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Multicultural Festival 2016: Get your groove on

Sarah Lee

One of Canberra’s most popular three day long festivals, The National Multicultural Festival, is back again for its 20th birthday!

The Multicultural Festival is one of Canberra’s biggest events and it’s happening from February 12-14. The festival includes delicious food from all over the world and a great atmosphere including live music and international performances with most perfromances taking place within the city centre.

This year’s line-up is huge, full of great ways for everyone to enjoy a great night out in the CBD and experience the amazing multicultural atmosphere with unique food and beverages from around the globe! Here is the line-up for all three days.

Friday 12 February

7:05pm – K Motion
K Motion is a dance studio that provides a range of dance styles from tango, zouk, salsa and the cha cha!

7:20pm – Kulture Break (Featuring Paulini)
Kulture Break help the wellbeing and transformation of young people in the community through dance. The engagement of young people in an active and productive environment helps them form an expression that empowers them.

8:10pm – Baby Et Lulu
Baby Et Lulu are a magical partnership of Baby and Lulu who have a passion for France and poetic freedom which has inspired them to record a selection of contemporary chansons written in French.

8:50pm – Jay Power
Jay Power was a 2015 finalist for South Australian Female Artist of the year. Her sound is a mix of funk, neo soul and slick urban beats. Her performances draw the crowd and has supported some of the big names in the industry.

9:30pm – The Black Sorrows
The Black Sorrows are one of Australia’s most enduring tour bands and have a dynamic live act sound of blues, soul, R&B, gospel with a touch of country.

10:45pm – Sol Nation
Sol Nation are from Melbourne’s music scene and draws upon international music culture of reggae, samba, funk, African and East Timorese dance music.

Saturday 13 February

Saturday’s program focuses on sounds from around the world with a diverse range or performances from various cultural institutions on the main stage as well as stalls from across the globe. See the program for full details.

1pm – 4pm – First Time In The Festival, Bellydance Showcase

4pm – 10.30pm – Indian Showcase

Discover the beauty, boldness and vibrancy of Indian culture at India in the City. Each year, this special event features Bollywood inspired dance and showcase numbers and, of course, dramatic costumes.

India is a land of rich cultural heritage and this is evident in the various forms of art, architecture, cuisines, languages and traditional dresses. As part of the National Multicultural Festival, India in the City offers a glimpse into the colour and flavour by showcasing a range of dance forms, folk forms, music and food.

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10am–4:00pm – Pacific Island Showcase

The Pacific Island Showcase has firmly cemented itself over the past decade as one of the key elements of the annual National Multicultural Festival. It’s renowned for highlighting the delightful and fun culture and food of Pacific Island nations such as Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and the Cook Islands.

There’s always lots of dancing too at the Pacific Island Showcase. Come be prepared to shake your hips or at least have a good laugh.

4pm–Midnight – African Village

No need for a safari suit to explore the exotic and exciting cultures of Africa, you can do it right in the middle of Civic at the African Village as part of the National Multicultural Festival. The village, which was a highly popular addition to the festival line-up in 2013, features music, food, fun, dance and the precious cultures of diverse African nations.

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10am – 6.30pm – Latin Quarters

All stalls and entertainment in the Latin American Quarters have a spicy kick, showcasing a culture filled with vibrancy, colour, panache and, of course, fun. The zone features dance, culture and cuisines of countries such as Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, El Salvador, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Paraguay, as well as the annual Carnival parade, led by spectacular traditional feathered dancing girls.

10am – 4.30pm – European Union

Over the past nine years the European Union Delegation and the member state countries represented in Canberra have come together to participate in the annual National Multicultural Festival held in Canberra each year. Attracting over 300,000 people, the festival continues to grow in popularity.

On Saturday, 13 February, we are delighted to welcome you to the EU Village, which will be located along City Walk towards Akuna St.

Our EU Village will have stalls from 24 of the EU Member States as well as the EU Delegation. At the EU stall pick up your ‘Passport to Europe’ and make sure to travel through each booth and ‘stamp’ your way across all the member states for prizes to be won upon completion.

Sunday 14 February

Sunday at the Festival is all focuses on two countries with dance and performance at the heart of their cultural – China and Greece.

Midday – 5pm Greek Glendi

Each year, Greek Glendi is a plate smashing good time filled with dancing, food, fun, music and culture.

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10am – 5pm Chinese Spring Festival

Chinese Spring Festival celebrations offers families, in fact everyone, an opportunity to watch spectacular traditional lion dancing as well as share in the cheer of marking new beginnings. The unique and rich nuances of Chinese culture and traditions are explored at Chinese Spring Festival celebrations through dancing, community performances and martial arts.

Each year, Chinese Spring Festival celebrations become even more colourful and cherished as the general community learns more about thriving and precious Chinese culture nurtured here in Canberra by our dynamic Chinese community.

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For more information, download the complete program booklet here:


Sarah Lee

Sarah Lee is a final year student studying a Bachelor of Communication in Journalism at the University of Canberra. Sarah has a huge passion for music and enjoys interviewing bands and one day wants to work for Triple J. Sarah enjoys going to music gigs, travelling, food and soy chai lattes. More about the Author

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