The cultural diversity of Invermay and surrounding area was celebrated March 16 at the first of three events to be hosted at the Golden Age Club.
Shirley Wolfe-Keller, former chief of the Fishing Lake and Muskowekwan First Nations, gave an overview of her personal experiences and cultural traditions while growing up in Saskatchewan and later serving as the first female chief of two different reserves. She stated that she is proud of her culture and of the Canadian cultural mosaic.
The Filipino community provided a rich display of many artifacts, dress, currency and activities. Emelina Mendoza spoke to the experiences of life in the Philippines, coming to Canada and adjusting to new ways and “a new home.” She also touched on the local culture and expressed the Filipino appreciation of the Invermay community.
Juliette Franke, a retired nurse who served the Invermay area for many years, reflected on her time working with doctors, nurses and staff from various countries and cultures. She also shared her memories of working with clients of various ethnic origins and cultures. She pointed out that all newcomers should be proud of the country from which they came, and noted that second-generation Canadians are becoming more alike in many ways.
Tracey Fey, Invermay village councillor, mentioned the many activities available to newcomers. She invited all to become involved in the community’s summer and winter activities.
The afternoon program ended with Mayor Mike Kaminski’s reminder that individuals from small communities can and do compete favourably with those from larger places. He pointed out that the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation had its origins in Invermay, that the current secretary-general of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation is a former Invermay teacher, that Michael Daunt, a son of Dr. Daunt, was the world Jeopardy champion, and that the current deputy-premier of Saskatchewan, Ken Krawetz, is from Invermay.
Participants then enjoyed a potluck supper before the evening concluded with a dance program: Scottish highland dancing by the Parsons from Wadena; Filipino dancing with performers from Lintlaw, Canora and Invermay; and the Invermay School of Dance.
The second event will be held in August with more cultural celebrations, a barbecue and Ukrainian dancing. In late September, during Seniors Week, residents will have the opportunity to sign up for some cultural cooking lessons and an ethnic supper on Oct. 3.