Harvesting diversity from different cultures and faiths

by Hollis Hiscock

Dancers, singers and musicians performed on the band shell stage, attendees sampled ethnic food, children played games and had their faces painted, community partners demonstrated their services and hundreds came together to celebrate diversity in Burlington in a spirit of openness and unity.

The goal of the first One Burlington Festival was to bring together Burlington and area residents from many different cultures and faith groups. The goal was achieved.

Calling the festival a “breaking-the-ice celebration,” Rector of St. Luke’s Burlington Stuart Pike summed up the day saying, “everything exceeded expectations. What a wonderful show of respect and celebration of diversity. Diversity is our strength.”

Writing on the Festival’s Facebook page, lead organizer Rory Nisan called the event a huge success. “The weather held, the food was fantastic and so were the performances, the kids had fun and we all learned a bit from one another.”

Abdullah Hatia, Imam for the Halton Mosque, said the festival was an occasion to extend to the wider community the discussions and dialogues in which faith leaders had already been engaged.

Organizers hope the Festival will become an annual affair.