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CCVI’s annual cultural event returns for a day of diversity

May 23, 2024

Guelph, ON — On Friday, May 17, 2024, the halls of Centennial Collegiate Vocational Institute (CCVI) was abuzz with excitement for its third annual Culture Day event.

The day is a celebration of the school’s rich diversity. Students and staff proudly donned cultural attire, sports jerseys, and colours representing their heritage, transforming the school into a colourful mosaic of global cultures.

Organized by the Multicultural Club and BIPOC Club, with support from the Desi and South East/East Asian Clubs, the day was packed with engaging activities. 

Leading up to the event, students placed stickers on a world map to mark their countries of origin, posed for photos in front of a stunning backdrop, and got intricate mehndi (henna) designs on their hands. The halls echoed with music each morning and afternoon, setting the tone for a week of cultural appreciation.

The highlight of the day was a motivational talk by renowned speaker and spoken word poet Wali Shah. For a $2 ticket, students attended his dynamic session where Shah captivated the audience with stories of his immigrant upbringing, encounters with racism, and achievements, including freestyling with Kendrick Lamar and meeting Barack Obama. 

His powerful messages about unity, self-pride, and resilience resonated deeply, earning enthusiastic cheers and a long line of students eager to meet him afterward.

As Shah’s session concluded, the cafeteria became a hub of activity during lunch. Students eagerly lined up for a wide selection of foods, including meat pies, samosas, pakoras, turon, spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, and even pizza. 

The cultural showcase featured K-Pop, Latin, Bollywood, Bhangra dances, solo performances in Chinese and Spanish, and a Scottish drumming act, leaving the audience in awe.

The event raised over $500 for the Canadian Red Cross International Relief Efforts, a testament to the community’s generosity. 

The success of Culture Day 2024 was attributed to the dedicated students of the Multicultural and BIPOC Clubs, with guidance from teachers Teri Osmond and Gillian Currie, and support from the Desi and East/South East Asian Clubs and Student Council.

Reflecting on the day, one CCVI teacher expressed the profound impact of the event: “Thank you for organizing such an amazing Culture Day. I haven’t seen so many students bring their whole selves to school in a long, long time. You all make me feel at home, and ready to be me.”


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