Carmen Mutschele performs songs from her ancestral Germany at the Community Cultural Celebration Pot Luck on Nov. 22. (Photo submitted)

Carmen Mutschele performs songs from her ancestral Germany at the Community Cultural Celebration Pot Luck on Nov. 22. (Photo submitted)

Community Cultural Celebration Pot Luck creates healthy bonds

The event was facilitated by the Multiculturalism Program of the Canadian Mental Health Association

Al-lisa McKay

Special to The Tribune

Community Cultural Celebration Pot Luck was held at the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Centre on Nov. 22 where Williams Lake celebrated its unique blend of cultural heritage.

The event was facilitated by the Multiculturalism Program of the Canadian Mental Health Association in partnership with the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy.

First held last year, the potluck was a very small but still a wonderful gathering. This year, however, was a different story altogether. The Graham Kelsey Room at the Arts Centre was barely enough room to house everyone who attended this year’s potluck. The people just kept coming.

Now organizers (myself) Al-Lisa McKay and Maryna Muzyka are looking to book a larger venue for next year’s event.

We are such a beautiful bouquet of field flowers here in Canada, so much diversity and culture. To have events where our individual ancestral heritage is showcased and represented is important as we all move towards deeper understanding, appreciation and inspiration that our different backgrounds bring to this new paradigm.

From India to Pakistan to the Canadian west to Mexico and elsewhere, the potluck was rich with the aroma of ethnic spices, cultural stories, recipes, dances, music, families and friends of all ages.

The evening started off with the doors opening at 5:30 p.m. where people could sip on an ancient recipe of hot chai made by Deva Khurana, whose father hailed from Kullu India. The perfume of all of those exotic spices coming from Deva’s chai pot was heavenly and filled the entire Arts Centre.

A welcoming by Mary Thomas and dinner prayer by Rolland Harry was our gateway to the evening.

Dinner was at 6 p.m. and was partially catered by Fabiola’s Mexican Food and Oceanas Bannock. There seemed to be just enough food to feed the masses and that was a definite thanks to these yummy caterers.

The performances began around 7:30 p.m. as David Jose of Mexico serenaded us with mystical songs and instruments of Mexico, Carmen Mutschele had us swooning and centred with stories and songs from Germany as well as led us in a sing-along.

Roman Thomas and Mary Thomas shared some history and songs of the fiddle in relation to the Secwepemc culture.

Jerry and Irene Charley drove all the way from Kamloops to perform Secwepemc storytelling. They also had a table of some of their carvings and First Nations Art to share. These two are always a delightful mixture of humour and wisdom.

Francis and Alida Johnson from Alkali Lake shared a performance of profound cultural drumming and hoop dancing, which had the crowd whipped into a lather of joy and inspiration.

There were some impromptu cultural musical sharing from some children who attended which was a delightful bonus.

The evening ended with Francis Johnson leading us in a round dance and a prayer from Rolland Harry.

I would like to give a special thanks to the following:

To the Arts Centre for entrusting us to use the space.

Read More: Community Cultural Celebration Pot Luck 2019 on tonight

Eva and Robyn of the Women’s Contact Society for setting up an information booth and manning the front door so eloquently.

Mary Forbes for sweeping in and saving the day with her recycling expertise and jovial presence.

The crew who stayed behind to help clean the space and put it back together.

And of course, to all who came because, without you, it would have been quite a different event. Your presence and participation were perfect.

We are looking forward to seeing you at next year’s celebration. We hope to pique your curiosity about your own ancestral cultural roots, and instill a sense of appreciation for the diversity that you are as well as the diversity in your midst.

Diversity is the spice of life.

A healthy community is a community that cares about one another.

As Bob Marley sang: “One love, one heart. Let’s get together and feel alright.”

Al-Lisa McKay is the Multicultural Coordinator of CMHA.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Northern Health vaccination clinic is set for the Wells Community Hall on Tuesday, April 20. (Photo submitted)
COVID-19 vaccination clinic coming to Wells

Vaccine to be available for anyone 18+

The BC Wildfire Service will help BC Parks conduct a controlled burn within the Churn Creek Protected Area sometime between April 14-19. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo.
Prescribed ecosystem restoration burn set for Churn Creek area.

BC Wildfire Service crews will assist B.C. Parks in the burn, scheduled for this week.

A black bear tries to get at a bird feeder at a home near Williams Lake. (Laura Ulrich photo)
Managing bear attractants a top priority in B.C. for 2021: Conservation Officer Service

Garbage, fruit trees, bird feeders, compost and livestock are common attractants for bears

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 so far

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

Most Read