Leaders of the St. Lucia community in group pic

Saturday 24 February 2024

by Obasola Bamigbola, Editorial Associate

Unity and Cultural Splendor: Saint Lucia’s 45th Independence Gala Lights Up Ottawa

Ottawa, February 24, 2024 – The Preston Event Centre in Ottawa shimmered with cultural pride and celebration on Saturday night as the Saint Lucia Ottawa Association orchestrated a grand gala to commemorate Saint Lucia’s 45th Independence Anniversary. The event, graced by esteemed speakers, notable awards, and captivating performances, provided a fitting tribute to the resilience and unity of the Saint Lucian community in Canada.

The evening commenced with the enchanting voice of Alex Eloise resonating through the venue, creating an atmosphere of joy and celebration.

St. Lucia Association President Nathalie Peterkin-Campbell welcomes the guests

The event started officially with an inspiring opening speech by the President of the Saint Lucia Ottawa Association, Nathalie Peterkin-Campbell. Her words set the tone for the night, emphasizing the significance of unity, resilience, and creativity in shaping the destiny of the Saint Lucian nation.

Mr. Henry Mangal, the Consul General of Saint Lucia, followed with a stirring speech that delved into the historical context of the nation’s independence, with the theme, “Douvan Ansanm; Building a Nation through Unity, Resilience and Creativity”. His words encapsulated the spirit of unity and resilience that have defined Saint Lucia’s journey, leaving the audience with a deeper appreciation for their heritage.

The keynote address by the Guest of Honour, H. E. Julian Dubois, The Ambassador for Diaspora Affairs, was a highlight of the evening. Ambassador Dubois passionately encouraged all sons and daughters of Saint Lucia in Canada to unite and make progressive strides as one people, contributing to the creation of a nation that truly reflects their collective aspirations.

Tarrah Mauricette lights up the room with her moves

One of the gala’s poignant moments was the presentation of appreciation awards to Agnes Allen, Victoria Joseph, John Arneau, and Sandra Peterkin. These individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Saint Lucia Ottawa Association, symbolizing the strength that emerges from community engagement and shared commitment.

The cultural vibrancy of Saint Lucia was vividly showcased through a series of mesmerizing performances. Regis ‘Robbie’ Calixte’s soulful melodies and DJ ‘Hypnotix Sounds’ rhythmic beats.

The gala seamlessly blended tradition, recognition, and entertainment, offering attendees a chance to reflect on the rich history and cultural legacy of Saint Lucia. As the night unfolded, it became evident that the Saint Lucia Ottawa Association had not only organized a spectacular event but had also created a space for the community to come together, reinforcing the bonds of unity and resilience that have defined Saint Lucian’s identity for 45 years. This gala was more than a commemoration; it was a testament to the enduring spirit of a proud nation and its diaspora.

All photos copyright Black Ottawa Scene

Obasola Bamigbola

Obasola Bamigbola relocated from Nigeria to Canada in 2023 and now calls Ottawa home.