ALBERTA THAI CANADIAN ASSN 2015 STAMPEDE FLOAT

This year marks the first float entry by the Alberta Thai-Canadian Association into the World Famous Calgary Stampede Parade.

final preparations 2

The parade kicks off the city’s 10 crazy days of its’ western heritage celebration.   During good years, businesses shut down, parties rage, bulls are ridden and Stampede Park hosts thousands of visitors each day.  During poor years, businesses slow down, parties pop, bull is spoken and Stampede Park hosts thousands of visitors each day.

Participation in the Parade is a triumph for the businesses and non-profits who are lucky enough to be approved entry.  It means millions of people will see your float live or broadcast on TV.  The possibility of increased business because of the exposure can be translated into additional clients, revenue or membership. Not to mention the bragging rights that come with the acceptance of entry and the anticipation of receiving the coveted Best Float designation given by the Parade Judges.

Final Meeting 1

The current President of the Alberta Thai Canadian Association (ATCA) is an intelligent, tour de force woman, who has a definite vision of what the Association can achieve and the road map to its success.  She is able to rally the membership to whole heartedly strive to execute new ideas in order to deftly move their organization into the diverse cultural arena that makes up Calgary’s multi-national population.

ATCA Entry on the way

The ATCA entry, conceived out of love for their homeland Thailand and their desire to share it with the world, brought together over 100 people to create. Visionaries, organizers, planners, designers, builders, choreographers and audio specialists spent months working to achieve their dream of the beautiful float following the 80 people representing different aspects of Thai culture.

final preparations 9da

The Thailand Sign Bearer, a young Thai woman dressed in a gold Thai Chakkraphat, led the way gaily waving, smiling and enjoining the audience to visit Thailand, if just for a moment. Next came the ATAC Banner adorned by the Serpent of Thailand and carried by four ladies.  Dressed in traditional Nung long skirts and Sabai shawls, they walked in front of two young men also in traditional dress who carried the Canadian and Thai flags.

final preparations 9h

Following the Banner and the Flag Bearers were Thai and Canadian ladies in traditional dress carrying gold and silver Pan Pum offering statues.

final preparations 9g

Next in line were the talented Thai and Canadian dancers who like fluid colour flowed along the parade route.  Their colourful outfits sparkled and jingled in the hot Alberta sun as they moved through the intricate dance steps to the music booming from the speakers mounted in the float.

final preparations 9a

The last performers, the Muay Thai Boxers, like the protectors of Thailands honour, walked before the float.  Men, women and children throwing kicks, popping punches and entertaining the audience with their fighting antics.

final preparations 4

The last vision of Thailand on the parade route was the ATCA Float, drawn by a well camouflaged truck covered in fabric, ribbons and glitter.

final preparations 9p

The float was adorned with a large triangular Golden Stupa, strategically placed amoung colourful exotic flowers and beautiful Thai ladies representing the 4 corners of Thailand. The lovely ladies, each outfitted in the traditional dress of their area waved and proudly exemplified the loving and generous nature of the Thai people.  A golden goddess waved from the centre of the float, representing a unified Thailand shining like a bright light out of the east.

final preparations 3

The passing of the float signaled the end of the ATCA entry, the audience members fondly waved and smiled as they watched a small piece of Thailand move further along the parade route.

final preparations 9r

The Alberta Thai Canadian Association entry may not have won any official awards from the Parade Judges, but the award of confidence and success they won in their hearts is untouchable and immeasurable.

Cheryle July 2015

THE 2015 MULTI-CULTURAL FIESTA

THE MULTI-CULTURAL FIESTA – June 26 2015

Every year Ogden House 50+ Seniors Activity Club and the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society celebrate the multi-cultural heritage of their senior members.  It is a wonderful event in which seniors from all over the world, who now live in Calgary, come together for a pot luck and to share the unique cultures through dress, entertainment and food.

9p

I enjoy attending this particular event, as I can sense the seniors excitement as they fill the room, visit with their long time friends and meet new ones.  It is contagious.

INTRODUCTIONS

What is your name and where are you from?

2a

6a

5a

4a

3

1a

This year a minimum of 11 countries were represented.  Brazil, Guatemala, Korea, Nigeria, Poland, Denmark, England, Japan, Vietnam, Mexico, Nicaragua and a few others that I cannot remember.

ENTERTAINMENT:  Some of the groups practice their showcase performances for months before the fiesta.  Others have the confidence to wing it.

MUSICAL INTERLUDES

9f

.

9ee

SINGERS

9d

8

.

7

DANCERS

9c

..

9b

HISTORICAL TALES & POETRY

8a

.

9aa

DOOR PRIZES & WINNERS

9g

.

9h

POT LUCK LUNCH

For lunch, everyone brings an food item from their home country.  The auditorium fills with the smells of cooking from all over the world.  Noodles,  enchiladas, casseroles, Cornish pasties, cabbage rolls, chicken, rice, sandwiches, samosas, salads and fragrant desserts, their aromas mingle in the air to create an exquisite scent all of its own.  I made Canadian style Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, it is my own version where all the ingredients are purchased from a store in Canada, therefore, as far as I’m concerned it is a Canadian dish.

9i

9j

9l

9k

9ma

9na

9oa

I find it exciting to see the dances,  hear the music and taste the delicious food from other countries.  It satisfies my worldly curiosity.

Cheryle  July 2015