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Downtown Offers Lots of Diversity

Downtown is more diverse and inclusive than ever as residents, businesses, and organizations representing people from around the world utilize the centre of our city on a daily basis.

Through the sharing of food, people and relationships, or cultural activities, visitors will find diverse ethnic and cultural experiences in our Downtown. Whether you are spending time in the small but culturally and historically rich district of Chinatown, visiting any of the ethnic restaurants and retailers - Tacos Made in Mexico, Nakagama’s Japanese Foods and Giftware, Josees Handmade Imports to name a few - or by participating in some of the amazing cultural activities and events hosted by the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association (SAEA) at its downtown location in the Multicultural Centre on the corner of 6th Avenue and 5th Street South.

The SAEA represents diverse ethnic societies and clubs in southern Alberta as they promote understanding, awareness, and celebration by offering programs that highlight different global cultures, languages, religions, cuisines, dancing and performances, ethnic music, thoughts and philosophies.

Throughout the year the SAEA organizes and showcases a multitude of cultural events such as regular Cultural Nights, celebrations of Heritage Day, Festival Latino, Caribbean Carnival, and an Annual International Dinner and Dance. There are a number of upcoming events (many that involve delicious food) before the year is done, including: Taste of Africa (Oct. 26), Taste of Ecuador (Nov. 30), Christmas around the World (Dec. 14) and BavaRu New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31). These events are open to everyone in the community and add to the rich cultural vibrancy and inclusive nature of our Downtown.

By bringing proud socio-cultural practices representing different parts of the globe face to face at a common point, we are afforded the opportunity to learn, share and appreciate each other’s culture. This provides endless opportunities to bridge differences and foster unity in our society. What better place for this to take place than in the Heart of Our City – our Downtown.

I challenge every resident to help Our Downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City Committee, we encourage you to contribute to the content of this column and the video series with your comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions by engaging with us on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntown and at

*This column was published in the Lethbridge Herald on October 22, 2018

Categories: diversity, downtown, ethnic, vibrant, revitalization, city, culture
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