Celebrating cultural diversity

by Kent Caddick

Thousands turned out for Selwyn’s second district wide CultureFest held in Lincoln on the weekend.

Originally only held in Lincoln, last year the CultureFest became a district wide event and was held in Rolleston to coincide with the town’s 150th anniversary, with the two towns agreeing to host the event in alternative years.

The 2017 event, which is organised by Selwyn District Council in partnership with Rotary Club of Lincoln and the Christchurch Multicultural Council, was held in the Lincoln Domain.

Council’s senior events and recreation advisor Dave Tippett said CultureFest 2017 was an outstanding success following the inaugural 2016 event. “Around 3,000 people enjoyed 23 performances from 20 different ethnic and cultural backgrounds,” Mr Tippett said.

“The turnout from Selwyn people, performers, ethnic and cultural groups and food vendors really showcased Selwyn’s growing diversity and welcoming community for newcomers and migrants. 

“The 15 food vendors each represented a different country and had people fully immersing themselves in the day’s festivities.”

There were plenty of craft, games and activities including Iranian handcrafts, Mah Jong, henna tattoos, face painting, balloon art, Highland games and Japanese traditional games to keep the crowd entertained.

“Multiple agencies also displayed information and support services for Selwyn residents as well as newcomers and migrants, like the ‘Show Me Selwyn’ bus tours that will take people on an engaging and informative tour of the district,” Mr Tippett said.

Selwyn’s Mayor Sam Broughton and Ngai Tahu’s Sally Pitama officially opened the event after a speeches from members of the Rotary Club of Lincoln and Christchurch Multicultural Council.