Free Japanese Calligraphy workshops at the festival

Interested in learning about calligraphy? Why not join a short introduction to calligraphy workshop at the Multicultural Festival on June 7…

  • learn about Japanese characters
  • learn how to hold a brush and make brush strokes
  • make your own calligraphy artwork

Workshops are personalized and places are limited:

  • 4 people in each workshop
  • all materials provided
  • three workshops at 4.30 p,. 5.15 pm, and 6 pm

Choose your time, and sign up now to reserve your place – contact Izumi on

tel: 604.698.5960 or email:

Volunteer Opportunities at the Whistler Multicultural Festival

Friday June 7, 2019 at Whistler Public Library 4 – 8 pm

Can you help out for a couple of hours? Our volunteers help with food, with crafts and activities, and just general organization…

  • Festival Ambassadors One hour between 4 and 8pm to interact with the public near the Festival location to invite them in. Handout promotional pieces. If you have national dress to wear, that’s even better.
  • Set up/take down 10 – 4 pm and/or 8 – 9:30 pm. Set up/take down tents, tables, recycling area, displays, activities. Decorate the location.
  • Customer relations 3:30 – 6 pm and/or 6 – 8 pm to greet visitors, give event information, manage a world map activity.
  • General helpers 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm and/or 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm to help with any task that needs an extra hand.  Also, to help keep the site clean and tidy, and garbage in the right place.
  • Activities helpers 3:30 – 6 pm and/or 5:30 – 8 pm to help run multicultural crafts and activities. No skills or knowledge needed.
  • Food team Help prep food on June 6 between 2 – 7pm and/or cook and serve food for 2 – 3 hours between 3:30 – 8pm at the Festival

Most shifts are around 3 hours, but can be adjusted to your availability.  Volunteers will receive snacks and a gelato voucher, as well as join the fun. 

Certificates of participation are provided on request.

Contact Us if you’d like to help or want more information:  tel: 604.698.5960

Are you preparing for the citizenship test?

Would you like to learn about the test, what to expect and how to answer the questions? Want some help with vocabulary and learning about the Canadian government and institutions? Need to know where to find extra study resources and practice tests?

The test is the last step before the citizenship ceremony. Taken in English or French, the test will confirm that you have sufficient knowledge of Canada (geography, history, society, values, etc.) and that you understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

The test is based on the Discover Canada study guide; questions are drawn from the entire study guide. The federal government says you can be tested on any section of any chapter, so basically you have to memorize the entire study guide. The written test consists of 20 questions that you have to answer within 30 minutes. You have to answer at least 15 questions correctly (so you are allowed 5 incorrect answers). The test is multiple-choice, which means you will be presented with 4 possible answers for each question (unless it is a True/False question with only two possible answers) and you will need to pick the best answer.

Here’s a sample question from the test:

What is celebrated in Canada on the 15 February?

  • Vimy Day  
  • Labour Day
  • National Flag of Canada Day
  • Family Day

Want to know how you did? Check the answer below….. For all those preparing to take the citizenship test, the Whistler Welcome Centre is offering free study sessions on March 13 and 28.

Canadian Citizenship Test Preparation

Session 1: 7 to 8.30pm on March 13 will cover:

  • Overview of the test, test questions and how to answer them
  • Vocabulary and phrases used for the test
  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Links for resources to help you study at home

Session 2: 6 to 8pm on March 28 will cover:

  • Canadian government and Justice system
  • Practice test questions
  • More test question practice
  • Open question and answer session

Both sessions will be at the Whistler Public Library.

To register for one or both, or for more details, contact or call 604.698.5960.

We do ask all participants to register at the Welcome Centre:

  • Drop-in registration: Mondays 3 to 6pm, and Fridays 9.30am to 12 at the Whistler Public Library. Please bring your permanent resident card or landing document with you.
  • Registration by appointment, online or at the Citizenship Test Preparation program: contact or call 604.698.5960

Answer: National Flag of Canada Day….

Canapes around the world

Back in November 2018, Whistler Multicultural Network was given an opportunity to showcase multicultural food at the annual Community Foundation of Whistler (CFOW) reception. Our chef Petr from the Czech Republic chose 6 types of canapes from 3 different countries: Japan, Spain and the Czech Republic.

The prep team and serving teams, made of our Whistler Multicultural Network members, worked very hard to make this catering opportunity a huge success. Everyone loved the colorful, tasty and diverse food! One event participant and community member was so impressed that he decided to donate to CFOW just because of the food we offered. Isn’t it amazing?!

Below you will find a recipes from the Spain.

Recipe for the Crostini with sun dried tomatoes jam (Spain)


0,45 kg sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped, oil reserved, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 onion (thinly sliced), 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 cup of red wine vinegar, 2 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme leaves, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper


Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 1/3 of tablespoon of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil, olive oil, onion, and garlic. Stir and cook until the onions are soft and beginning to brown at the edges, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the sugar, vinegar, water, chicken broth, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue simmering until most of the liquid is reduced and the mixture is the consistency of jam, about 5 to 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside

Want to know what we’re planning for the 2019 Festival?

