Wednesday, August 17, 2016

CIES 6th Annual Summer Festival

Yesterday CIES held its 6th annual Summer Festival and by all accounts it was an unparalleled success. Hundreds of attendees came by throughout the day in the form of local residents, clients, sponsors, partners, and both members of the municipal and provincial governments, including recently elected MLA Robyn Luff and the City of Calgary's Jason Luan. Food, dance and music from all over the world was on display, as well games, contests and activities. More than 75 countries from around the globe were represented on what was a remarkable day.

The theme for this year's festival was Around the World in One Day and seeing so many customs and traditions, so much culture and so much diversity all in one place was truly special. CIES would like to thank all those who attended, the artBOX for graciously providing us with an absolutely great venue, the International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone's support, and most especially a heartfelt thanks to all those who participated in the days events. Without your input, without your pride in sharing your culture and donating your time, we could not have put on such a truly amazing day.

What was without a doubt a day of fun also had a very important subtext and in the end, very much stands for what the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society strives for each and every day. There are many differences amongst us and there are no absolutes, this much I know to be true.  Despite these differences, we are more alike than different, no matter how difficult it may be to recognize our similarities. It’s in our nature to see our differences before we see that which is the same, but when given the chance to truly see, like a blind man regaining his sight, what was always right in front of us becomes an emancipating vision of truth. On a grander scale, the reflection of our internal selves can be seen in almost any human soul. We are all mirrors, all reflections of one another.  A video highlight reel of the festival is coming soon but for now, to see pictures of the day's event CLICK HERE.

A human being is a part of the whole called by us the universe,          
a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his
thoughts and feelings as something separate than the rest, a kind
of optical delusion of his consciousness. The delusion is a kind
of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection
for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves
from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all
living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
                                                                                          -Albert Einstein

Friday, August 12, 2016

CIES Summer Festival - Colombian Folk Dance Performance

The list of Performers for the 2016 CIES Summer Festival on August 16th at the ArtBOX on 17E (1807 42 St SE) continues to grow and this year will include Colombian Folk Dancing. The Colombian culture is a melting pot of the European, African and Indigenous people. This amazing blend of backgrounds of art, music and dance has created a society full of tradition, whether it be song, music or choreography. Not many cultures can lay claim to such a diverse landscape of customs. It is indeed a landscape because the geographical areas of this country are also defined by their music and dance. From the Llanos or the eastern plains to the coast of the Caribbean to the Andes mountains and on to the Pacific coast, we find a heritage specific to each region.

The dance is traditionally performed by pairs of men and women. Women play with the skirts, waving them, while holding a candle in one hand. Men dance behind them, taking their hat on and off with one hand while the other is hidden behind their back. Until the 20th Century, the dance was considered indecent and was therefore restricted to the lower classes. Today, of course, almost every Colombian knows how to at least imitate the dance. Stay tuned for more on the CIES 6th Annual Summer Festival!

Canadian World Champion Looks to Bring World Police Games to Calgary

The World Police Games are the third largest and most diverse sporting event in the world. It is third only to the Olympics and the Asian Games. Amarpal 'Sunny' Singh, who immigrated to Canada from India via the UK, has put forth a petition to the City of Calgary to assist in bringing the World Police Games back to Canada and to Calgary for 2017. The Games were scheduled to take place in Montreal next summer, but the Mayor of the City recently cancelled the games due to a Labour dispute currently taking place in Quebec. Sunny is the only Canadian athlete to have won three gold medals at the World Police Games in Taekwondo. His hope is to bringing the World Police Games to Calgary marking the 20th anniversary that our city held the games. This historic event would give a much needed boost to Calgary and to Canada.

Sunny has met with the coordinator of Calgary Peace Officer Unit Mr. Brian Whitelaw and Mr. Russ Velke, staff sergeant of Calgary Police Service, he is looking to assist with this cause. His fight to bring the games to Calgary was recently shared in the Metro News and he was also recently interviewed by CTV.  A non-profit organization, Reel Diverse,  whose mission is “Supporting a Diverse World.” They are promoting the call to bring the World Police Games to Calgary via an exclusive documentary. It is his hope to attract more supporters to this cause by way of signing a petition. If you wish to support Amaral call to have the World Police Games come to Calgary simply CLICK HERE.  

CIES Summer Festival - Food of the World For All

Aside from our list of performers for the 2016 CIES Summer Festival on August 16th at the ArtBOX on 17E (1807 42 St SE), this year will also include food from around the world. Our gastronomic world tour of food will tempt your taste-buds with unique flavours and classic dishes alike.

Dishes from, Ethiopian, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Filipino cuisine just to name a few will be on hand for you to try and all you it is on us! All you have to do is come down to the ArtBOX Tuesday with a good appetite! More details on the Summer Festival Coming Soon!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

CIES Summer Festival - Brazilian Capoeira & Samba Performance

The list of Performers for the 2016 CIES Summer Festival on August 16th at the ArtBOX on 17E (1807 42 St SE) continues to grow and this year will include Capoeira Camara Calgary.  Capoeira Camara offers instruction in Capoeira, a form of martial art developed in Brazil over 400 years ago that combines self-defence with elements of Brazilian culture, music, dance and acrobatics.

Mestre Bola (Marinaldo Da Silva) founded Capoeira Camara in 2005 which now includes academies in Toronto, Peterborough, Montreal, and Calgary, Canada, Bermuda, Russia and Brazil. Professor Frankenstein teaches dedicated students in Calgary and always welcomes new faces! Visit their website for more information and for a quick peek at what to expect next week at the Festival watch below.

CIES to Attend Calgary's Inaugural Kite Festival

CIES will be attending Calgary\s first ever Kite Festival for a weekend of aviation delights anchored by a host of flying kites of all shapes and sizes, face painting, henna tattoos, kite workshops, music shows and Food stalls and much more...Many activities have been planned for family fun and adventure throughout the day at the Shaw Millennium Park to enjoy.

Bring your kids, your cameras, and your lawn chairs for some great family fun! Due to the games and attractions on site, all children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Shaw Millennium Park will come alive with the unprecedented excitement of one-of-its-kind that unites the multinational community in a colourful and action-packed spectacle.The event is being organised by Realzim eSociety in anticipation of bringing people of all age groups and ethnicities to come together for a family fun day. They are invited to the sheer merriment and excitement of kite flying, the amazement of watching kites of various hues, shapes and sizes, soaring over the skies, matched by the carnival mood on the ground with kite making workshops, children’s play areas and activities, food stalls along with music & dance performances and more. For more info visit their website. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

CIES Summer Festival - Bollywood Dance Performance

Chakita Shankar
The line up of performers for the 2016 CIES Summer Festival on August 16th at the ArtBOX on 17E (1807 42 St SE) just keeps getting bigger and better and this year will include Chakita Shankar. Chakita is a dancer, singer, actress, choreographer, and model based here in Calgary as well as Edmonton. Her dance forte includes Bharatanatyam, Hip Hop, Bollywood, and African. Chakita has also been a Dance Teacher at Swarajathi Fine Arts Academy and a former performer at Calaway Park.

The university of Alberta Student, majoring in Psychology and Drama, will be joining the Celebration Stage to perform a Bollywood Dance and we couldn't be happier to have her join us on what is sure to be an amazing day. More updates on our Summer Festival Coming Soon!