GlobalFest celebrates Calgary’s diversity

January 30, 2024
Leadership Life in Calgary
2 GlobalFest Ken Goosen 1000 x 750

Ken Goosen is the chief operating officer of GlobalFest, which offers programming all year long.

Photo credit: Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

When many Calgarians think of GlobalFest, they think of five nights of fireworks, music and celebrations.

Yet, the organization that promotes multiculturalism offers so much more. The August festival at Elliston Park, which draws spectators from across Alberta, helps fund other programs.

“The festival allows GlobalFest to do all our other important community programming for the other 360 days of the year,” says Ken Goosen, chief operating officer of GlobalFest.

Since its founding in 2003, GlobalFest’s community initiatives have grown to include ethnocultural summer showcases and outreach programs at local schools.

“All these important events are made possible by our sponsors — businesses that believe in the importance of celebrating Calgary’s ethnocultural diversity,” Goosen adds.

The Calgary Stampede is among GlobalFest’s key partners. Every year, the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth invites GlobalFest to the Stampede grounds to host a showcase of music, dance and food from the city’s many multicultural communities, Goosen explains. 

These events are not only beneficial for Calgary’s cultural communities. Corporate sponsors see indirect benefits as well, Goosen says.

“Through supporting GlobalFest, these organizations show stakeholders their commitment to diversity and that they too are welcoming spaces for people of diverse backgrounds.”

Their support also allows GlobalFest to offer a wider array of community programs such as its school outreach programs which, in past years, featured speakers such as Virgin Radio DJ Andrew Uyeno “encouraging kids of diverse backgrounds to find their voice and place in the community,” Goosen says.

GlobalFest will continue to expand its impact in the community. That includes restarting its Human Rights Forum. Paused during the pandemic, the popular forum previously featured high-profile speakers such as retired Canadian Forces general and human rights advocate Romeo Dallaire.

These programs and the festival would not be possible without its sponsors, Goosen adds.

“We’re always seeking to connect with new sponsors to keep building, programming and celebrating Calgary’s growing diversity, ensuring it remains a welcoming space for all,” says Goosen.

To find out more about GlobalFest programs and sponsorship opportunities, visit

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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