Why You Should Attend MAC's Combined Eid al Fitr and Muslim Summer FestivalWritten by Muslim Link
The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) is holding its annual Eid al Fitr prayer and hallmark Muslim Summer Festival together on July 17th from 8am to 8pm at the Ernst & Young Centre.
Muslim Link spoke to the festival organizers about what participants have to look forward to this year.
What are some of the highlights participants can expect to enjoy at this year's festival?
This year we have an exciting line-up of games and entertainment for all ages. Our Bazaar is filled with products and services that are unique to our demographic and it features a proud array of vendors.
We have selectively chosen high quality and unique food vendors that will provide our attendees with a wide array of dishes to please any palette.
For our wide-range of age groups we have brought in various fun-filled rides and games that are current and in demand. To avoid the line ups at the ticket booth, you can also securely purchase bracelets online through our website. [we will add the link here]
This year’s entertainment will include Ottawa’s own Muslim hip hop artists Deen Squad (Joshua Asare and Karter Zaher) who were recently profiled on BBC News, the Montreal based comedy team Chronicles of Faith, and Ottawa Valley’s most famous illusionist– Majinx. We will also have the opportunity to enjoy the mix of pop and R&B melodies of singer/songwriter Moez Shehab from Toronto. Attendees of all ages can enjoy trivia sessions with over 100 gifts, while the Country Exhibition will showcase the diverse cultures which make up Ottawa’s Muslim Community.
The Muslim summer festival is usually held outside in Britannia Park. Tell us about your decision to combine the Eid and Summer Festival together and hold both at the Ernst & Young Centre?
We recognize our community is evolving, and with this evolution we respond with change. Alhamdulillah (Thanks to God), over the past 5 years attendance for the Eid and Muslim Summer Festival has grown dramatically. Many will recall the logistical difficulties in attending the festival (traffic, parking, line-ups, etc.) in the past. In 2013 we had approximately 10,000 attendees, which grew last year to 15,000 attendees just for the Summer Festival, and this year we expect to see more!
The Ernst & Young Centre has been an active supporter of our community’s events and the centre hosts substantially more parking and ground space. While we appreciate the allure of attending an outdoor festival, the reality is that we have outgrown Britannia Park, which speaks volumes to our community size, talents, businesses, and engagement! Mash’Allah!
The primary reasons we decided to combine the two festivals is because of Ramadan’s timing and our finite human and financial capacity. You may recall, last year the Eid Festival and Summer Festival were a week apart. As Ramadan visits us through the summer we recognize that having two major events in close proximity is a challenge to execute. As you can appreciate, we are a not-for-profit volunteer-based organization, and thus our events’ teams are run by dedicated individuals who have full-time personal commitments (spiritually, career, family), while managing their commitment to our community by executing these events. Financially we work with sponsors, vendors, and donations to ensure we break even. Asking for financial participation for two similar events in close timelines has also been demanding.
Why are these events important to attend as a participant and as a spectator?
Alhamdulillah, we have a vibrant, talented, and diverse community. Our festival is one of the biggest in Ottawa, so it is a great opportunity for Muslims and Non-Muslims alike to see what our community has to offer. Our festivals have become a central hub for attendees with a variety of spiritual and community engagement. By attending our festivals you get to see our unity, our talents and achievements, and you support our continued successes, Insh’Allah (God Willing).
Any other comments you would like to share with our readers?
First and always we give our thanks to Allah SWT for our continued success with safe, fun, and incident-free festivals for the past 8 years!
We would also like to thank our dedicated volunteers who are our agents of success. They dedicate countless hours and tireless effort to ensure we are delivering safe, entertaining, and code-compliant festivals.
We would like to thank our new and committed sponsors who have shown tangible interest in engaging with our community, and those who have been dedicated over the years in working with us to build a productive and inclusive society.
It is vital to point out that we are always looking for talented and committed volunteers who can be mentored and become a mentee, to help us evolve and continuously improve the quality and delivery of our festivals. Our youth and young at heart are the lifeline to continued success with events, outreach, and social services. If you have talents you’d like to grow, and would like to learn from existing volunteers from diverse fields, feel free reach out to us at MACNET.CA and click on “Get Involved”.
The MAC Eid al Fitr and Muslim Summer Festival is being sponsored by the City of Ottawa, Mobile-IT, the Liberal Party of Canada, Karen McCrimmon Kanata-Carleton, Catherine McKenna-Ottawa-Centre, Andrew Leslie-Ottawa-Orleans, Chandra Arya-Nepean, Greg Fergus-Hull-Aylmer, Will Amos-Pontiac, Anita Vandenbeld-Ottawa West-Nepean, Human Concern International (HCI), Bob Chiarelli, MPP, Ottawa West-Nepean, John Fraser, MPP Ottawa-South, Marie-France Lalonde, MPP, Ottawa-Orleans , Madeleine Meilleur, MPP Ottawa-Vanier, Yasir Naqvi, MPP Ottawa-Centre, Muslim Link, the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, Autorebex International, Autorebex Sales & Service Centre, David Mcguinty, MP Ottawa-South, and Nawal Kumar.
There is the event's programme.
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