GlobalFest celebrates its 20th anniversary again this August

GlobalFest celebrates its 20th anniversary in Elliston Park from August 18 to 27

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Calgary’s international celebration of fireworks and multiculturalism will be back in full force for a milestone this summer.

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GlobalFest celebrates its 20th anniversary at Elliston Park from August 18-27. This year’s festival will see the return of the cultural pavilions, night market and live entertainment. As the sun sets, pyromusical designers from Austria, France, Germany and India will light up the sky with fireworks.

This year also marks the first time that GlobalFest will return to normal operations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of pounds of fireworks are placed throughout the festival, attracting tens of thousands of people from across the country.

“Having the lake in Ellison Park really changes the nature of fireworks, more than doubles the spectacle,” explained Ken Goossen, director of operations for GlobalFest. “If you sit high enough, you get the full reflection of the show in the water.”

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The festival isn’t all about the dazzling fireworks displays, though, Goossen explained. The festival is a platform to showcase and celebrate Calgary’s cultural diversity while bringing communities together.

Visitors can grab a bite to eat from more than 20 food trucks and stalls serving international dishes, learn about cultural communities displaying their traditional dress, and enjoy cultural music and performances on two stages in the park.

The OneWorld Festival at Elliston Park will feature performances by cultural partners as well as international food stalls.  This photo is from a performance in 2019. SOPHIA TRAN/GLOBALFEST
The OneWorld Festival at Elliston Park will feature performances by cultural partners as well as international food stalls. This photo is from a performance in 2019. SOPHIA TRAN/GLOBALFEST

Having a festival to celebrate the city’s cultural diversity is especially important this year, Goossen said.

“Many of our visibly diverse communities have been targeted and should never be. They should be celebrated for being here to help move our community and our city forward, to bring new layers of cultural definition to who and what Calgary is,” she said.

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“That’s our job, at Elliston Park, but also throughout the year, is to really focus on equity, diversity and inclusion. Those are buzzwords that we hear everywhere, but we all need to live that, and we all need to appreciate what it is.”

On the final night of the festival, Aug. 27, a Canadian team will present a sound and light finale to mark the 20th anniversary milestone, Goossen said.

Without giving away too much, he said this year’s show will “reflect where the world is at, with a hopeful ending.”

“For the final night, we always try to be a little more special.”

This year’s advance ticket pricing is available May 2-June 4 at the Calgary Co-op Customer Service and Marlborough Mall Information Desk, online or in person at GlobalFest offices.

bgervais@postmedia.com

Twitter: @BrittGervaisAB

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