Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, joined by members of Ottawa’s Somali Community, will proclaim July 29 Somali Culture Festival Day in Ottawa, in conjunction with the first Annual Somali Cultural Festival. The festival, which is organized by the Somali Centre for Family Services and supported by the City of Ottawa, will take place on Saturday, July 29, from 12 to 6 p.m. in Jean Pigott Place at City Hall. Mayor Watson will proclaim Somali Culture Festival Day in Ottawa at 1 p.m.

The annual Somali Cultural Festival celebrates Somali culture and will be a place of gathering for members of the Somali community as well as Ottawa’s community at large.

With significant community interest and in partnership with the Somali Centre for Family Services, the City of Ottawa offered its support for the festival that will showcase the richness of Somali culture to residents of Ottawa.

“Ottawa is a diverse, inclusive and vibrant city with a large Somali Community,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The Somali Cultural Festival is a great way to recognize and highlight the community’s important contributions in our city, and to celebrate Somali culture and heritage.”

This fun, family-friendly event is free to attend and will feature traditional Somali cuisine, dance, music, and entertainment throughout the day. Members of Carleton University’s Somali Student Association (SSA) will be performing a cultural dance as well as a fashion show. The event will also be hosting a Somali Toronto based podcast group called “Sheeko Sheeko” who was this year’s Toronto Webfest best podcast winners. Sheeko Sheeko will be holding a live panel discussion to close off the event. Littles ones will be able to enjoy face painting, a kid’s zone and other family-centric activities. A paid BBQ will be available in Lisgar field, rain or shine.

“As a part of Canada’s 150th celebration, the Somali Centre for Family Services is proud to bring forth a new annual tradition to the nation’s capital”, said Bille Abdalla, Somali Centre for Family Services’ Youth Department Manager. “We are happy to see our cultures celebrated and showcased for the first time at City hall. With the support of the city and our community, we hope that this celebration will be a long lasting ritual in Ottawa.