The Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival returned to Victoria Park in Kitchener for the first time in three years.

In the previous two years, the festival was forced to pivot online, with 2019 being the last year the festival was held in-person.

“It’s fantastic to be back,” said Mac Summers, with the KW Multicultural Festival. “We’re just trying to deliver the same great festival."

This year is the 55th year the festival has taken place.

"It's about celebrating the diversity of this amazing community we have," said Lucia Harrison, CEO of the KW Multicultural Centre. "We have performances on stage, dancing, singing, a marketplace with international products from around the world, food vendors selling food from around the world, and a Pow Wow happening on Rouse Island.

"I think the sharing of food and music just helps everyone see their similarities and the things they love and I think that's what draws everyone together."

The event is also one of the largest of its kind in Canada and annually draws upwards of 40,000 people over its two-day run.

"Canada has a lot of people from different cultures, so seeing stuff from other countries, it feels amazing," said one event attendee.

The festival, which remains free, relies on a number of volunteers to ensure it runs smoothly.

“Hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours, not only on the part of our organization, the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, but all the volunteers who come out specifically for the festival, the community groups, their own volunteers who are manning the food tents,” said Summers. “These are all different community associations who are doing their own fundraising.”


In addition to community performers, a number of Juno-winning artists performed over the two days.

Headliners include Juno-nominated acts Battle of Santiago, multi-award-winning band Twin Flames, and K-W artist Rufus John.

“People are so delighted that we are able to be back in the park, and we are to. We’re fortunate that city and public health thing just sort of worked out, and we’re finally back where we don’t have to worry about how many people can be here,” said Summers.

The festival ran on Saturday and Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. both days.

"We've been here for the last two days, it's just a fantastic time," said John Goodman, acting chief of Waterloo Regional Police Service. "We're working with our partners just engaging, just having a great time."

A full list of performers and food vendors that were at the festival is available online.

With reporting from CTV Kitchener's William Aiello.