Kelowna Global Events executive director Joyce Brinkerhoff discusses this year global awareness festival. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Kelowna Global Events executive director Joyce Brinkerhoff discusses this year global awareness festival. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Kelowna’s global awareness festival set to go

Festival organizers get $22,800 grant from federal government to help stage this year’s events

Kelowna’s annual celebration of global awareness is getting a financial helping hand from the federal government.

On Tuesday, Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr announced Ottawa will provide $22,800 to help Global Citizen Events put on this year’s festival.

“Whether it’s (festival event such as) Taste of Home, the Sustainable Development Challenge or the Global Children’s Villages at the Lake Country Indoor Children’s Festival, our federal government welcomes the opportunity to work with organizations like Global Citizen Kelowna to commemorate our local history and heritage,” said Fuhr.

He thanked the volunteer organizers of this year’s event and the community partners who he said work year round to bring together the Central Okanagan community, encourage social responsibility and inspire change by thinking globally and acting locally.

Founded as Global Citizen Kelowna by local community leaders in 2003, Global Citizen Events is now an annual initiative celebrating the role Central Okanagan citizens play in contributing to global and humanitarian efforts.

This year’s festival events will run from Feb 10 to March 3. They will include:

• A Taste of Home—a celebration of ethnic food and entertainment Feb 10 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mainstreet Centre on Harvey Avenue

• A Magical Night of Laughter—Staged in partnership with Hands in Service, the event will showcase Kelowna magician Leif David and local comedian Tim Nutt Feb. 17 at Okanagan College.

• The Global School House—2,000 Grade 6 students from across the Central Okanagan will discover how children in other countries go to school and the challenges they face. Feb. 13 to 21 at the Mainstreet Centre.

• Time is Now—a panel discussion featuring the mayors of Kelowna, Lake Country and Peachland, a councillor from West Kelowna and the chief of the Westbank First Nation discussing sustainability, both locally and globally. Feb 21 at 6 p.m. at the Kelowna Community Theatre. Ticket are $10 each.

• Global Children’s Villages—Introducing younger families to the arts and diversity, the villages will feature ethnic artists demonstrating cultural crafts, aboriginal story telling, street performances, dance and music. They will be part of the larger Lake Country Indoor Children’s Festival March 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• The Sustainable Development Challenge—Youths in Grades 8 to 12 will compete to win $5,000 for a local charity by combining their efforts with various charities to create a project that touches on at least one of the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals. The most creative project will win $5,000 to implement their project. Feb 28 at the Kelowna Community Theatre from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Global Citizen Events executive director Joyce Brinkerhoff said the entire festival is aimed at promoting the 17 UN sustainable development goals. The goals address a wide array of issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, clean energy, economic growth, infrastructure, inequality, sustainable communities, consumption and production, climate change, life under the water and on land, peace and partnerships.

She said the goals of the festival are to entertain, educate, and inspire change.

“If you know about something, you have more compassion,” said Brinkerhoff.

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