Youth group organizes festival showcasing immigrant experience in Moncton, N.B – New Brunswick

A group of young people, ages 15 to 20 organized Culturefest, which debuted Sunday. The festival is showcasing immigrant-owned businesses as well as food and culture from Moncton’s multicultural communities on Sunday.

The efforts rose from the YMCA’s Community Action Network Program. The group met three times a week for seven weeks, and had a budget of $1,500 to put together a project of their choice.

Community Action Network co-ordinator Hannah LaPointe said in an interview on Sunday that most of the group was comprised of immigrants from various backgrounds.

“A lot of them were really passionate about highlighting immigrant stories, highlighting local immigrant run businesses and local businesses in general and really highlighting all the cultures in the greater Moncton area. Making sure people know that they’re here and they’re ready to be part of the community,” she said on Sunday.

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The festival showcased food stands from immigrant run businesses as well as other items for sale, and cultural demonstrations like a dance performance from Moncton’s Chinese Cultural Association.

Sixteen year-old Abigail Gonzalez, who immigrated to Canada from the Dominican Republic a year and a half ago, said she enjoyed being able to exchange stories with other young immigrants.

“I’ve learned a lot from my Pakistani friends, from my Brazilian friends, I have a few friends from Africa too. I feel like we’ve all learned from each other,” she said.

The group’s next move is to create a website discussing the immigrant experience in Moncton.


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Gonzalez said they would be posting first-hand accounts from immigrants as well as sharing resources.

“Coming here is not as easy as it sounds,” she said.

“Coming to school making friends, it’s not the same culture, it’s not the same habits that people have, so it’s a bit of a culture barrier somehow. I feel that Canadians being open and kind is all we need.”

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