32nd Multicultural Festival


GUELPH, Ont. – The annual Guelph and District Multicultural Festival has been one of Guelph’s “go-to” summer events, and there is no sign of slowing down for its 32nd year.

New and returning volunteers are gearing up to host the Festival on June 8 to 10, 2018 lead by new Executive Director Meher Parakh and Board President Anu Saxena. The three-day event is a celebration of culture and diversity that welcomes over 25,000 people from Guelph and surrounding communities to Riverside Park. With free admission & parking local and international cuisine, youth activities, cultural performances, and live entertainment, this iconic cultural event is accessible to everyone.

“Through our long association with local and ethnic groups, educational institutions and youth groups we have been able to reach out to local residents and newcomers to Canada celebrating cultural understanding, awareness and inclusion within the community,” says Parakh. “We are grateful for the enormous support we have received from every level of the community ensuring the sustainability of the Festival.”

This year, the Festival will host its first ever Carnival Rio on opening night, including a group of drummers, instrumentalists, singers and dancers from A Fantástica Bateria from The Escola de Samba de Toronto, Canada’s premiere Brazilian Bateria ensemble. These performers share their passion for Samba with Festival attendees who are encouraged to join in on Friday night. The performances continue on Saturday evening with Dances of the East, from Bollywood to Cairo, where the audience will learn the intricate moves of belly dancing, taught and choreographed by Guelph’s very own Invoktress School of Dance. These and many other cultural acts will perform on the main stage, while our popular International Food Tent will rock to the beat of live bands.

“The dedicated team behind the Multicultural Festival looks forward to seeing you all with your family and friends on June 8, 9 and 10 at Riverside Park to celebrate the rich cultural diversity we are proud to have in our community,” says Saxena. “A special thank you to our outgoing President Delfino Callegari for his inspired leadership of 32 years; he has been instrumental in making this important community initiative what it is today and we look forward to taking on his legacy.

The Guelph and District Multicultural Festival had its beginnings as a small downtown event in 1978, organized by the Board of Directors from The Multicultural Centre in Guelph. The Festival was moved to Riverside Park in 1998 to accommodate more visitors, food vendors, and performers. Since finding its new location, event attendance increased from 2,000 to 25,000 people and the Festival expanded its content to include live music and bands, cultural performances, parades and fashion shows, kids activities and fair ground attractions.