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

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake physician part of COSMIC Medical group developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File Photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Wagon visit to Lhoosk’uz (Kluskus): part four

We had arrived at this remote Southern Carrier Nation village after dark… Continue reading

Freya Cockwill, 4, Lyra Cockwill, 6, and Haylee Sigurdson, 9, had some fun designing and painting face masks during the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy’s Family Fest in January of 2020 in Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Watch for Tribune Reach-A-Reader edition Jan. 21

Read the Tribune newspaper on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 to learn more about CCPL and literacy

Residents are reminded to remain vigilant in following COVID-19 precautions as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Climbing COVID-19 cases prompts City of Williams Lake to increase response level

City leaders continue to press for more information from Interior Health

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

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

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Most Read