Russia and Canada are the world’s two largest landmasses and there are a large number of different cultures within both countries, according to the founding director of the Little Russia Association of Canada, Adel Naftaliev.
“Russia is a multicultural society as is Canada,” said Naftaliev. “There are Jews, there are Ukrainians, there are Russians themselves, there are Kazaks, Armenians, Georgians, so our idea is to put them all together as a group.”
The Little Russia Association of Canada started this past May to bring together and advocate for Russian-speaking cultural groups and integrate them into Canadian society
The association consists of 13 committees that focus on different issues such as sports, education, business, culture and community safety to name a few. Former NHLer and Toronto-native David Nemirovsky is chair of the Sports and Leisure Committee.
Currently, there are about 300,000 Russian speakers in the GTA and about 750,000 in all of Canada, according to Naftaliev.
The association invited about 400 people of all backgrounds to attend the Taste of Russia event, which was held on Sept. 8.
The dinner and display of culture featured musical performances accompanied by traditional Russian cuisine. Foreign diplomats and local politicians have been invited as well as representatives from local police units and veterans groups.
“This event is to show Russia’s culture in Canada and the diversity of the Russian-speaking community in the GTA,” Naftaliev said.
All funds from the event will be directed toward the Little Russia Association of Canada and its committees.
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