Thank you to everyone who joined the TIES2U Online Festival!
Every summer, TIES students, staff and their families gather for our annual Summer Festival. Community members, politicians, and passerby often join the festivities. TIES Summer Festivals have always been a showcase of newcomer talents and an opportunity for everyone to enjoy themselves, featuring multicultural performances, food from around the world, outdoor games, crafts and all around summer fun.
This year was the 10th anniversary of our Summer Festival. At first it looked like we wouldn’t be able to celebrate this year due to restrictions on outdoor gatherings, but that setback didn’t stop us! Thanks to funding from the Government of Alberta and the efforts of our dedicated staff team, TIES was able to reimagine our 2020 Summer Festival as the TIES2U Online Multicultural Festival.
Day 1 of the event featured a Multicultural Fashion Show, an O Canada video by the TIES staff choir, and 24 incredible Talent Show participants. The theme was “Welcoming Newcomers,” and video submissions ranged from cultural dances, music and song, to soccer stunts, breakdancing, facepainting and even a theatrical performance! First place was awarded to Sleman Aldib, who acted out the stages of emotion for an immigrant until their arrival in Canadian society. Second place went to Jennifer Zhang, who performed a Chinese dance about a statue who comes alive in a museum at night. Third place went to Daniel Botrie, a 12-year-old pianist who performed Csárdás, a well-known folkloric piano piece based on a national dance of Hungary.
Day 2 was not to be missed either, featuring an array of performances: TIES staff band Kerry and the Benchmarks, Tryzub Ukranian Dance Ensemble, JB Music Therapy, Midnight Taiko, Calgary Taichi & Martial Arts, Shaolin Dragon Dance, Razdolie Russian Folk Choir, and a Latin Trio (Tricia Edwards, Raul Tabera and Jorge Chaviano).
We are very grateful for financial support from the Government of Alberta, the Ministry of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, and the engagement from many civic leaders, including: Mayor Naheed Nenshi, MP Jag Sahota, Minister Leela Aheer, Minister Jason Copping, MLA Muhammad Yaseen, MLA Peter Singh, MLA Jeremy Nixon, and Councillor George Chahal. Thank you for your advocacy, inspirational remarks, and for helping make this event possible for Calgarians. It was wonderful to be a part of Alberta Culture Days this year!
Although we celebrated online this year, our two founding principles for the festival remained the same. The first, to bring together newcomer students with members of the surrounding communities; and the second, to showcase our city’s vibrant cultural diversity with everyone.