(September 1, 2013) – Record-breaking crowds celebrated the 10th anniversary of North America’s premier Muslim festival, MuslimFest, and the vibrant Canadian Muslim culture in the city of Mississauga this weekend.
“Congratulations on celebrating the festival’s 10th year,” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a support message sent to MuslimFest.
“This festival is an opportunity for Ontarians of all heritages to experience Muslim culture in all its vibrancy.”
“It is also an ideal occasion for the Muslim community to celebrate their identity and achievements, and to strengthen the bonds that keep them together,” added Premier Wynne.
MuslimFest featured over 50 local and international artists, concerts, stand-up comedy shows, workshops, film screenings, and art exhibits.
Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, Mississauga is Canada’s 6th largest city and is part of the Greater Toronto Area which has a population of over 6 million people.
Over 25,000 participants attended the two-day event which drew praise from politicians across the region for showcasing the province’s diversity and promoting understanding among citizens.
“Ontario greatest strength is our diversity,” said Premier Wynne in her message. “We embrace our multiculturalism, strive for authentic dialogue and seek genuine mutual understanding. Today, our diversity is an inspiration to countries around the world.”
Highlights of the festival included performances by international vocal artists, Junaid Jamshed and Anas Sayed, hip-hop group, Native Deen, and nasheed artist Zain Bhikha, in addition to local Canadian favorite, Dawud Wharnsby Ali.
Attendees were also entertained by the juggling and laser show of Bob Cates, and a special 10th anniversary presentation.
A poetry show titled, ‘Voices and Shadows’, featured performances about social justice and self expression by Amal Al Baz, Sofia Baig, Gaith Adhami, and Brother Dash.
The festival concluded on a high note with a comedy show that showcased talented comedians Waseem Moe’Money, Omar Regan, and Aman Ali.
It aims to connect with the broader community through the language of art, humor, and meaningful entertainment.
In its first year in 2004, about 4,000 people attended the one-day festival.
The festival was chosen by Festival and Events Ontario (FEO) as one of the top 100 festivals in the province in 2013.
Muslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.
Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade – from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011,
Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population.
A recent survey has showed the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian.
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