Celebrating Our Diversity

One World Festival 2024That’s a Wrap!

The 2024 14th annual Grey Bruce One World Festival was a success, and had record attendance of 900 students, teachers, and community members! Thanks to everyone who made this day possible!


Grey Bruce One World Festival Celebrates Diversity and Belonging with Record Attendance

The 14th annual Grey Bruce One World Festival: Colouring Our Future, held on Wed. June 19, was a remarkable success, celebrating diversity and belonging with record-breaking attendance and vibrant community participation. The festival, now in its 14th year, welcomed over 900 attendees, making it the largest gathering in the event’s history!

The free festival featured a variety of activities, including cultural performances, discussions, language education, live music, and more. All activities were aimed at fostering a sense of belonging and promoting understanding among diverse communities by emphasizing educational and experiential components.

Key Highlights:

  • Opening Ceremony: Colleen Purdon kicked off the day recognizing Juneteenth, Pride Month, and National Indigenous History Month. We also had the opportunity to hear from MPP Rick Byers (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound constituency), remarks in absentia from MP Alex Ruff, and Suneet Kukreja, Owen Sound City Councillor, who all spoke to the importance and beauty of diversity and belonging. And of course who could forget the wonderful grade one and two students from St. Dominique Savio who sang the national anthem in French for the hundreds of students and community members that attended.
  • Performances and Presenters: Attendees enjoyed presentations from diverse groups such as The Blue Locker Project, M’Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre, the Giche-Name Wiikwedong Reconciliation Garden, GB Newcomer & Immigrant Women’s Collective, Special Olympics Owen Sound, and the South East Grey Community Health Centre 2S-LGBTQQIAP+ Connection, to name a few! Performances were just as inspiring, and the crowd witnessed innovative and creative music and dance from St. Dominique Savio and the Kepple Sarawak School, fantastic tunes from the Reach choir, and numerous other acts throughout the day. More than 25 presenters and performers showcased the rich tapestry of our community and engaged with students and community members alike!
  • Film Festival: This year the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library hosted the One World Film Festival where eight short films showcased themes such as the immigrant experience, self-acceptance, and resolving conflicts.  Facilitators, May Ip and Joceyn Lernout (who also had a film of her own in the festival), led students in discussions around each film and allowed youth space to consider differing world views.
  • Community Art Project: Led by Heather Travis and hosted by the TOM, hundreds of students and community members had the chance to be a part of the bigger picture! Full of colours and handprints, the final 8 foot circular community art piece will be showcased in the TOM during the summer! Make sure to check it out!

Gratitude to Sponsors and Partners: The Grey Bruce One World Festival extends its heartfelt thanks to its sponsors and partners, including The City of Owen Sound, Canadian Heritage, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), Welcoming Communities Grey Bruce, Grey
Bruce Settlement & Language Services, Tom Thomson Art Gallery (TOM), Bruce Power, Community Living Owen Sound and District, Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library, Owen Sound Police Service, Grey Bruce Local Immigration Partnership, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Upper Canada Stretchers, and Community Foundation Grey Bruce. Their commitment to diversity and inclusion helped create a welcoming and enriching experience for all attendees.

And we can’t forget the volunteers! The success of this festival was due in large part to the dedication of committee volunteers who worked tirelessly leading up to the event, as well as student volunteers from East Ridge on the day of!

Looking Forward: The organizers are already looking ahead to next year’s event! The Grey Bruce One World Festival is committed to continuing this important work and building on the success of this year’s festival. We look forward to creating more opportunities for connection and understanding in the future. If you’re interested in being a part of the One World team, head over to the Contact Us page!

2023 was a success!

(RE):Connect – The Grey Bruce One World Festival Celebrates a Spectacular 13th Year, Delighting over 800 Attendees

The curtains have drawn on an incredible edition of the One World Festival, leaving behind a trail of smiles and unforgettable memories. On June 7th, 2023, Owen Sound played host to a vibrant celebration of diversity, culture, inclusion, and community. The One World Festival organizing committee is thrilled to announce the overwhelming success of this year’s event, with over 800 attendees!

This year’s program featured live performances throughout the day from local schools and community groups, presenters who facilitated interactive activities for all ages, a screening of short films from around the world, and lots of help from grade 7 and 8 volunteers from Alexandra Community School! Local dignitaries graciously welcomed attendees to the festival and started us off on a high note! Dignitaries included Senator Ralph Walking Wolf Thistle; Deputy Mayor of Owen Sound, Scott Greig; and Bruce County Warden, Chris Peabody.

The One World Festival not only showcased the richness of our region but also championed inclusive interactions and conversations, underscoring the festival’s commitment to fostering a sense of collective responsibility towards building the communities we want to live in- communities where all members are valued, are supported to meet their basic needs, and a place where everyone can live with dignity, engage actively, and contribute to society.

As the curtains fall on yet another unforgettable year, the One World Festival remains committed to creating a platform in Grey Bruce that celebrates everyone, fosters community diversity and inclusion, and showcases the beauty of our shared humanity.

See photos of the day here!
And our presenters here!