Eight years in, Surrey Fusion Festival brings multicultural party to Holland Park

Maxi Priest, Delhi 2 Dublin among performers at flag-filled event, July 23-24

People with connections to countries around the world gather at Surrey's annual Fusion Festival

SURREY — Food, music and dance from countries and cultures around the world – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe – will be showcased at Holland Park this weekend.

The city hall-backed Fusion Festival brings two days of multicultural attractions to the corner of Old Yale Road and King George Boulevard.

Admission is free during the run of the annual festival, held from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (July 23 and 24).

(Scroll down to see the city’s Fusion Festival promo video)

Announced on June 8, musical headliners this year include reggae/R&B artist Maxi Priest, Delhi to Dublin, Alex Cuba, Good for Grapes, The Boom Booms, Aché Brasil, Kunda Africa, Kaylee Johnston, Star Captains, Tropicana, Krystal Dos Santos and other artists on multiple stages.

The full list of performers, along with other festival attractions, can be found at Surrey.ca/fusionfestival.

More than 100,000 people are expected to take in the flag-filled festival, a “fusion” of cultures represented in Canada.

New this year is an expanded Kid’s World including a visit from Super Why!, plus interactive games and activities at Toddler Town.

(PICTURED: Maxi Priest)

In the Indigenous Village, the menu includes smoked salmon bannock sandwiches, candied sockeye salmon strips and more.

The festival is staged by the City of Surrey in partnership with Donnelly & Associates and the financial backing of several sponsors, including Coast Capital Savings, Concord Pacific, Simon Fraser University, YVR, Safeway, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Zipcar, Downtown Surrey BIA, Port of Vancouver and Tourism Surrey, among others.

The inaugural Fusion Festival was staged in 2008 as a three-day gathering that featured The Chieftains, Jully Black and Jazzy B. It was among events celebrating Surrey’s status as Canada’s Cultural Capital that year. The award, announced in June of 2007, came with a maximum of $2 million in federal funding “to celebrate the achievements of Surrey’s arts and culture leaders.”

This year, the festival features performers as diverse as BC Metis Federation Jiggers, Surrey Folk Bhangra Club, celebrated hoop dancer James Jones, the Cedar Hills Caledonian Pipe Band and Hua Xia Multiculture Society.

Saturday’s headliner (8 p.m. start) is Maxi Priest, best known for “Wild World,” his late-’80s cover of the Cat Stevens song, with Delhi 2 Dublin in the spotlight on Sunday evening.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

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