Saskatoon's Folk Fest celebrates 35th anniversary with 4 new pavilions

New pavilions include Mesopotamian, Russian Matryoshka, Ghana and Sierra Leone pavilions.

New pavilions include Mesopotamian, Russian Matryoshka, Ghana and Sierra Leone pavilions

Pastor Sabah is with the new Mesopotamian pavilion at Folk Fest. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC)

Folk Fest is celebrating its 35th anniversary of bringing the world to Saskatoon. 

Anna Rumyantseva Orr has been cooking for days. She's getting ready for the launch of the new Russian pavilion at Folk Fest. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC)
​Festivalgoers can visit mainstays, like the German, Greek, India and Philippines pavilions, which have been part of the event since the beginning. Or they can take in newcomers to the festival — the Mesopotamian, Russian Matryoshka, Ghana and Sierra Leone pavilions. 

Pastor Sabah Kamora, with the Mesopotamian pavilion, said he hopes it will be an opportunity for everyone to learn more about Iraqi Christians, in Saskatoon.

"To show the people, we are Chaldean, we are from Iraq and we are a Christian people," he said. 

Rita Istifo is involved in the launch of the new Mesopotamia at Folk Fest. (Madeline Kotzer/CBC)
Organizers at the Russian Matryoshka pavilion have brought in a New Jersey-based dance group, Anna Rumyantseva Orr said.

"They brought a special costume, like a bear costume," she said. "You know, like everyone, when they think about Russia, it's a bear and vodka of course. It will be special entertainment and the bear will go around and entertain people and talk."

In Saskatoon, there are just ten families from Sierra Leone. But they are making their presence known through the launch of their new pavilion this year.

"We have to be proud of our country, because the Canadian government opened the door for us to come here," said Nancy Williams, one of the pavilion's ambassadors. "And we really appreciate from the Canadian government to bring us here as immigrants, so let them know that we are here as Sierra Leoneons."

The 19-pavilion festival begins today and wraps up Saturday.


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