Revelstoke Muliticultural Society celebrates multiculturalism in Revelstoke

The society is seeking new membership and board volunteers to keep multicultural focus in Revelstoke.

Vancouver-based African heritage ensemble Kokoma performed two sets at this years Carousel of Nations, held at the Revelstoke Community Centre. Photo by Matthew Timmins

By Revelstoke Multicultural Society

The Revelstoke Multicultural Society has worked to highlight and embrace the diverse multiculturalism in our community since 2010. The Society is gearing up for its annual general meeting on Thursday, May 31 and is inviting the public to come celebrate Revelstoke’s vibrant multicultural community.

Throughout the years the Revelstoke Multicultural Society (RMS) has celebrated Revelstoke as a community that embraces diversity, fosters cultural awareness and honours the city’s multicultural heritage. Highlights of the RMS’s involvement in the community include:

-Marching in the annual Canada Day parade with flags from dozens of different countries.

-Partnering with the Revelstoke Arts Council to present Movies in the Mountains, a film series showcasing foreign movies and documentaries.

-Presenting the annual A Carousel of Nations, a community celebration of multiculturalism including ethnic food, presentations, and performers.

RMS president Keri Knapp said events like A Carousel of Nations and Movies in the Mountains create opportunities for the community to come together and learn about other cultures.

“This creates greater understanding and appreciation for the contributions new immigrants, past and present, offer to our community. In turn we believe this decreases racism in the community and empowers newcomers to feel a sense of belonging in a new community which openly celebrates multiculturalism,” said Knapp.

World champion Aboriginal Hoop Dancer Dallas Arcand put on an entertaining show getting people up and dancing to his music and later demonstrating ‘100 ways to go through a hoop.’ Photo by Matthew Timmins

Society needs new membership, board volunteers, to continue.

This Thursday’s AGM is both a celebration of multiculturalism in Revelstoke and an attempt to garner interest from community members. Like many volunteer-based organizations, RMS volunteers have been involved for a number of years and in many cases are also involved with several other volunteer boards.

Knapp said the current board’s biggest fear is that if new volunteers aren’t found it could mean an end to A Carousel of Nations. The event is hugely successful and grows every year, but Knapp said the commitment and energy it requires year after year has begun to burn out RMS board members. The capacity for events beyond A Carousel of Nations has also been a challenge.

“The carousel taps our local funding which is matched by provincial funding to make it happen but without sustainable funding to continue regular engagement of membership and a regular coordinator to develop programming it’s been a challenge,” she said.

Knapp said many RMS board members remain passionate volunteers and the Carousel of Nations organizing committee would like to continue organizing the event, even if the multicultural society does not continue. To legally continue as a society the RMS needs to fill specific director roles on the board, something they’re hoping to do at this week’s meeting.

Come out and celebrate multiculturalism in Revelstoke and find out more about getting involved with the Revelstoke Multicultural Society this Thursday, May 31. The meeting is being held at Paramjit’s Kitchen from 5:30 p.m.—7 p.m.