Wednesday, August 17, 2016

CIES 6th Annual Summer Festival

Yesterday CIES held its 6th annual Summer Festival and by all accounts it was an unparalleled success. Hundreds of attendees came by throughout the day in the form of local residents, clients, sponsors, partners, and both members of the municipal and provincial governments, including recently elected MLA Robyn Luff and the City of Calgary's Jason Luan. Food, dance and music from all over the world was on display, as well games, contests and activities. More than 75 countries from around the globe were represented on what was a remarkable day.

The theme for this year's festival was Around the World in One Day and seeing so many customs and traditions, so much culture and so much diversity all in one place was truly special. CIES would like to thank all those who attended, the artBOX for graciously providing us with an absolutely great venue, the International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone's support, and most especially a heartfelt thanks to all those who participated in the days events. Without your input, without your pride in sharing your culture and donating your time, we could not have put on such a truly amazing day.

What was without a doubt a day of fun also had a very important subtext and in the end, very much stands for what the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society strives for each and every day. There are many differences amongst us and there are no absolutes, this much I know to be true.  Despite these differences, we are more alike than different, no matter how difficult it may be to recognize our similarities. It’s in our nature to see our differences before we see that which is the same, but when given the chance to truly see, like a blind man regaining his sight, what was always right in front of us becomes an emancipating vision of truth. On a grander scale, the reflection of our internal selves can be seen in almost any human soul. We are all mirrors, all reflections of one another.  A video highlight reel of the festival is coming soon but for now, to see pictures of the day's event CLICK HERE.

A human being is a part of the whole called by us the universe,          
a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his
thoughts and feelings as something separate than the rest, a kind
of optical delusion of his consciousness. The delusion is a kind
of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection
for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves
from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all
living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
                                                                                          -Albert Einstein

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