The COVID-19 lockdown meant that festival performers and vendors had to stay home, rather than prepare for the festival. As a result, the hundreds of volunteers who make the KW Multicultural Festival possible each year could not meet, organize or rehearse for the annual event. Festival organizers knew that with restrictions in place, there was no way to safely and successfully prepare for the 53rd annual Multicultural Festival that has traditionally drawn crowds of up to 50 000 people to Victoria Park over the course of the weekend. That being said, the KW Multicultural Centre was not going to let the lockdown impact a celebration of diversity in our community, and knew that the celebrations could be moved online this year.
The Virtual KW Multicultural Festival will feature daily workshops on YouTube in creating art at home, storytelling from Kitchener Public Library, a celebrating cultures Bingo game from Waterloo Public Library, an art activity from the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, and a yoga class by Selam Debs, Owner & Director of Juici Yoga Studio. It will also have an introduction to Tai Chi, an Indian cooking demonstration, a drumming workshop, a magic workshop, dance workshops, performances from the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and a colouring contest. The fun doesn’t stop there! The Virtual Festival will also feature hundreds of social media posts throughout the week to promote the local artists, musicians, dancers, local restaurants, ethnic grocery stores, and community groups that participate every year.