Folklorama major fundraiser for local cultural organizations

On top of getting a chance to highlight their culture, Folklorama is also proving to be an important source of funding for local cultural groups.

The festival features cultures from around the world — showing their food, dance and history.

For the organizations that run the pavilions, it’s much more important than just a fun time.

Returning after a pandemic break, organizers at the Africa pavilion weren’t sure how busy it would be.

“Coming in this year, we’re not so sure how things would turn out because of COVID, so we limited the number of the performances we would have,” said Frank Indome, media coordinator for the pavilion.

With the final night of Folklorma now here, Indome is calling it a big success.

“We’ve had three shows throughout the week; 6:45, 815 and 9:45,” said Indome, “The first two shows are usually sold out and today, being the last day, we’re expecting a very large crowd to come.”

While the African Communities of Manitoba Inc. (ACOMI), the organization that runs the pavilion, says sharing their cultures has been nice, the funds raised from the pavilion are very important.

“So we put on our pavilion as a fundraiser. The African communities have been looking forward to having a centre of its own, and yeah, we’ve been fundraising for some time now,” said Indome.

Indome said ACOMI already has a plan in place for the centre.

“So the structure that we have there will be a hall similar to this for entertainment, also for youth to play basketball, some indoor as sports and activities,” explained Indome.

Indome said the centre also plans on having a daycare.

On top of the centre, the plan is to have apartments for families and seniors who recently immigrated or need housing.

With funding still needed and many more people willing to learn about African culture, ACOMI said it’s already looking forward to next year’s Folklorama.

“Yeah, in fact, we’ve been having the Africa pavilion for the past 20 years, and we’ve not missed a year, so long as Folklorama has the festival, we’re definitely going to participate,” Indome said.

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