Latin America takes over Granville Street for Carnaval del Sol 2012
BLYTHE KUNDERMAN - Despite the periodic rain and grey skies, Carnaval del Sol (Carnival of the Sun) shone through the challenges that Vancouver weather presented. Attendees were treated to five city blocks of entertainment, food and vendor booths, on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver, creating an area of assembly for everyone, also called “La Plaza”.
This is the 4th annual Carnaval del Sol held in Vancouver and organized by LatinCouver, an organization that aims to bring together Latin Americans in the city and create outlets to showcase and demonstrate the richness of their cultures to other Vancouverites.
The Carnaval was a multicultural event as confirmed by Edgar Morales, Public Relations Promoter for LatinCouver. He explained that “Latin” stands for Latinos and “Couver” is everybody else. This was evident when attending the event as there was food all the way from Brazil and Mexico to Jamaica, Fiji and the Philippines.
Also attending the event as a vendor was Norah Sandager of Scent-Sations, Inc. Sandager was happy to have the chance to participate in the Carnaval as not only was it a great way to meet people and sell her scent products, but it’s “not like a normal tradeshow, you get to enjoy good music and dancing,” she explained. The Latin organizations were not the only ones dancing, other Vancouverites were also taking part and working their fancy feet on the pavement of Granville Street, trying to follow the guidance of the Bambuco girls who were in beautiful traditional dress. The girls were also preparing to participate in the Festival de San Pedro y Reinado del Bambuco, a traditional form of beauty pageant in Colombia.
Sticking to the plaza style, the Carnaval was split up into different areas. The street soccer “Mini World Cup Tournament”, for example, was held at the Futbolito Plaza between Hastings Street and Pender Street; and the information booth of the Bolivian Canadian Clean Water Network (BCCWN) was held in the Green Plaza between Pender Street and Dunsmuir Street.
Marcela Lizeca, of the BCCWN, was happy with the exposure the Carnaval provided including receiving donations and volunteer signup for their organization, a good example of how the Carnaval helped to demonstrate to the attendees the link between Canada and the Latin communities.
“It really helps the Latin community and it’s perfect to be here,” she said.
It may have been liquid sunshine but it was sunshine nonetheless and Morales confirmed that after months of preparation and challenges, the organization is feeling great about the success of Carnaval del Sol 2012.