The Uptown Rutland Business Association is adding a multicultural component to this year’s Scarecrow Festival, in partnership with Kelowna Community Resources and Total Events.
Funding has been awarded to URBA through the provincial government’s Welcome BC initiative, established in 2007, which encourages communities to work together to embrace multiculturalism, value diversity and combat racism.
In just five years, from (2001-06), the City of Kelowna has seen a 22 per cent increase in the population of recent immigrants, many of whom settled in the established neighbourhoods of Rutland.
Rutland is also home to many fourth and fifth generation descendants of early settlers from Japan, India, Italy and Germany, among others, who settled in Rutland in the early 1900s establishing the first local farms and orchards.
The Scarecrow Festival will feature a number of exhibit booths showcasing cultural foods, activities, crafts and artwork, and informational displays from the community’s multicultural population.
Kelowna Community Resources will be on site with their interactive multicultural kiosk.
As well as providing great family entertainment with the scarecrow building contest and past year’s events, the 2011 festival will share cultures, build awareness and celebrate a community where diversity is valued and respected.
“I’m excited about the addition of the multicultural component to the 2011 Scarecrow Festival. This will provide an opportunity to celebrate the diverse cultures in the Rutland community and the larger areas of Kelowna, West Kelowna, and the District of Lake Country,” said Nick Aubin, president of URBA.
“URBA wants to help promote intercultural understanding in our community. We want the many new immigrants living in Rutland to feel welcomed and encourage them to maintain and develop their culture heritage.
“This is also an opportunity to honour long-time established families, whose great-grandparents chose to settle here.”
The Scarecrow Festival takes place Oct. 2 at Rutland Lion’s Park.
The Uptown Rutland Business Association invites local cultural heritage and business organizations to share their traditions, history, food, and/or activities at a Scarecrow Festival booth. For more information, phone 250-451-9861 or check out the website www.kelownascarecrowfestival.com.
Deb Guthrie is the executive director of URBA.