By Djami Diallo ,The Afro News Burnaby : It was a rainy, cold and gray day typical of Vancouver, but on Saturday, February 27, patrons of Lougheed Town Centre were treated to an exciting celebration of African and Caribbean culture that brought the sunshine in honor of Black History Month. I took my seat early, having anticipated the crowd and wanting the full experience of a party in the front row. To start the morning off, Lougheed Town Centre Manager Tom Babbs joined our very own Honoré Gbedze, publisher of the Afro News to unveil a display panel specially made for the occasion. Any passerby daring to come up close would have gotten a quick brush on their history, learned more about African and Caribbean cultures and seen the beautiful glass-encased African sculptures.
Highlights of the festivities included dynamic performances of songs in English and Swahili, a gumboot dance by the African Queens, drumming by the Togolese Ensemble, and steel-pan drumming by 10 year old Darien, who gave a beautiful rendition of Michael Jackson’s Human Nature.UBC students and members of the Caribbean and African Association strutted their stuff on the runway while displaying stunning African fashions, and Ivorian born performer Kisseke held the audience captive with an outstanding one-man exhibition of traditional drumming and dancing. We even learned a few dance steps and song lyrics under his patient tutelage.
Black History Month is celebrated worldwide every year during the month of February with events that honor the history of people of African heritage. This event, a first for Lougheed Town Centre, was the sixth and final in a series of multicultural festivals held to celebrate the diverse cultural composition of our community.
Previous celebrations held in 2009 were the Chinese and Korean Lunar festival held in January, Irish music and dance in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in March, a Latin American festival held in May, and a First Nations festival in August and a celebration of Diwali in October. Displays providing information about each culture were unveiled at each festival and are currently available for viewing in the shopping centre. Lougheed Town Centre, with 140 shops and services is located at Austin Avenue and North Road in Burnaby.
For more information contact: Beverly Diallo, marketing director- 604-421-3434 Clara Loh, marketing coordinator- 604-421-3434
To learn more about Lougheed Town Centre and its upcoming events visit www.lougheedtowncentre.com