Bradford Diversity Festival features music, film and vendors

The event organized by the Bradford West Gwillimbury Diversity Action Group will take place on Saturday August 27 from 5pm to 11pm outside the library

Diversity Action Group BWG (DAG) are looking forward to this weekend’s Mosaic Nights and Multicultural Festival in Bradford.

The event takes place on Saturday, August 27 from 5-11 p.m. at the Bradford Library grounds (rain date August 28).

“We want to bring an inclusive space that showcases all the amazing things that diversity offers in Bradford,” says DAG member Julie Kumar. “We want to make it a fun, festive event where different cultures are showcased.”

She says the group firmly believes the inaugural event will grow from year to year.

The Bradford event will feature an interactive Bollywood dance performance by Bradford resident Dolly Bhatia.

The music will be performed by flamenco-style guitarist and singer Emilio De La Garcia. There will also be Persian dancers, African drumming and a performance by a band from Bradford for a Reggae jam session.

“We are honored to have Asha Frost beginning the event with prayers and aboriginal smudges,” Kumar said.

The lineup of vendors for the event will feature a wide range of cultures, from indigenous beads and dreamcatchers to Persian jewelry and art.

Guests are welcome to have henna done for free.

There will be a variety of food options from different cultures including Indian, Jamaican and Persian.

The evening will continue with a screening of In the heights, a 2021 American musical drama film directed by Jon M. Chu from a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes based on the musical of the same name by Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film stars Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace in his film debut, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV and Jimmy Smits. The film follows a plot similar to the musical, telling the story of a corner of the predominantly Dominican Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan in New York City, where each member of the community pursues their sueñitos (little dreams) for a better life.

The goal is to make the festival an annual event.

“We are absolutely thrilled! Kumar said.

Shelley Sarin, EMA President, said, “EMA’s mission is to promote and celebrate cultural diversity in Simcoe County. The narrative we want to build here is that we are a mosaic and we are stronger because of it. These events create a sense of belonging and draw people into our beautiful communities. Think cinema, art, music, fashion and poetry. The Mosaic Nights Festival is not just a film series; it’s a cultural immersion that takes place against the backdrop of beautiful Simcoe County.

Learn more about the event here.

Follow the BWG Diversity Action Group on Facebook and Instagram @bwgdiversity.