Long-running festival always has a celebration of cultural diversity

Canada, a multicultural society, portrays true diversity throughout its communities. This diversity is exactly what will be showcased at the Thousand Faces Festival this year from May 24-26.

Mark Henderson, the festival’s artistic director, states, “It is a very fun festival where people from all different cultures will display where we are all connected at the root.”

This year’s festival will have a Latino focus. Lady Vanessa Cardona, a 2019 solo polo (slam poetry) champion, will be making her grand appearance. Henderson says, “There was a Latino night in January with Vanessa and she was amazing.” Cardona is expected to deliver another stunning performance at the festival.

Lady Vanessa Cardona, a slam poetry champion, will be performing. | Supplied

Festival goers can expect to enjoy plenty of new performances.

“We will hear stories that we have never heard before,” says Henderson.

Some of the scheduled performances will be Popol Vuh (The Book of the People), a new project planned specifically for this festival. Popol Vuh, a Mayan creationist tale, is the story of hero twins who journey into the underworld, where they play against some unsporting gods of death.

Take in some slam poetry with Lady Vanessa Cardona. | Supplied

Another notable performance is Urashima Tarō, a Japanese fairy tale based on a turtle king. The turtle theme will be appealing to both children and adults. Rocko and Nakota: Tales from the Land is a one-man Indigenous show, and Natyam Ensemble will also be performing. The Natyam Ensemble is a classical East Indian dance and music company. “They will be doing a brand-new piece along with their traditional live music. It is always enchanting and amazing.”

Henderson states, “It will be an immersive and interactive experience; no two shows will be on at the same time. It will be a big long journey together and people can come late and still enjoy.”

Lady Vanessa Cardona, slam poet, will be one of the performers. | Supplied

This event is for every member of the household and every budget. There is a free student matinee, Paw Patrol for kids, and a puppet show. Tasty treats will also be available, like free ice cream in the afternoon sessions. The Green Onion Cake Man will be present with his delicious green onion cakes.

Public shows will be held at Alberta Avenue Community Centre on May 24 and 25, starting at 7 pm. The festival will also have an afternoon segment from 1-4 pm on May 25 and 26. The afternoon shows will be more family oriented so that both parents and children can enjoy the performances.

Theatre Prospero’s 2017 Anthem of Life, by and starring Tololwa Mollel. | Almand Photography

The festival will be held inside the community centre as well as outside, extending to the backyard of the premises.

Henderson says, “The evening session will be three hours of excellent show and feast. We want to keep it accessible for all people [in] the city, so we only ask for a $20 donation. No one will be turned away because there is no mandatory charge.”

For additional information about the festival, visit www.thousandfaces.ca. The website will be updated with all the relevant information two weeks prior to the event.

Featured Image: Natyam Ensemble, a dance and music company, will be performing. | Supplied