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Happy Diwali – The Festival of Lights Illuminates Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum

Waterloo Region, ON – Diwali, also known as the ‘festival of lights’ is celebrated through the month of November and beyond. Widely observed among more than a billion people from a variety of faiths across India and its diaspora. Diwali originated on the Indian subcontinent and transcends religious and cultural lines in symbolizing the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.

For some, Diwali is also the beginning of a new year. This is a time for the community to come together in prayer, charitable giving, fellowship and feasting, family gatherings and lighting candles or clay oil lamps called “diyas”.

“This is another great example of what happens when our community comes together. As the days become shorter, we all benefit from the light that Diwali celebrations bring to our lives,” said Karen Redman, Chair of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. “This event reinforces our collective commitment to building a welcoming community and celebrating important traditions.”

The two-day Diwali celebration will kick off on Saturday with free admission to the Diwali Marketplace, followed by a ticketed musical performance on Sunday evening with comedian Ashwyn Singh. Curated by mental health advocate and wellness expert Iman Grewal, Diwali: The Festival of Lights will illuminate the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum this weekend.

“I am grateful to the Region of Waterloo Museums and Archives team for their commitment to diverse programming. As a person of colour, and curator, it is my mission to create spaces for diverse communities that represent diverse voices,” said Iman Grewal, event curator for Diwali: The Festival of Lights. “I have poured my heart and soul into this showcase for my community and beyond. To be able to celebrate the festival of lights, Diwali, in my home city, in this beautiful space is an honour.”

This Saturday, November 25, for the first time ever, the Ken Selling Waterloo Region Museum will be transformed into a bespoke Diwali Marketplace. Explore a carefully curated collection of marketplace vendors including jewelry, fashion, home decor, food, signature teas, wellness products and more including a kid’s corner, photo booth, melodic Bollywood hits and performances!

Plus a saree draping demonstration and workshop with influencer Natasha Thasan at 12 noon.

On Sunday November 26, 2023, Ashwyn Singh will light up the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum with a musical and comedy showcase. Ashwyn’s Desi Translations series has racked up 6M+ views on Instagram and TikTok. He has been making waves in the Canadian comedy scene, earning a spotlight at the prestigious Winnipeg Comedy Festival gala and CBC’s hit show “The Debaters.” Fresh off his SOLD OUT tour, Ashwyn Singh returns to Waterloo Region for one night only for an exclusive VIP performance where he takes the audience through his personal playlist.

We invite the community to join the museum team for a formal celebration to officially open Diwali: The Festival of Lights

What: Diwali Marketplace Official Opening (FREE admission includes museum collections)

When: Saturday, November 25 at 10 a.m. Opening Remarks

Who: Emily Jolliffe, Head of Content & Experience, Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum (emcee)
Bardish Chagger, Member of Parliament Waterloo
Karen Redman, Regional Chair, Region of Waterloo
Iman Grewal, Diwali: Festival of Lights Event Curator

Where: Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road, Kitchener ON (Parking free onsite)

Source: Region of Waterloo