Preparations continue for Collage festival's return
By David Willberg
Southeast Newcomer Services (SNS) has announced many of the entertainers who will be part of the resurrected Collage Cultural Festival, which will happen from September 27 to 29 in conjunction with the Estevan Showcase Business Expo.
SNS information services advisor Melanie Mantei said that the performers will include local Filipino reggae and cover group the Third Town Band; Watching Eye Magic out of Prince Albert; African and East Indian rhythm group Skin and Bones; the Chung Wang Kung Fu Centre, which will tackle line dance and tai chi demonstrations; the Estevan Sheik Society; and a yoga instructor.
"We are going to get performances from all different nationalities," Mantei said. "There'll be something for everybody."
An exact schedule for the entertainment has yet to be determined. It will be finalized after September 13, which is the deadline to sign up as a performer.
There will also be cultural and informational booths. Some will be promoting their culture; others will discuss how they can help newcomers to Canada.
"I'm also looking at booking some ethnic food booths," Mantei said.
Collage organizers will also accept booths from people who want to display their cultural artwork, and they want to see school students get involved, too.
The festival's hours will be the same as Showcase. Collage's booths, which will be in the Souris Valley Aquatic and Leisure Centre's multi-purpose room and hallway, will be open at 5 p.m. on September 27, and 10 a.m. on the 28th and 29th. The entertainment, which will be in the multi-purpose room, will have slightly different hours.
The artwork will be on display in the Estevan Arts Council's craft room.
Mantei said SNS has wanted to announce the details for Collage for some time, but they were waiting for funding to come through from Sask. Culture, Citizenship and Immigration, Sask. Lotteries and the Energize Estevan fund.
Interest has been high in Collage, Mantei said, as it was a popular event in 2010 and 2011. It took a year off in 2012.
"Now that we have confirmation on all of our funding, we can go forward with all of our planning," said Mantei. "We have a lot of it planned, we just have to do the final details."
Collage is happening in conjunction with the Estevan Showcase business expo. Mantei hopes that the cultural festival will benefit from Showcase, and vice-versa.
"We're hoping that … it will bring in more people to the Showcase, plus more people (to Collage) who can be educated about the cultures that are in the southeast, and that it will help more people learn other people's cultures," said Mantei.
Estevan has a wide range of cultures in the community, so she believes it makes sense for an event like Collage to happen again.