Multicultural festival in Truro unites community, increases diversity awareness
Ted Powell and Joanne Hatfield of the Drum runners performed during an outdoor concert at Civic Square in Truro on Saturday as part of the weekend's Embrace Truro festival. Spectators were treated to Western African rhythms using djembe drums and other instruments. SHERRY MARTELL - TRURO DAILY NEWS
TRURO - A celebration in downtown Truro on Saturday united several diverse cultural groups.
The second annual Embrace Truro event attracted several hundred people to the Civic Square for an afternoon of live music and children's activities.
Wayne Talbot, a member of the equity and diversity advisory committee that organized the event, said the group wanted to celebrate the unique and diverse cultures that weave the fabric of the community.
"We are saying embrace but it is a celebration of the many cultures that make up the community," he said.
Zahra Dehghani, a native of Iran, shared a piece of her heritage with visitors during the event by writing names in Persian script.
"I like them to be interested and ask me questions about it, like the difference between Persian and Arabic," she said.
Dehghani, a Nova Scotia Agricultural College student earning a masters degree, said the event was a great way for people to share and learn about themselves as well as others.
This is Dehghani's second year living in the Truro area and she said it has been a "really welcoming place and people here are super friendly and really nice. I came from a big city and it's a big difference, in a good way."
Truro town Coun. Raymond Tynes, chairman of the organizing committee, said he was pleased to be enjoying "a beautiful day" with the community.
"I'm feeling good listening to all the different sounds from drumming to singing, young and old, we are showcasing it all," he said.
The inaugural event was held in October last year, however, Tynes said the committee decided to move it to July aiming for better weather.
This year, there was also an increased emphasis on showcasing more diverse local talent.
Tynes said by the time the festival wrapped up, the event would have recognized every diverse culture in the area.
Seeing a multicultural festival hosted in his hometown has been a dream of his for many years. Tynes said he visited other parts of the world and experienced the value of such an event first-hand.
"This is excellent for the town," said the councillor. "We are telling everybody that Truro is one of the greatest places to live, work and play and our people are diverse but we are together."
Angel Nicholson, site manager of the Truro Farmers' Market, which is located adjacent to the square, said they welcomed new vendors during the festival as well.
"The market is like a mini world here," she said.
Vendors regularly offer culturally diverse crafts, products and cuisine to customers sharing a piece of their own heritage and traditions. She couldn't provide an exact number of visitors to the market during the event but said many vendors nearly sold out their wares early in the day.