The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC) is proud to announce their first ever Cultural Diversity Festival September 29 & 30, part of Culture Days. Culture Days is a nationwide weekend to celebrate arts and culture. BPAC is committed to celebrating diversity and inclusivity, both on its stages and in the community. The weekend is full of performances, lectures, and hands-on activities for the whole family.
The festival, generously supported by the City of Burlington’s Cultural Diversity Initiative, will be a fun and participatory way to get to know the diverse arts and culture in our various neighbourhoods. BPAC has worked closely with its cultural partners including – The Halton Black History Awareness Society and Redleaf Cultural Integration – to bring an exciting and eclectic line-up of performers including Okan (Afro-Cuban music), Otra Orilla: Unplugged (Flamenco dance and music), Luckystickz (Steelpan percussion), Redleaf Cultural Integration (Chinese dance and music), Enana Dance Theatre: Julia Domna (Arabic dance and music) as well as hysterical stand-up and sketch comedy by Ali Hassan: Muslim Interrupted and TallBoyz II Men.
Newcomers to Canada are invited to share their stories at Culture Corner in the Lobby courtesy of the City of Burlington: Welcome to Burlington initiative. There will be art installations in the Lobby including select artists from the 2nd annual Emancipation Art Exhibition ‘Celebrating Freedom’ as well as opportunities to try Bollywood and belly dancing, listen to South Asian stories, learn more about the beat of Indian and Persian dance, witness the extraordinary Chinese dragon dancers, hear the soaring music of a Chinese choir, as well as a craft corner where children are encouraged to take home a treasure they have made that represents the cultures of the world.
Enana Dance Theatre: Julia Domna – September 29 at 7:00pm and September 30 at 4:00pm in the Main Theatre. This is a ticketed event – $20, $15 for BPAC members (Includes Fees + Taxes). Enana Dance Theatre’s strategic vision has been to promote the art of dance and expose the audience to the Arabic culture and civilization through advanced technical elements that integrate both the Eastern and Western spirit. They are remounting their epic dramatic dance drama ‘Julia Domna’ from their sold out run at the 2010 Luminato Festival. This will be the company’s first time performing in Burlington. Through a mix of drama, dance and expression, the company takes the audience outside the framework of time and place to feel the depth of Arab history. It highlights the life of an Arab princess, Julia Domna who meets with, and falls in love with, the Roman emperor, Septimus.
OKAN – September 29 at 2:00pm on the outdoor plaza. In the event of rain, this performance will be moved inside. This is a FREE event. Blending jazz, Afro-Cuban and classical forms, and world rhythms, OKAN takes inspiration from the roots of Cuban music and contributes to their contemporary evolution.
Ali Hassan: Muslim Interrupted – September 29 at 8:00pm in the Community Studio Theatre. This is a ticketed event – $20, $15 for BPAC members (Includes Fees + Taxes). Ali Hassan (Man Seeking Woman, Odd Squad, CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud) delivers a bitingly funny piece of work on flunking out of Sunday school, ingesting forbidden fruits, and becoming a cultural Muslim.
Luckystickz – September 29 at 4:00 pm on the outdoor plaza. In the event of rain, this performance will be moved inside. This is a FREE event. Luckystickz is a singer-songwriter/recording artist and one of the premier Steelpan/percussionist in Canada, having graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Luckystickz a.k.a Dejehan Hamilton will also be delivering a lecture on the history of steelpan drumming September 29 at 10:00am in the Community Studio Theatre.
La Otra Orilla – September 30 at 2:00pm on the outdoor plaza. In the event of rain, this performance will be moved inside. This is a FREE event. With this cabaret-style show, La Otra Orilla offers an exploration of the different styles of flamenco.
TallBoyz II Men – September 30 at 7:00pm in the Community Theatre. This is a ticketed event – $20, $15 for BPAC members (Includes Fees + Taxes). Winners of Best Comedy at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival the troupe is made up of four of Toronto’s hottest new comics: Vance Banzo, Guled Abdi, Tim Blair and Franco Nguyen.
Dr. Terri-Lynn Brennan – Indigenous History 101 September 29 at 12:00pm, What Reconciliation Means to Me Lecture September 30 at 12:00pm. FREE lectures in the Community Studio Theatre. Dr. Terri-Lynn Brennan will give an insightful presentation on the Indigenous history of the Burlington area before the arrival of European settlers, and a presentation on the power of reconciliation and how that can be interpreted and expressed on an everyday basis.
Chinese Dance & Music with Redleaf Cultural Integration – September 30 at 11:00am in the Main Lobby. This is a FREE event. Includes performances by the Redleaf Choir Group, Burlington Yang Yang Chinese Folk Dance Studio, and the Burlington Tai Chi Group.
BPAC’s Cultural Diversity Festival will also include programming and activities including: Intergeneration dance with Halton Dance Network, belly-dancing with BellyUp! Burlington, South Asian storytelling and crafts withDiksha Pal Narayan, Indian folk dancing with Shreya Bollywood Dance, yoga demonstrations with Hindu Swayamsewak Sang, Chinese Dragon/Lion dancers from Dragon Tiger Kung Fu, bucket drumming from Stick To It!, interactive demonstrations from Shadi’s Persian Dance Group, culturally diverse books and storytelling with A Different Drummer Bookstore, an open dance rehearsal with Dreamwalker Dance, and displays from local arts and culture groups in the Cultural Marketplace.
The Burlington Performing Arts Centre
Tickets can be purchased by telephone, online or in person:
440 Locust Street, Burlington, Ontario
The full schedule of Cultural Diversity Festival Events is available here:
The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is a spectacular LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) GOLD certified facility. BPAC is inclusive and respectful, combining accessibility with imaginative design and creativity, incorporating accessibility features wherever possible.