Mela Festival-Canada Day 2008

Heather Bissonnette leads Novus TV through a day of merrymaking taking place on Granville Island in celebration of the Mela Festival, the International Jazz Festival, and Canada Day this 2008. “The Mela Festival is an organization that brings in a south Asian component into the multicultural diaspora of the lower mainland,” according to Ravi Singh, publicist for the Mela Festival.  Mela means ‘gathering’ and describes everything from markets, festivals, and trade events, to religious gatherings and more. They are distinguished by their bringing together of south Asian cultures and those of other countries to celebrate with food, fashion, music, dance, and theatre, and in this case to celebrate the cultural diversity that has built Canada into the great country it is today.

Some of the highlights on Granville Island from the Mela Festival, amongst a huge number of things to see and do, are the south Asian singers and dancers with their fluid movements and eastern lilting sound, the variety of vendors with an array of edible delicacies, and the stalls of beautiful clothing and crafts. 

50 to 60,000 festival goers managed to make the trip, leaving standing room only on this beautiful day. Crowds dance to live performances, kids line up to get their faces painted with everything from maple leaves to butterflies, a giant world map on the ground contains thousands of rocks as individuals mark the location of where they’re from, all amidst the funky location that is Granville Island. This is an event for the whole family, to join in and embrace not only south Asian culture, but Canadian culture as a whole.

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