This weekend Culture Days was celebrated in the city, a time to mark the rich diversity of peoples who have made Yorkton what it is.
In having Culture Days proclaimed by City Council Randy Goulden, Executive Director of the Yorkton Film Festival stated, “Culture Days is a collaborative, Canada-wide volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.”
“Culture Days embraces a core vision that every individual, regardless of age, location or experience, has the right to access and participate actively in arts and culture.
Culture Days believes that the arts and cultural sector makes a vital contribution to the economic and social development of Canada and contributes to the overall health of the country.”
Certainly our city’s cultural diversity is well understood and appreciated. It is not without reason the Western Development Museum chose the Yorkton branch to house its ‘Story of People’ exhibit.
Perogies, cabbage rolls and borscht have become almost synonymous with Yorkton thanks to the influence of early Eastern European immigration.
That said it was the York Farmers’ Colonization Company, which had its roots in a predominantly British Toronto in 1882 which led to the earliest influx of immigrants to the region.
And of course the First Nations were here before the first immigrants, and remain an integral element of local culture.
It has created a city where the sound of bagpipes are an expected part of any parade, and we mark Ukrainian Christmas with almost the same fervour of December 25 celebrations.
While Yorkton has long been home to cultural diversity, that diversity is experiencing new growth.
In recent years the need for employees has had many businesses looking overseas to fill positions, and that has meant the arrival of people from such diverse cultures as India, Mexico and The Philippines among others.
With their arrival come different religions, Moslem, and Hindu as examples, as well as varied cultural customs.
Into the future we will hopefully see the new cultures shared more in our community through ethnic restaurants and cultural events, since such sharing can only help our city take on a more complete acceptance and vision of our shared world.
It is by accepting the best from all cultures that Canada in the great country it is, and Yorkton is the city it has become.