found on its website.

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