Carassauga Festival

Carassauga Festival
Carassauga is an annual multicultural festival held in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. It was founded in 1985 by then-mayor Hazel McCallion and has since become an important event in the city’s calendar and the largest multicultural festival in Ontario.

In 1985, Mississauga’s mayor Hazel McCallion called a meeting of ethno-cultural groups in the old City Hall. She challenged them to organize a multicultural festival to raise public awareness and appreciation of multiple cultures co-existing in Canada. According to McCallion, the festival would reflect the rich ethnic mosaic of the Mississauga community and the priceless cultural and historical heritage of the province of Ontario.

The first Carassauga festival was held in 1986. It featured 10 pavilions representing different countries and cultures. Over the years, Carassauga has grown to become one of Canada’s ten largest festivals by attendance and the second largest cultural festival in the country in terms of attendance and ethnic diversity representation. For instance, the 2015 festival showcased the culture of over 70 countries and regions, from African countries to Ukraine, featured more than 4,000 artists and 772 performances, and attracted 338,000 attendees.

Pavilions are the main highlight of the Carassauga Festival. About 30 pavilions located at different locations throughout the city of Mississauga showcase the culture of different countries and regions. Each pavilion provides an exciting line-up of entertainment for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

Interactive entertainment at the festival’s pavilions includes performances, workshops, skits, storytelling, fashion shows, music, dance, theater, cinema, games, cooking classes, arts & crafts, and more. Many pavilions offer special events for children and hold a marketplace where visitors can purchase souvenirs and other products. The pavilions provide three days of non-stop entertainment and illustrate the cultural diversity of the city.

In its early years, Carassauga relied solely on the grants provided by the City Council. It became financially independent in 1995 and is currently funded by the Federal and Provincial Government, the City of Mississauga, and a number of business partners and sponsors. Carassauga is an incorporated non-profit volunteer organization, there are over 6,000 volunteers involved with the festival who help create a unique multicultural experience.






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