This year marks the Festival’s 21st Birthday! For more than two decades Australia's premier celebration of cultural diversity has been entertaining and enchanting our city.
Now our amazing festival has truly come of age. In 2016, more than 280,000 people flocked to the heart of the city to enjoy entertainment across nine stages and amazing food from all corners of the globe.
Come February 17 to 19, we're set to do it all again.
This year, our headline act is iconic Aussie songstress Kate Ceberano.
The popular singer will share the spotlight with local, national and international musicians and dancers representing almost every cultural heritage on earth.
There will be spectacular Bollywood dancing as part of our India in the City Showcase; cool melodic songs and sounds of island nations during the Pacific Islander Showcase; down-home barbecue and upbeat rock and roll at the USA showcase; feathers, sequins and music that will compel your feet to dance in the Latin American Quarters; and rhythmic drumming and singing to set the mood as you stroll and shop through the African Village.
As the Festival approaches, we will keep you updated on stage and showcase performance timings and locations - as well as food stalls - via the website and our new festival app which is now available on iTunes and will soon be available for android users.
In the days before and during the festival, the app will help you with planning your days and locating all the exciting performances and food you're after. We’re helping you personalise and tailor your experience of the 2017 National Multicultural Festival as never before.
This will be my first festival as ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs and to say I'm excited is an understatement.
Over the past few months I have had the honour of meeting many leaders and members of Canberra's culturally diverse communities - the true custodians of this very special community-driven festival.
The passion and enthusiasm with which they speak of the festival, and their drive for ensuring it happens successfully each year, is the secret to its endurance.
As we turn our attention to the 21st birthday celebrations during the festival, we should also take time to reflect on all those who've contributed to its success over the years, and the younger generations of Canberrans from culturally diverse backgrounds who will help propel it into the future.
See you at the 21st National Multicultural Festival on 17 to 19 February 2017.
ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The National Multicultural Festival began in 1996 and has since evolved into the biggest occasion on Canberra’s event landscape. In the very beginnings of the Festival, it was a one-day event, eventually moving to a 2-week Festival. Over the course of the last 21 years it has developed into the 3-day Festival it is now, which allows Canberrans, national and international visitors alike to congregate in Canberra over one weekend for what is one of the biggest celebrations of cultural diversity across Australia.
The Festival is a celebration that promotes equality of opportunity, maintaining social cohesion, building social capital and minimising social exclusion for culturally and linguistically diverse Canberrans.
The National Multicultural Festival provides an opportunity for all Canberrans from all walks of life to participate in a celebration of cultural diversity and social inclusion, be it through performing, sponsorship, volunteering or as a stallholder.
The National Multicultural Festival team is part of the ACT Government Community Services Directorate’s Community Participation Team.
For general Festival information please phone (02) 6207 0555 or email CSDmulticulturalfestival@act.gov.au