History

The Festival had its beginnings as a small downtown event in 1978, organized by the Board of Directors from The Multicultural Centre in Guelph, and was held annually in the downtown core for 10 years. After a brief hiatus, the Festival was revived in 1996 due to overwhelming interest from other cultural groups. In 1997 the Board of Directors decided on a more suitable location for the growing Festival and thanks to a partnership between the City of Guelph and local businesses, it was moved to Riverside Park the following year to accommodate more visitors, food vendors, and performers. Since finding its new location, event attendance increased from 2,000 to 25,000 people and the content of the Festival has become more extensive.

Riverside Park

This 80-acre (32-hectare) park is located by the northern part of Woolwich Street and is built around a portion of the Speed River that runs through Guelph. The park is conveniently located in the heart of Guelph and is accessible for everyone. Parking is also abundantly available and the park is accessible by road bike path and wheel chair access to all areas.

Flag Raising Ceremony

In 2006, the Flag raising ceremony was introduced to mark the 10th anniversary of the Festival at Riverside Park. The One World Living Together flag is now raised each year as a symbol of unity and peace; values that are at the core of the Festival’s purpose.

In a world where many are hungry, we give thanks for the food that sustains us!
In a world where many have no shelter, we give thanks for a place to call home!
In a world where many are alone, we give thanks for family and friends!
In a world where many suffer with illness, we give thanks for healing!
In a world where illiteracy remains an all-too-tragic reality, we give thanks for places of learning!
In a world where hatred and violence prevail, we give thanks for those glimpses of peace!
May we treasure the gifts of life, love and truth.
May we have the patience to listen, the courage to challenge and the grace to be compassionate!
May we be relentless in our work for justice, unity and peace!

-Author Unknown

Volunteers Acknowledgement

The Guelph and District Multicultural Festival is a volunteer driven organization. Each year, over 170 like minded people work together dedicating 7,000 hours of their time, helping out in the in the office, on the Board, and at our special events. Without the passion & dedication of our volunteers we would have no Festival. Our volunteers come from every walk of life and are aged between 12 & 80! If you are looking for an opportunity to celebrate culture with a dynamic group of individuals come join us. We are always looking for new volunteers.