Column: Mark calendar for gathering

June has arrived and what better way to begin summer than with the Williams Lake Band Multicultural Gathering June 11-12.

June has arrived and what better way to begin summer than with the Williams Lake Band Multicultural Gathering at the Chief Will-Yum Pow Wow Arbour on June 11 and 12.

Opening ceremonies will take place on both days at noon. The closing ceremony is Sunday at 4 p.m. when each culture will parade their flag.

In between, there will be a great lineup of diverse entertainment starting at 1 p.m. Saturday. Performances include champion fiddler J.J. Lavalee, the Langley Ukulele Ensemble and hoop dancers.

With two days of entertainment, you can expect spectacular shows, delicious food inspired by Mexican, Filipino and Ukrainian cuisine, and more! If you are looking to showcase and sell your ethnic recipes, there is still time to put in a food booth.

We encourage community members to take part in a traditional salmon feast by donation on Saturday at 5 p.m., and live entertainment will continue into the evening with music by the Nighthawks.

The fun will continue on Sunday with more live entertainment including the Pow Wow Dancers, Williams Lake Ukulele Group and the Williams Lake Pipe Band. The public can enjoy a tour of the reserve, a huge log gymnasium that was built several years ago, the golf course and a tour of the 121-year-old Sugar Cane Church.

The Multicultural Gathering is an opportunity for the entire community and region to come together and learn about different cultures around the Williams Lake area. Williams Lake Indian Band councillor Rick Gilbert put the idea forward to council to host a celebration of many origins, while also showing people what the Sugar Cane community offers.

Mark your calendar for this fun, family-friendly and drug- and alcohol-free event. Admission is by donation and all donations go toward the event costs. For more information contact event co-ordinator Anne Burrill at 250-267-7211.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

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