The continued revival of a multicultural dance and food festival in Victoria’s Centennial Square continues in early June, as Folktoria celebrates its fifth year.
Organizers are thrilled the public will have a chance to experience this free three-day event, set for June 4 to 6, in-person once again after two years of virtual presentations.
Sonia Grewal, president of the non-profit Greater Victoria Folk Festival Society, which has organized the festival for the past four years, stresses the importance of these gatherings to the fabric of the community.
“It’s (about) maintaining and holding on to one’s cultural and ethnic heritage,” she said. “There’s so many groups (around Greater Victoria), and we’re really proud of the many who can come out to participate … it just shows how much this event means to people.”
Grewal, like many local leaders of ethnic dance and cultural groups, fondly remembers the days of Folkfest, a late spring Victoria staple in Centennial Square for decades, and later centred at Ship Point on the Inner Harbour.
She noted that cultural organizations and dance groups are passionate to revive the spirit of Folkfest, produced for many years by the Greater Victoria Inter-Cultural Association.
At this point, about 50 groups and organizations from Greater Victoria and the lower Island are scheduled to either perform, offer traditional foods, run on-site kiosks or otherwise make their presence known.
“A lot of the groups have got their music and their students together, they’re excited to perform,” said Grewal, who teaches bhangra dance and runs the Shan-e-Punjab school in Victoria. “It just shows how much this event means to people.”
General volunteers for the festival are also still needed. Interested people are asked to contact volunteer coordinator Debbie Lucoe at firstname.lastname@example.org to register or for more information.