Eighteen clubs actively participated in UTMSU’s Cultural Fest, held last week at the Student Centre, with different events being held throughout the three-day affair.
According to UTMSU’s VP campus life, Tyrell Subban, in an email to The Medium, the purpose of the Cultural Fest is to celebrate the diversity of cultures on campus and to create an “inclusive environment” that gives students the chance to “take pride in their cultural heritage.”
“This year, we used the name Cultural Fest to make the narrative clear that this is a festival and celebration of the diversity, cultures, and walks of different lives that people come from,” Subban said.
In response to how the Cultural Fest differed from its run the year prior, Subban said that UTMSU used feedback from previous events at last year’s Multicultural Week in order to improve.
“Clubs continued to have the freedom to decorate and personalize their booths. We gave students more incentive to visit all the groups who’ve participated by implementing a game with a grand prize, being a free tablet,” said Subban.
According to Subban, on the first event that took place on January 17, Culture Day, students were encouraged to wear cultural attire.
Students also got to interact with information sessions held at cultural booths. In particular, Subban stated that the Erindale Punjabi Association offered free dance lessons at their booth. As well, a farmer’s market was also held alongside the events.
During the second event on the following day, Cultural Food Day, different cultural clubs offered free food in the Student Centre.
“This was the most packed that we’ve had the Student Centre this year, and students had a ton of food options,” Subban wrote, explaining that offering this free food was a result of a larger UTMSU investment on clubs.
The week wrapped up with a cultural show held at the Blind Duck Pub on Thursday, which featured an array of performances with the attendance of over 100 students.
Subban added that UTMSU provided free food and scarves embroidered with “I love UTM” this year to the students at the event.