A showcase of talented performers from around the region will congregate at the Tla'amin Salish Centre on Saturday, March 2, to participate in the eighth annual Wu Woom Festival.
“Wu Woom” means singing, according to event organizer Cyndi Pallen, and the evening gathers together artists and musicians of all ages to raise funds to send Tla’amin Nation citizens to participate in the Vancouver Sun Run. Pallen has done the 10 kilometre race, which takes place in Vancouver in mid-April, for 15 years.
“We used to have it covered by Tla’amin Health services, and when they stopped doing that we started fundraising on our own to go,” said Pallen.
Wu Woom aims to celebrate cultural diversity within the region through songs, dance and food.
“It’s a nice cross-cultural event,” said participant Brenda Pielle. “Cyndi recruits quite a variety of folks who are sharing music from their own cultural background and then also showcasing some of the First Nations’ songs.”
Pielle has been performing at the event for four years on guitar and singing.
“Sometimes I’ve handed out little tambourines, maracas and song sheets and led a sing-along, and sometimes I do a children's song in the traditional language,” said Pielle.
Other artists participating this year include drummers, singers, pipers, a Polynesian dancer, Zumba and two choirs.
“People share food from their cultures as well, said Pallen. “So when people come they’re getting a taste of a number of different cultural expressions.”
The night offers something for everyone and all ages are welcomed.
“It’s very fun, a really nice evening,”added Pielle. “There’s always a variety of music, dance and sharing.”
Wu Woom starts at 5:30 pm. Entrance fee is $15 or $10 for those who bring a cultural appetizer from their heritage.