Friday, March 1, 2024

National Multicultural Festival: ‘Fantastic food and entertainment’ | Canberra Daily

Must read

In four days’ time, the National Multicultural Festival, Australia’s largest celebration of cultural diversity, will return to Canberra: three days of food and culture, from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 February.

“It’s going to be very exciting,” Mick Gentleman, ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs, said. “We’ve put on a really big show for you.”

The Festival officially launched in Civic this morning. Serbian dancers, Argentine tango dancers, Filipino cooks, and a pack of Scottish terriers took to the stage in Civic Square – a preview of the weekend’s entertainment.

Minister Mick Gentleman watches Diwani Velasquez’s demonstration of how to cook Filipino banana lumpia (turon). Photo: Nicholas Fuller

There will be more than 80 performances over eight stages for the weekend. World percussion ensemble Taikoz, Papua New Guinean soul R&B artist Ngaiire, and funk hip hop creative Citizen Kay headline this year’s entertainment program. There will be song and dance: from African drummers, Afghan musicians, and Ukrainian poetry, to Nepali, Latin American, and Eastern European dancers; cultural workshops, showcasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, the Pacific Islands, India, and belly-dancing; cooking demonstrations; and more.

“There’s going to be some fantastic food, fantastic entertainment for Canberrans and the wider jurisdiction,” Mr Gentleman said.

Last year’s festival, the long-awaited 25th anniversary event and the first held since the pandemic, was the biggest ever, breaking records for attendance (380,000 people) and revenue ($20.8 million), and named the Best Community Event at the Australian Event Awards. The ACT Government has invested $3.3 million more in this year’s festival and next, and they predict even more people will come this year.

“The entertainment precinct will be lively, so come on down!” Mr Gentleman said.

The festival is spread across the city, from Garema Place to Glebe Park. To help visitors, shuttle buses will run around the outside of the festival, while free public transport has been laid on.

For more information, visit

Latest article