Busy multicultural Weekend – BC Highland Games + Greek Day

With Sunnette Jones and Bruce Jarvis – photo by Margaret Ferguson

What a busy multicultural weekend!

I attended both BC Highland Games in Coquitlam and Greek Day in
Vancouver.  Both were very promotional of their respective
cultures, but each had a very different atmosphere.

BC Highland Games is
held at Coquitlam Town Centre Stadium.  There are competitions for
Highland Dancing, Piping, Drumming as well as sports events such as
caber tossing etc.  There is also a “market” set up for vendors +
information booths for the various clans and Scottish heritage
societies. The beer garden opened up in the late afternoon. For the
evening there is a concert.  The big highlight is the Grand parade
of the Pipe Bands.

Greek Day is a multi-block long
“block party.” All the restaurants set up mini bbqs on the sidewalk +
there are food stands for Greek foods + wine and beer.  There were
two main stages set up on cross streets that featured Greek traditional
dancing and musical performances.  We were able to catch the
closing ceremonies where all the VIP's got a chance to say
something.  These included the consul from the Greek Consulate,
Premier Gordon Campbell who introduced the new provincial finance
minister Carole Taylor and former Vancouver Mayor Art Phillips, Acting
Mayor Fred Bass (in Larry Campbell's absence) + some of the key
festival organizers. 

Streams of people moved East and West along Broadway and I found I
missed the sea of kilts I experienced the previous day. It was amazing
to be immersed in “Everything Scottish” and I wished it could have been
for so for Greek Day too… but walking admidst all the people enjoying
the Greek theme block party… I decided I would love to see a
“Hawaiian Day” party somewhere in Vancouver – where everybody could be
“Hawaiian, and we could celebrate the Hawaiian pioneer culture in BC,
where the “kanaka's” lived in Ft. Langley and on Saltspring Island, and
where Hawaiian culture is celebrated every winter by Vancouverites
travelling to the Hawaiian Islands…  oh and I want to start a
Scottish Day festival… where everybody can walk around in Kilts –
maybe along Water St in Gastown, and we can celebrate the Scottish
pionneers who helped build Vancouver in the 1800's.

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