Celebrate Kingston’s ‘rich cultural diversity’ at annual Intercultural Arts Festival

Just some of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and experiences that will be in store at the City of Kingston’s upcoming Intercultural Arts Festival.
Photos: (top left) Native Dream Creations’ booth in the Katarokwi Indigenous Art and Food Market (Photo via Tourism Kingston website); (top right) classical Indian Kathak dancer Parul Gupta (Photo via Parul Gupta official website); (centre) The wares of Martin’s Beads and Craft Supplies booth at the Katarokwi Indigenous Art and Food Market; (middle left) Kings Don Taiko drummers (Photo via Kings Don Taiko drummers on Facebook); (bottom left) one of the options from Jerkebago, a Carribean food truck (Photo via Jerkebago website); (bottom middle) Tandori chicken from Q-Bite, and Indian fusion food truck (Photo via Q-Bite on Instagram); (bottom right) Rustic Mexican tacos from Los Gringos (Photo via Skeleton Park Arts Festival).

The City of Kingston invites residents and visitors alike to the Intercultural Arts Festival, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., at Confederation Basin.

According to a release from the City, this free, family-friendly event is a celebration of the Kingston area’s rich cultural diversity. This year, attendees will experience arts and cultural performances on the festival mainstage including a headlining performance by Tocani, a Tkaronto/Toronto-based contemporary fusion act, whose members have their roots in South America, a show blending costume, music, dance, poetry, and theatre. Other highlights include francophone folk/pop singer-songwriter Pierre-Hervé Goulet, a Kathak dance by Parul Gupta, and a performance by the Kings Don Taiko drummers.

Workshops, sponsored by Empire Life, will also take place, including the popular drag make-up tutorial presented by Kingston Pride and dance workshops in Bachata, Aztec, West African dance, and more.

The City said that everyone should bring their appetite — the Festival will also feature food by Q-Bite (Indian Fusion), Jerkebago (Caribbean), Los Gringos (Mexican), Dr. Shawarma (Egyptian), and B’s Bike Bites in addition to multicultural arts, crafts, and food in the International Pavilion, which will be located in Confederation Park.

The festival will include the September 17 iteration of the Katarokwi Indigenous Art and Food Market, which takes place weekly in Springer Market Square. The market is coordinated by RIEL Cultural Consulting with support from Tourism Kingston and the City of Kingston. The festival will kick off with Mayor Bryan Paterson presenting Kingston’s Civic Awards. Winners of the 2023 Civic Awards were announced on July 6, 2023.

According to the release, Confederation Park and Springer Market Square are accessible to those with mobility issues and mobility devices. There will be a sensory-reduced zone for those experiencing sensory overload or sensitivity. ASL Interpretation will be available for the opening ceremonies and Mayor’s Civic Awards, however, interpretation will not be provided for workshops and performances, the City stated. Anyone with accessibility questions is asked to contact the City of Kingston Special Events Office at [email protected].

For an updated list of performances and programming visit the event page. Not all programming and vendor information was available at time of publication, and the City said programming and vendors are also subject to change. 

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