National Multicultural Festival: A celebration of Canberra’s diversity

Posted 15 Feb 2017

Story by CBR Canberra

Did you know over 23% of Canberra’s population was born overseas?

It seems fitting, then, that our city is home to one of the biggest celebrations of cultural diversity in Australia.

The 2017 National Multicultural Festival is back this year celebrating its 21st Birthday over three days from February 17-19.

The festival is one of the biggest of its kind celebrating the many cultures and communities who reside in Canberra and across the nation.

It’s also an event that is put in most Canberrans’ calendars well in advance.

It will be showcasing Canberra’s vast cultural diversity with delicious cuisine, live performances and traditional dancing from all corners of the globe.

The appearance of over 100 plus food stalls is one of the festival’s highlights with something to entice everyone’s tastebuds including; Indian curry, Israeli Falafels, Vietnamese Pho, Spanish Paella, Italian Gelato and Greek Souvlaki.

The three-day event is truly a unique experience, encouraging community involvement from all walks of life.


And one of the common themes across many stallholders and volunteers is that they have relocated to Canberra and now call it home.

Canberra’s Harmonie German Club has been involved in the National Multicultural Festival for several years with the help of the club’s most iconic member Volka.

Originally from Germany, 84-year-old Volka relocated to Canberra fifteen years ago, because he enjoys the cooler climate and the close proximity to the snow.

He has volunteered at the Multicultural Festival for over ten years and with Germany being the land of beer, he has served hundreds of beers and German sausages from the club’s stall to the passing crowd.


He says the festival is a great weekend as it encourages people not to forget about their heritage and respecting it whilst being in Australia.

“I really enjoy being a part of the festival every year because I like to share my culture with everyone, even if that’s selling them a German sausage for lunch,” he says.

Volka’s favourite thing about the festival is the energy that beams throughout the three days and the inclusivity.

“I enjoy working at the Multicultural Festival because it has such as great atmosphere from start to finish every day and the festival really brings everyone together,” he says.

If you’re visiting Canberra this weekend, or you are living here make sure you head down to the National Multicultural Festival and join the celebrations of all things cultural.

For the full program details please visit National Multicultural Festival.

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