To view the celebration video click here. 

The idea behind organizing a public celebration of the Diwali Festival in Grand Forks was born out of a desire to recognize the Indian Canadian legacy in the Boundary region, which goes back to more than a hundred years. In fact, documentary evidence shows that as early as 1916, over 60 Indians were living and working in or around Grand Forks.

Diwali was in fact celebrated in Grand Forks, but mostly behind closed doors which made me want to lend my grant writing skills to the Grand Forks Indian Canadian community, so that the Festival of Lights could be celebrated publicly, with all members of the community who would wish to attend.

Many months of discussions and careful planning amounted to the first public celebration of Diwali in Grand Forks, on November 12, 2023. Elders from the Indian Canadian community came together to prepare traditional meals with selected ingredients. While the Indian Canadian local community has contributed a lot of time and money, the success of the event could not have been possible without the support from the Neighbourhood Small Grants program and the Phoenix Foundation of the Boundary Communities. Thanks to this assistance, we were able to feed our 170 guests (well over our initial expectations of approximately a hundred attendees), who had come to enjoy and find out more about the Indian Canadian culture. Dancing, fireworks, and games were also part of the program of which we hope will become an annual tradition.

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Written By:

Lisa Deargle

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