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Alberta Cultural Days celebrations commemorate Lac La Biche’s diversity

On Sept. 10, the Lac La Biche community hosted an event celebrating the diverse backgrounds in the area in honour of Alberta Culture Days.

LAC LA BICHE - Across Alberta, the month of September is dedicated to recognizing the rich cultural heritage and diversity throughout the province. Alberta Culture Days draws municipalities and community members to take part in musical events, entertainment, crafts and cuisines that reflect the various cultures and Indigenous communities in the province. 

In the Lac La Biche region, celebrating the diverse cultures, foods and languages of the local population is important, said Crystal Plamondon, Association Canadienne-Française de L'Alberta (ACFA) cultural director for Plamondon and Lac La Biche. 

“It’s so important, especially being that we are so diverse here. First with the Indigenous, French, Lebanese, Métis, West African and all the other cultures in our community. It’s so awesome to be able to celebrate,” she said. 

ACFA and the Lac La Biche Mission Historical Society hosted an event on Sept. 10 that drew over 150 people. Entertainment included Indigenous jingle dress dancer Randi Lynn Nanemahoo-Candline, and a national folk artist, Métis fiddle musician champion Alex Kusturok. Members from the area’s Lebanese community also lead and showcased the traditional Dabke, a staple celebratory line dance in many Arabic cultures, that got the crowd participating. 

Local musical guests Hired Hand and the Plamondon Valley Square Dancers were involved in the celebrations too, and there was a variety of cuisines from across the world featured at the event, said Danielle Gauthier, local Mission organizer. 

“It's a way to bring the community together with all the different cultures from the area. We had Vietnamese food vendors, Lebanese food, East Indian butter chicken from Costa Cafe and a mix of everything,” said Gauthier. 

Learning about cultures 

Along with the food, music and entertainment, there were also crafts, games, vendors and artists featured during the cultural celebration. 

“Alberta is basically founded from all the diverse and different cultures coming together and It’s really important to emphasize that, especially in our community. I think people appreciate it when the different cultures that we have here are highlighted… I hope that we can continue this in the future,” said Gauthier. 

For those who couldn’t attend the cultural event this year, plans are already in place to host the Culture Days event in 2023. 

“This is our third year hosting with the Mission... for everyone who didn’t come they missed a good time, they’ll have to wait till next year,” said Plamondon.