Multicultural festival working well in Halifax Seaport home
It’s been two years since the RBC Multicultural Festival crossed the harbour to Halifax and organizers say the move has worked out well for the 27-year-old event.
Executive director Ifty Illyas said the decision to move from their long-time home at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth was a difficult one but the festival is settling in at the Halifax Seaport.
“Things are going very well," he said Thursday at a function promoting the June 22-24 festival.
The Halifax Port Authority “wants to make this a community activity area, so they go out of their way to get things done for us and make sure that certain things happen."
The festival features world music, dance shows, a children’s pavilion along with ethnic foods, culture and crafts He said the crowds have risen from 17,000 their last year in Dartmouth to 22,000 the first year across the harbour.
Attendance dipped last year as the event coincided with the Canada Day holiday, a scheduling conflict he said they’re not repeating this year.
Their home in the parking lot in front of immigration museum Pier 21 is a good one for them, but Illyas cautioned the festival might get squeezed out again sometime down the road.
“They’re developing this area, and with Nova Scotia Power coming on, then parking becomes a premium."
The festival moved in 2010 as it had outgrown the Alderney Landing facility.
But Illyas said he’s kept in touch with the folks in Dartmouth should the need to use the venue there ever rise again.
The festival kicks off June 22 with World Drum of Peace and Raghav Mathur on stage.
Entertainment at the children’s pavilion starts at 10 a.m. on June 23 and 24, while Three Sheet and Afro Nova Musica headline on June 23.
See www.multifest.ca for a full schedule.