Folktoria – Victoria’s spectacular celebration of cultural diversity put on by the Greater Victoria Folk Festival Society – returns June 3 and 4 at Centennial Square.
In its sixth year, the festival is a rebirth of Folkfest, a decades long celebration produced by the Victoria Inter-Cultural Association that ceased operation years earlier.
“This is about welcoming the whole community and providing a platform for all cultures to share the wealth of their music, customs, food and more,” said Sonia Grewal, the Past President of the Folk Festival Society.
This year, more than 65 groups are represented, showcasing dance, food, clothing and more from a diverse collection of regions including Poland, Germany, Thailand, Japan, Korea, China, India, Norway, England, France, Ukraine, Ireland, Scotland, Polynesia, Greece and Mexico
“It’s so much fun. By the time I get home from a night at the festival, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much,” said Kerry Patriarche, the President of the Folk Festival Society.
But for all the cultural diversity showcased at Folktoria, it’s the commonalities between cultures that Patriarche finds most striking.
“Folktoria celebrates the beauty of our cultural differences while, at the same time, bringing people together around what we have in common. Every culture has dance, and their own foods. Brides all wear special clothes for their weddings. These things are common to all cultures and when we realize that we can appreciate that, as different as cultures may be, there are things that we all have in common,” Patriarche said.
“Every culture has dance and they all have their love songs. They all sing lullabies to their children.”
More information on Folktoria can be found at folktoria.ca or facebook.com/Folkathome.