Russian tradition is not going to be featured at this yr’s Edmonton Heritage Pageant as a result of security issues, pageant organizers introduced Friday.
The Edmonton Heritage Pageant Affiliation (EHFA) mentioned they’ve obtained a number of threats and have been suggested by police that the pageant would wish further safety if the Russian pavilion was included.
“Final yr, regardless of the Russian pavilion organizers deciding to not take part within the pageant, there have been incidents associated to the conflict that pageant safety needed to handle,” EHFA mentioned. “Whereas these incidents didn’t pose a security menace, they did spotlight the potential for security dangers if the Russian pavilion had participated final yr.”
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The annual pageant options greater than 100 cultural teams that share lots of of cultural dishes and crafts and carry out exhibits on 40 levels. A whole bunch of hundreds of individuals from throughout the province attend the pageant every August lengthy weekend.
In Could, organizers mentioned they have been contemplating whether or not the Russian pavilion could be allowed on the pageant this yr following calls from some within the Ukrainian group to exclude the nation within the festivities.
“Permitting the Russian group to partake within the pageant with out acknowledging the atrocities dedicated by their authorities is a disservice to the victims of the continuing battle in Ukraine and sends a disturbing message that the pageant helps or condones such actions,” the Ukrainian Canadian Congress mentioned in a media launch.
EHFA mentioned it held conferences with the Ukrainian and Russian communities however couldn’t provide you with an answer collectively.
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The affiliation added it had obtained plenty of requests from Ukrainian organizations and people to exclude the Russian pavilion.
EHFA mentioned different cultural festivals throughout the nation have confronted related conflicts as a result of “actual anger” on the Russian authorities over the conflict.
“Whereas these sentiments aren’t focused at Russian Canadians, they might set off an incident if the Russian tradition have been to be celebrated throughout this time of conflict,” organizers mentioned.
The choice to exclude the Russian pavilion will likely be revisited forward of subsequent yr’s pageant, the board of administrators mentioned.
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