COLUMN: Different cultures meet and celebrate

Saturday, Sept. 26 is a day where different cultures meet and celebrate at AbbyFest ...

  • Sep. 25, 2015 3:00 p.m.

On the Spot by Ken Herar

Tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 26) is a day where different cultures meet and celebrate at AbbyFest, which will be celebrating its eighth year at the University of the Fraser Valley campus from 2 to 8 p.m. It plans to be an entertaining event that includes Latin American dancing, African soul food, Chinese clothing rituals, turban wrapping and so much more.

Preet Rai, school trustee and one of the many AbbyFest organizers, said, “We strive to make AbbyFest an experience in the diversity of our community.

“Everything from the display and vendor booths to the entertainment that is ongoing on the main stage includes cultures from all corners of globe, which can be found here in Abbotsford. We are very excited about our partnership with UFV. The partnership is a natural fit for us. UFV has a successful and growing international student body and working together we can promote inclusivity and inter-cultural understanding. We have an incredibly diverse community with nearly 30 per cent of our population listing their native tongue as one other than English or French.

“We are the home of the oldest Sikh temple in North America, and have the third-largest Filipino population in B.C.”

If you’re a new Canadian and looking to start a new business and just don’t have the capital, a microloan is a good place to start. A microloan is a partnership between Abbotsford Community Services and Vancity, where they can assist newcomers to enter the labour market in meaningful employment.

Small loans are designed for newcomers who do not have sufficient credit history in Canada to qualify for traditional forms of credit, but have clearly defined career goals and determination to succeed. It can be used to start a small business; buy tools and equipment needed to start working; or re-certify qualifications from abroad to be able to work in Canada.

Abbotsford Community Services can help individuals in the Fraser Valley to access these loans from Vancity Credit Union.

Microloan intake worker Jen Romero said, “There are many newcomers in our communities who are highly qualified professionals in their home countries, but when they come to Canada, they’re working in survival jobs because their credentials aren’t accepted here. A microloan can be a great way to upgrade their credentials and start working in their field, while at the same time building their credit history in Canada.”

Contact Jen Romero at 604-859-7686 (ext. 28) or microloan@abbotsfordcommunityservices.com

KenHerar@gmail.com

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