IN PICTURES: from Metis jigs to African shadow puppetry, the Carousel of Nations was a phenomenal success

By David F. Rooney

From Metis jigs and African shadow puppetry to exquisite pasta, Oka cheese, cabbage rolls, samosas and even bangers and mash and chip butties, Saturday’s first-ever Carousel of Nations was a smashing tribute to local multiculturalism.

Somewhere between 600 and 800 people attended the three hour event, which included museum displays from the Revelstoke, Railway and Nickelodeon Museums, a professional kimono demonstration, Highland piping, Scottish country dancing, Colombian Zumba, First Nations stories and much, much more.

The food offered by vendors who whipped up Polish, English, Quebecois, Italian and East Indian food was well worth the three bucks a ticket and many people dined out again and again.

There was music by Revelstoke singer-songwriter Steve Smith and the Highland Pipers and a very good set of jigs and songs from the Golden-based Li Jigeurs Mi’chif (the Metis Dancers). If you wanted to visually relive travel in foreign places, Cathy English, Keith and Jane McNabb, Gabriella Draboczi, Allison Leslie, Ryan Buhler and Anna Brown and Luc Reaulieu offered slide shows on places as diverse as Revelstoke’s ethnic heritage, Turkey, Hungary, Antartica, Africa and France.

All in all this was a superb demonstration of what can be accomplished in a small city when event organizers are not only motivated but imaginative.

There are three videos taken at the event on the front page of The Current and, here, a selection of photos that I hope you enjoy:

The Carousel of Nations, Revelstoke's first community-based multicultural celebration, was a tremendous success, drawing between 600 and 800 people to the Community Centre for three hours of music, food, dance, slide shows, displays, talks and puppet shows. David F. Rooney photo
BR Whalen and Alan Chell adjust a speaker for the kimono demonstration by professional kimono dresser Takako Nakamachi (on the right helping Jenna Knight with her red kimono) as Atsuko Knight (center with the microphone) prepares to speak to the audience. David F. Rooney photo
Atsuko Knighti (center) talks to the audience interested in the kimono demonstration in the Community Centre's multi-purpose room. David F. Rooney photo
In another corner of the room, Sue Leach talks with the Nickelodeon Museum's David Evans about the magic lanterns and other antique Victorian-era instruments on display from the museum's collection. David F. Rooney photo
Pam Sanghera serves up some tasty East Indian food at her booth. David F. Rooney photo
Chloe Kim talks talks with one of her children at one of the several children's activity areas set up for the Carousel of Nations. David F. Rooney photo
Do you know how to Zumba? The demonstration of Zumba, a dance-based fitness regime from Colombia, attracted a lot of kids — and adults! David F. Rooney photo
As her husband Gary (left) looks on, Jacquie Pendergast talks with the Railway Museum director Jennifer Dunkerson and her enthusiastic daughter. David F. Rooney photo
Davene Dunn (left) and Karen Nagao of the Golden-based Metis dance troupe, Li Jiguers M'chif (The Metis Jiggers) pose at their display of Metis clothing and artifacts before the group's terrific performance on stage. David F. Rooney photo
Ah, food! You simply couldn't have a multi-cultural exhibition without it. And, boy, was there food! Wendy Larson and Dianne Wiege served fantastic Polish borscht, perogies and cabbage rolls, Sonia Ratte and Olivier Dutil of La Baguette served up Oka cheese and pork creton on fresh baked baguette slices and — to the delight many, many children (and more than few adults) — hot maple syrup frozen on sticks. Even the English have a cuisine and here, the lads from the Powder Springs' Last Drop serve up some typical English fare: haggis, bangers and mash, Yorkshire puddings and (always a crowd pleaser) chip butties. David F. Rooney photo
And that wasn't all. Daniel Brunner of Crescendo, himself an accomplished gourmand, served up tasty pastas prepared with the fine ingredients he and his wife Elvira offer at their amazing shop. In this instance, the lucky diner is Ken English. But he was not alone...David F. Rooney photo
Behind him stretched a steady of line of people with discriminating palates. There were similar lines at all the food vendors. David F. Rooney photo
Getting there demanded an exchange of cold, hard cash as Corin Flood (right) swiftly learned from Heather Duchman. Tickets were were $3 each but well worth the investment. For a measely $9 you could dine like a king. David F. Rooney photo
The Metis Dancers were an extremely popular act, bringing to Revelstoke a taste of Metis culture that we rarely experience. David F. Rooney photo
Their performance was multi-generational and included music and dance performed by children and adults. David F. Rooney photo
Mayor David Raven finishes off what I suspect is a lovely bowl of borscht after the Metis Jiggers' performance. David F. Rooney photo
Revelstoke's Steve Smith performed traditional English language ballads and folk songs at the event. David F. Rooney photo
Everyone has a sweet tooth and young Tettey Tetteh was no exception. Good thing his grandmother, Marg Stovel, was in control... right, Marg? David F. Rooney photo
Antoinette Halberstadt (center, left) was very interested in the furs and other objects on display at Patti Shanek's First Nation's exhibit. David F. Rooney photo
Oh! I'm blinded by the light! You can almost imagine that refrain bobbing through Head Librarian Joan Holzer's brain as she barrels towards the photographer with a trolley full of props from the table-top puppet show. To be truthful, she was more likely thinking: "Get out of my way or I'll run you down, David!" David F. Rooney photo
After eating all they can eat, seeing all they wanted to see and — finally! — escaping for a few moments from their parents, these kids found a few months to talk about whatever it is pre-teens talk about these days. David F. Rooney photo
The shadow puppet play narrated by Family Literacy's Tracy Spannier (left, rear) and physically performed by Joan Holzer and Zoe Knuff of the Revelstoke branch of the Okanagan Regional Library, drew a substantial audience of adults and kids. (If you missed the play, based on the traditional Liberian story, Head, Body, Legs, you can see it on The Current Video). David F. Rooney photo