Rainy Lake Square carries forward Thursday events

Sam Odrowski

Thursday night entertainment has been brought to Rainy Lake Square each week since mid-May, thanks to the many sponsors who support the space.

Tbaytel, New Gold Inc., the Province of Ontario, Sunset Country Ford, Gillons’ Insurance, and 93.1 The Border have all helped to make events possible.

As well, TD Bank is paying to run movies at the square this year.

This Thursday (June 13), starting at 8 p.m., Game 6 of the Toronto Raptors game will be broadcast at the Rainy Lake Square, first on a television and then switching over to a projector as it gets dark outside.

Flint House will be in attendance to provide food and all are encouraged to attend and support the Canadian basketball team as a community.

This year the square will also be hosting the first-ever “Festival of India” event in Fort Frances on July 22 at 6 p.m., in partnership with the Vedic Cultural Centre in Thunder Bay.

Festival organizer Gurvinder Grewal told council here Monday evening that the event is meant educate the community on Indian cultures and welcome newcomers to the district.

“It is our hope that this event will provide an opportunity for participants to gain intercultural understanding that will help them differentiate between the various communities that reside within South Asia,” he remarked.

Participants of the festival will have the opportunity to learn about the diverse cultures in South Asia through folk music, dance, and authentic food.

“The event will provide an opportunity for participants to engage in free-flowing

conversations which will encourage intercultural understanding,” Grewal enthused.

“It will allow newcomers, mainly those who are from South Asia, to identify one another and to form a community amongst themselves.”

Grewal said some South Asian immigrants have expressed a desire to partake in their own cultural events such as Diwali but many are just trying to adjust to their new northern lifestyle and don’t have the courage to organize such an event or gathering themselves.

Those performing music and dancing at the festival are coming from as far as Florida and Toronto to make for an extra special festival.

“The last component of this event is the cultural cuisine we can expect to eat at the event,” Grewal noted.

“Part of this will be a learning experience for participants because vegetarianism plays an extremely important role in the country of India.

“Aside from the religious and spiritual reasons, it’s a very economical reason, because India is a land scarce country, largely due to the large population,” he added.

“Despite its abundance in food production, roughly 200 million people still suffer from malnutrition and being so close to the rural end of the district I think that’s something we can relate to.”

Tickets for the festival can be purchased before July 15 for $20 or $30 anytime after that.

Unlimited cultural cuisine will be provided to those who buy tickets.

“We hope that all this together will encourage participants to discuss their experience and ask questions and thus in the end promote intercultural understanding,” Grewal said.

Mayor June Caul expressed gratitude for his presentation and hosting the festival.

“Thank you very much for all the work you’ve done as far as bringing the Indian flavour to town in the summer,” she remarked.

“It’s very important that we make all of our new residents who are from out of our country welcome here.”

Economic development officer Tannis Drysdale said they are eager to have others use the square and anyone who’s interested should call their office at 807-274-9621.