In September, the province celebrated its annual Alberta Culture Days — a month-long event that aims to celebrate and experience the various cultures found in the province.
But, not to worry if you missed Culture Days — there’s still one more upcoming event celebrating the traditions and customs of local performing artists.
Returning for the third year in a row is the Cultural Trilogy, a three-part play hosted by the Ethnik Festivals organization. The event, which shares the knowledge of various Calgary communities, usually puts on a show in September during Alberta Culture Days, but, this year, the Cultural Trilogy is happening from Oct. 5-6. The show runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m at the Patricia A. Whelan Hall in the Calgary Central Library.
Founded four years ago by Lanre Ajayi, Ethnik Festivals is a not-for-profit community outreach program that gives a voice and platform to countless Calgary artists.
“What better way to celebrate cultures across every Canadian community, than to have them represented on our stage,” said Ajayi.
The performing artists represent Calgary’s Indigenous, Afro-Canadian and Caribbean communities and will take to the stage, showcasing their unique cultural practices through acting, music, and dancing.
This year’s lineup will include Elder Treffy Deerfoot, a representative from the Blackfoot Nation, Radwa Nasar, Wakefield Brewster, Robson Maurice, Jaijia Li and other local performing artists.
Despite limited funding, Ajayi has teamed up with organizations, such as the Calgary Stampede and the Calgary Public Library, to bring back the Cultural Trilogy for another year. As the founder and creative director, Ajayi feels the importance of compensating artists for their work is a crucial part of upholding cultural appreciation for their artistic effort.
“This event, the one we are organizing, is a story of sharing,” he said.
“It allows people who are black, people of colour, to share their story and explore who they are. It allows communities to see how beautiful culture is because culture is the real life of humans. When you take time to study to learn other cultures, you understand how to relate to one another.”
The Cultural Trilogy will conclude Ethnik Festival’s fall itinerary, however, Ajayi has confirmed the return of one of their most anticipated annual event — the Ethnik Festival of Arts and Culture.
Projected to have over 2,500 members in attendance, the larger-scale event is expected to happen in mid-February and will take place at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre.