Sixth Calgary Turkish Festival (2012)


In the midst of 100 years celebration of Calgary Stampede, Calgarians also experienced
the rich culture of Turkey with 6th annual Calgary Turkish Festival which took
place at Eau-Claire Festival Plaza in downtown Calgary from July 6 to July 8.

Many distinguished guests from Members of Parliament and Legislature Assembly, along
with the chiefs from fire and police departments greeted the attendees. Minister of Culture,
Heather Klimchuk’s speech was a sign of support for Cultural diversity, and Deputy Premier,
Thomas Lukaszuk’s remarks were a great support for dedicated volunteers and sponsors.
Speeches by numerous MLA’s reflected local level of support and participation.

This event was organized by Intercultural Dialogue Institute Calgary, a non-profit
organization dedicated to promote diversity and understanding among all cultures and
faiths, in cooperation with Turkish Community. “We have experienced two celebrations
at the same time, both the centennial of Calgary Stampede and Calgary Turkish Festival” said
Davud Hanci, an organizer for this year’s event. “We were amazed with dedicated volunteers from
different backgrounds who were born in Canada, Turkey, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan,
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Bosnia exc. In fact the festival has an unifying impact on Calgary’s diverse society.
Let us also not forget that the festival  adds to Calgary’s economic strength by attracting visitors for local businesses. “

The Calgary Turkish Festival has grown from an estimated attendance of 2,000 in 2007 to over
15,000 in this year’s three days celebration. Vendors offered wares common to the bazaars and back
streets of Istanbul, as well as non-traditional items. Participants tried variety of delicious, traditional
Turkish foods including variety of kebabs in traditional seating space and Turkish coffee while surrounded by
Turkish carpets at information tent.   A visitor went on to say, “I was most impressed with all of the
delectable food and only wished that my stomach was bigger.”

Stage performances have attracted many Calgarians with Whirling dervishes from Ottawa and
Vancouver hypnotized the attendees while Blue Star Dance group from North Carolina energized them.
The live Turkish music performance by Murat Toy from Toronto was so irresistible that many
visitors couldn’t help dancing all day long in the open area below the stage.

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