Arts & CultureNews

Canadian Government Declares August 5 As Igbo Day

The Government of Saskatchewan Province in Canada has issued a proclamation designating August 5, 2023, as Igbo Day of Arts and Culture.

The proclamation followed a request made by the Igbo Cultural Association of Saskatchewan (ICAS) Inc.

“We invite all Igbo people, our friends and well-wishers, to join us as we celebrate our cultural heritage in Canada at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 5, 2023, at Regina Performing Arts Centre, 1077 Angus Street, Regina,” said Dr. Chidi Igwe, President of the Igbo Cultural Association of Saskatchewan, in a statement sent to SaharaReporters on Thursday.

The proclamation was issued by the Saskatchewan Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport, who writes in the Certificate of Recognition that “I, Laura Ross, Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport in the Province of Saskatchewan in exercise of the powers conferred upon me, do hereby designate the day of August 5, 2023 to be ‘lgbo Day of Arts and Culture’ in Saskatchewan.”

In issuing the proclamation, Minister Ross also enjoined the citizens of the Province of Saskatchewan to recognise Igbo Day as proclaimed by their government.

In the same manner, on behalf of the municipal government of Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan, Mayor Sandra Masters and the City of Regina, designated August 5, 2023, as Igbo Day of Arts and Culture.

The Regina authorities also encouraged the residents of Queen City (as Regina is known locally) to dedicate the day to the celebration of culture with the Igbo community of Saskatchewan.

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In a goodwill message addressed to all Igbo people in Regina, Mayor Masters writes that “the diversity of our community is something that Regina takes great pride in. We believe that this blend of different cultures is what makes not only our city, but our country, unique on the world stage.”

Mayor Masters encourages the residents of Regina “to recognise August 5th, 2023, as Igbo Day of Arts and Culture here in Regina.”

She highlights that “this year’s theme of Oganihu Asusu na Omenala Igbo (Preservation of the Igbo Language and Culture) is a universal concept that numerous cultures can relate to. Language preservation is imperative for many of those that call Regina home, and we commend the work that Nigerian Canadian people of Igbo descent are engaging in to bring awareness to their language and culture.”

In 2019, both the Government of Saskatchewan and the City of Regina issued a proclamation recognising August 3 of the same year as Igbo Day.

According to the Igbo community in the province, it was the first official designation of a day as Igbo Day of Arts and Culture by a provincial and municipal government in the whole of Canada.


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