Mississauga News | Thursday, December 1, 2022
Carabram, Bramptons multicultural festival will bring the wold to our doorstep on their float in this year's Mississauga Santa Claus Parade.
SeveraI individuals will be dressed in traditional wear representing the various international pavilions seen at Carabram. And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the 90-year old leprechaun (Paschal Brogan) from lhe lrish pavilion! "We are so excited to be a part of the Mississauga Santa Claus Parade for tho first time," says Angela Johnson, President of Carabram. "Along with our float we will also have Irish dancers presenting traditional Irish dance and the Canadian pavilion amazing line dancers, This is the 40th anniversary of Carabram and what better way to celebrate than by bringing Carabram to Mississauga. As part of the City of Brampton's tourism strategy called Experience Brampton, our goal is to attract people outside of Brampton to come here and see our amazing Carabram multicultural festival, spread out at many different venues across Brampton.''
Carabram 2023 happens July 7, 8 and 9 in Brampton with 12 international pavilions as well as Pavilions of Cultures.
Angela, who has volunteered with Carabram for 36 years, explains: "In 2023 we will have 12 or more pavilions, in addition to other cultures who will be represented at the Pavilion of Cultures. In 2018 we established The Pavilion of Cultures as a destination to capture cultures who do not have the resources to host a pavilion
of their own, each culture will dress in their traditional wear, have displays as well as sell goods and food from representing their culture. The focus of Carabram is to give back to the community and education is a big part of that. Pavilions are very welcoming where you can ask questions about the culture. The volunteers are doing this out of love of their culture and are proud to share their knowledge."
Many of the pavilions offer musical entertainment or traditional dance groups, such as the Irish dancers from the Irish pavilion. Maura Caravan, Carabram Coordinator and co-chair of the Irish pavilion explained "We held our pavilion in a pub this year and turned that pub into a world location. We served our famous all day Irish breakfast, ham and
cabbage, fish and chips, washed down with & pint of Guinness. Our lrish dancers invited the audience
to dance wlth them, including our 90-year-olt Leprechaun. Carabram is a chance to travel the world in a weekend, In addition to a few other awards we took away the one for Best Overall Pavilion"
A panel of 'secret judges' visit each pavilion which are judged in the categories of Culture, Food, Entertainment and Atmosphere and Decor. Awards are given for each category as well as Best Overall.
Judging is not a "competition" of cultures but based on which pavilion showcases their culture the best possible way of educational displays, atmosphere, entertainment and more. Positive feedback is given by the judges from a visitors perspective.
"There is a real sense of community at Carabram," adds Angela. "The atmosphere is electric as each pavifion puts their heart and soul into showcasing the culture they represent. And then there's the food and the entertainment! Where else can you find entertainment of this calibre and have a wonderful experience for just a $10 passport?"
Carabram is a not-for-profit event and each of the pavilions typically must represent a nonprofit group. "'Carabram is 100% run by volunteers including myself as President," says Angela, who has volunteered with the festival since 1986 when she got involved with the Caribbean Pavilion. She loved the festival so much that she became a Carabram Board member, later serving as Vice President and then President.
She continues: "We see participating in the Mississauga Santa Claus Parade as an opportunity to educate the community about multiculturalism. Many people may never get the chance to travel outside of Canada. Carabram captures the essence of many diverse cultures through music, dance, cultural dress, displays and food. What
Carabram shows us is that we are all more similar than we are different. We are so excited to bring the world of Carabram to Mississauga and to share the joy of the Christmas season with others."