Local Diwali celebration named best new festival in Ontario

The local Diwali Celebration has been recognized with a big provincial award.

Festival & Events Ontario recently named the winning events from across the province at their annual conference.

The 2022 Diwali Celebration in Belleville was credited as the Best New Festival for 2023!

The Belleville Waterfront & Multicultural Festival was also named a Top 100 Festival in Ontario again as it has every year since 2015.

We’re most excited about the recognition for Diwali as it was truly a collaborative effort” said Jill Raycroft, CEO Belleville Chamber of Commerce.  Through its partnership with the City of Belleville, the Belleville Chamber of Commerce is building up “Discover Belleville” as the space for events and information about the community to live and grow.  From the roots of the DEI committee chaired by Councillor Sean Kelly, who created the first Diwali celebration in 2021, a group of eight people from the South Asian/Indian community provided guidance and vision to the Discover Belleville team.  The committee included Vik Thakur, Remax Quinte, and Vatsal Patel, Allstate Insurance, along with recent graduates from Loyalist College, Hardik Patel (Belleville International), Manpreet & Manpriya Kaur, Laila Bharyya and Madhu Potukuchi, International Advisor, Loyalist College.

Understanding the importance of culturally significant elements of Diwali and how they could be incorporated into making this celebration as authentic to the experience they know was critical to the success of the event” noted Tiffany Young, Special Events Coordinator on behalf of Discover Belleville. Tiffany Young joined the team in July 2022, while Susan Walsh, who has served in this role for 15 years, plans to retire on March 31, 2023.

Through Discover Belleville, we strive to find ways to showcase the people and places in our community that make Belleville a wonderful place to live.  Engaging newcomers in the process of developing events is a 45-year-old tradition that began with the Belleville Chamber of Commerce, the City and the Quinte Ethnic Council in the 70s and continues with the Belleville Waterfront & Multicultural Festival today.  This Top 100 Festival is scheduled for July 6-9, 2023 in West Zwick’s Park and planning is underway to make it even more reflective of the cultural diversity Belleville is beginning to enjoy.

Discover Belleville is managed by the Belleville Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the City of Belleville.  Information for upcoming events and all things local can be found at www.discoverbelleville.ca.

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