The Latin American Society of Nanaimo is bringing back its popular Latin American Festival this weekend with music, dance, food and fun.
"This is our third year doing this event and it keeps growing," says Denise Torres, president of the society and organizer of the festival. "Last year it was so well attended there was almost no room to move."
And space to move is vital because not only does the festival welcome families, there's also plenty of music, folk dances from various nations and a DJ with dancing for the public later on.
This year the festival will be held Sept. 14 in the Departure Bay Activity Centre, 1415 Wingrove St. from 4-11 p.m. "Canadian people seem to have a lot of interest in Latin American culture and especially the music," Torres says.
"The music is so lively that it really makes people want to dance. I think this year we will also pack this new hall with people having fun."
The event includes a concert, folk dance performances from a variety of different Latin cultures, sale of food items from Mexico, Cuba Chile and other countries and DJ Javier will play Latin pop tunes later in the evening.
The folk dancers, Torres says, are primarily members of the 200-
strong Latin American Society.
"Our society started as a way of maintaining our different cultures into the next generations and dance was one of the things that is strong in our cultures.
We have also looked for ways to share our culture with the rest of the Nanaimo community and we have performed dances at events like the Multicultural Festival downtown." "This festival is not a fundraiser for our society exactly, but it's a way we have of raising some money to keep the festival going year to year and improving on it each year," says Torres.
Grupo Raices (Roots Band), are a relatively new musical group which has been performing at a variety of locations around the city.
They aim to offer a tribute to the Latin-American folkloric music.
Its members come from a wide variety of Latin countries, each offering his own musical culture to the mix.
Grupo Raices includes Antonio Vélez, Rodrigo Moreno and Bill Smith Nuñez from Mexico, Artemio Velazquez from Guatemala, Antonio Barroso from Bolivia, and Ben Giordano from Monaco.
"I think people will find us a very welcoming group," says Torres.
"We'd love for the whole community to come out, bring their families and share our music, food and culture with us," Torres says.
Tickets are $15 at the door for couples, $10 for adults, $5 for 13-19 years and kids 12 and under are free.
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