Colourful Business 2022 celebrates racialized, Indigenous and new immigrant SMEs

The Colourful Business Expo celebrates racialized, Indigenous and new immigrant SMEs Nov 26 at the Victoria Conference Centre.
Photo supplied.

The Kulea Culture Society, Songhees Development Corp., BC Black History Awareness Society, REP Here In Canada (Here Magazine) and the City of Victoria have come together to produce the first annual Colourful Business 2022 expo, also a first of its kind in B.C.’s capital city. The expo takes place at the Victoria Conference Centre on Saturday, November 26.

“Colourful Business puts the richness of diverse business in Victoria on view,” says a media release. “Small and medium-sized businesses in racialized, Indigenous and new immigrant communities represent a key route to social and economic incorporation. The pandemic has hurt the fragile sustainability of many of these businesses. They need access to resources and good public visibility to flourish.”

Silvia Mangue, President of Kulea Culture Society, one of the principal sponsors of Colourful Business, says, “Black, Indigenous and multiculturally-run businesses add wonderful energy and glamour to Greater Victoria. This totally free event will let the public experience their magnetism and enjoy equally colourful live entertainment. It’s a festival, celebration and exposition not to be missed.”

In the morning, the participating businesses are taking part in a series of skill-building workshops to increase their capacity to run successful businesses. The workshops are being led by procurement, finance and marketing experts from the government and business community.

Doors open to the public at 1:00 pm November 26. Scheduled performers include hip hop band Paint the Town Red, Mariachi Tabasko, West African dancer Sinbad, the Brazilian music of Pedro M. Siqueira, the Anishinaabe Mitchell Sisters, and the Afro-Cuban rhythms of the Pablo Cárdenas Trio.

“Our city will undoubtedly benefit by working with Indigenous, racialized and new immigrant entrepreneurs. We can provide support for multi-culturally-run businesses by providing a forum where the people of Victoria can learn about and experience what they offer and by celebrating the diversity they bring to our region,” says Lisa Helps, former Mayor of City of Victoria.

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