Cape Breton University will host its first outdoor multicultural festival, Multiversity, on Saturday, September 27, 2014. The afternoon event will be held at the Sydney Marine Terminal Grounds and will showcase a variety of global cultures that are represented at CBU, as well as local cultures including Celtic, First Nations and others.
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"This is the first event of its kind for CBU,” says Shawn Bethke, Dean of the Library and Multicultural Learning. “The Multiversity Cultural festival is a kick-off event that will help us to continue building the momentum needed to be the most culturally diverse and inclusive campus in Canada."
Multiversity will act as a welcome to new and returning students for the 2014/2015 year and also help to introduced and familiarize CBU’s new students with the local community. "Multiversity is a fun and exciting way to introduce our new students from around the country and the world to the community,” says Bethke. “It is also an opportunity to show the broader Cape Breton community the cultural diversity we are lucky to experience at CBU each day."
The event will be hosted by Cape Breton’s own Ian McNeil, former CBC broadcast personality. Headliners Dave Sampson and Breagh MacKinnon will perform with additional entertainment by Sons of Membertou and Membertou Drummers, Forrester School of Celtic Dance, End Notes a Cappella Group, as well as CBU student groups who will be on site performing traditional music and dance from Africa, Saudi Arabia and Asia. The closing ceremony will feature a traditional Chinese dragon dance performed by International Centre for English Academic Preparation (ICEAP) students.
Event attendees will be treated to a barbecue with proceeds going to Capers Helping Capers, a charitable initiative of the Cape Breton University Students’ Union which raises money for four local charities each year. The event will also feature food vendors who will offer tastes of the world. Vendors include Lebanese Flower, Neoclassic Food, Mabou Oysters, the Cape Breton Filipino Association, Caper Crepe's (traditional Indian street snacks) and Diva Delights.
Multiversity will also feature craft vendors, entertainment, children’s activities such as bouncing castles, and information kiosks. Cash vendors will be selling artwork, jewellery, and traditional items from China, Africa, Membertou and Eskasoni. Culture sharing kiosks will be present, as well as community groups such as ICEAP, Green Lotus Yoga & Wellness, the Old Sydney Society, Elena's Asian Market, and many more. Cheap Shot photo booth, a local business run by two CBU alumni members will also be on site to ensure guests have a fun, photo takeaway.
Those in attendance are encouraged to also take in the 2014 Lumière Cape Breton installment. Held each September, Lumière is a transformative art festival that takes place within the downtown core. The festival consists of workshops and community events, and culminates in a spectacular art-at-night event.