Thursday, 05 October 2017 11:59

Volunteers come through big at Culture Days in Brooks

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Karoll Cabrera from Columbia dances at the SPEC portion of the afternoon at the JBS Centre. Karoll Cabrera from Columbia dances at the SPEC portion of the afternoon at the JBS Centre. Ryan Dahlman

The City of Brooks features a lot of different cultures and it abides by a vision statement which states that it strives to be "A community that people are proud to call home."

Anyone who took in Brooks' 2017 edition of Culture Days last weekend had to be proud and impressed by the overall volume of Culture Days which was advertising that it would be the biggest culture-related event in the year. 
The volume was high with the number of interested patrons, especially at the very packed JBS Centre and volume in the sheer number of activities and participants from a variety of countries.
Sage Brush Arts Society had an Art Show and Sale coupled with a wine and cheese gala. 
Brooks Public Library hosted a photo walk with Rykie Photo and a "Paint our Town" Art Exhibit. The Brooks and District Handicraft Guild had a day of pottery and painting. A huge crowd crammed the JBS Centre for  such events as the Brooks Animal Protection Society (BAPS) and its Countdown to Christmas Trade Show.
Of course there was the City of Brooks' as they hosted the annual Taste of Nations event which featured food from Salvador, South Sudan, Ukraine, Sudan, Phillipines, Columbia, Somalia, Eritrea, China, Mexico, Egypt. Lebanon, Congo, Ethipoia, El Salvador, Jamaica and of course Canada including Eco-Brooks.
Also on display was the SPEC Association for Children and Families hosting their Cultural Production and Brooks and County Immigration Services (BCIS) hosting their Talent of Nations, two shows where local newcomers and settled immigrants show their talent skills and perhaps in some sort of performance or demonstration of their culture.
Gurpreet Gill is the volunteer coordinator for BCIS and has helped organize the Talent of Nations portion for the last few years.
She had a wide range which included Columbian dancers, Scottish bagpipers, Chinese violin players, she even had a Canadian belly dancer and Syrian dancing to name a few.
Gill says she had approximately 20 volunteers who helped set up, organize and even participate in the on stage talent portion.
“I've never had to coax," she explains, "If I ask, they are all very willing...I'm very satisfied with my volunteers. They even went out and (conducted a survey there for the newcomers to get their thoughts."
For such organizations such as BCIS, BAPS, SPEC and the City of Brooks, Culture Days a positive way to get the Canadian and non-Canadian-birth-of-origin involved in a positive atmosphere. Gill and others make new contacts and reestablished old ones.
"I want to expand the volunteer base (in general)," Gill explained. She would like to see the volunteer base get more involved and offer up their ideas and do some critical thinking in order to help around the community.
Gill says she is open to suggestions and to contact her with ideas for recruiting and different volunteer opportunities or anywhere where they could assist and hopefully lead to future paid employment. Email her at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 362-0404.
As for Culture Days, she was proud of BCIS' portion of the show and all the efforts that went into it.
"I'm glad it went very well," she added.

Read 2164 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 October 2017 12:07
Matthew Liebenberg


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