Want to join the food team? Know someone who’d like to perform? Have an idea for an activity? or would you like to help us plan the festival? Last Monday a group came together to start the process and here’s what they talked about…

Bringing cultures together

This year we want to create more opportunities for people to make connections and really get to know each other’s cultures. So all our performances will be linked to specific cultures/traditions and greater information about the cultural background to the performance will be shared with the audience. We are hoping to run at least one series of workshops before the festival for people from the community to learn either a song or a dance they can share more widely on the day. And we’ll be talking to lots of people at the festival in preparation for a Vital Cafe on June 18 where we will invite community members to explore how to help newcomers and immigrants participate in our community: Whistler.


The meeting discussed whether we should invite in food vendors this year, or leave it with only the WMN providing food as we did last year. We agreed that one or two vendors could be invited if they are looking to grow or start their business and need awareness.

The good news is that the prep kitchen we used last year is available and booked. We will do the food on the Plaza again and set up a place for people to sit and eat like last year. Next steps are to get people together to look at ideas for food items, so we can start planning and costing that early. Barbora will be looking for people with ideas on what we might do this year. If you’d like to get involved in the food, please contact her.


The focus this year will be on cultural and traditional performances. Each performance will be allocated 15 minutes and the schedule will be tightly managed to make sure no one is kept waiting. Rob Olive, our event manager, will be contacting previous performers to invite them to sign up again, but we’d love to see some new people, cultures and performances.

Anyone interested in participating should contact the Welcome Centre team and they will provide information and pass potential performers on to Rob. We’ll be asking performers to provide some information about the cultural background of their performance that can be used to introduce them. This year especially we’d like to make sure that the audience has as many opportunities to participate as possible so they really experience the different cultures we showcase.


Unfortunately, we ran out of time and we’ll be discussing these at our next meeting – so bring along your ideas then!

Volunteer thank you

This year we’re planning to say thank you to our volunteers in a big way… with a barbecue on Sunday 16 June from 1 to 4pm. Watch this space for location, and to see what volunteer opportunities there are.

Join us at our next meeting….

…from 5.30pm to 7pm on Monday February 25 – at the Welcome Centre at the library. Can’t make it but want to keep in touch? Drop us an email and we’ll add you to our circulation list for updates.

Food Safe – level 1

Whistler Welcome Centre is organizing a special Food Safe course – level 1 for immigrants (ESL speakers) about safe food handling and sanitation.

The course is delivered by Caroline Bagnall, certified Food safe instructor, at a discounted rate.

Who is it for:

  • People working in a food services industry
  • People who like to get basic knowledge on safe food
    handling when shopping, cooking/baking

When: Saturday March 23, 2019: 9:30am -5:30pm

Where: Welcome Centre @ Whistler Public Library

Cost: $80pp. 8 participants minimum

Registration and payment information:

  • Email Barbora at
  • Your registration in the course will be confirmed once the payment (either cash or cheque) is received

Includes: Free study group on Friday March 22, 2019: 10am-12pm, Foodsafe book, certification card valid for 5 years

The course is part of the Multicultural Community Kitchen Program and partially funded by RMOW.

Can you help us plan the 2019 Multicultural Festival?

Save the date! Friday June 7 will be our seventh annual Multicultural Festival. As usual it will be from 4 to 8pm at the Whistler Public Library, Plaza and Museum – and we’re starting to plan it now. If you’re interested in getting involved why not come to our first planning meeting of the year.

  • What? 2019 Multicultural Festival planning meeting
  • Where? Welcome Centre at the Whistler Public Library
  • When? Monday January 28 from 5.30 to 7pm
  • Who? Everyone interested in getting involved – performers, activity facilitators, food team helpers, managers…

We’re looking for people to help with recruiting performers, organizing crafts and cultural activities and to be part of the food team. Perhaps you want to perform yourself? Or run a cultural activity? We’d love to hear your suggestions for food to offer at the festival. Or do you have an idea for an activity? We also have volunteer positions to help with admin, marketing and promotion.

Bring your family and friends… Everyone welcome…

For more information contact us at or call 604.698.5960

Slovak and Czech Christmas recipes

Christmas is just around the corner and if you are still thinking what to cook or bake, we would like to share two traditional Christmas recipes with you. In Slovakia, Kapustnica (Sauerkraut soup) is served as a first course on Christmas Eve. In both countries, Slovak and Czech Republic, Xmas are without Linzer (Linecke) cookies. 

Our chefs both Barbora and Barbora 🙂 taught us how to prepare their traditional meals/cookies at our cooking class, which is a part of the Multicultural Community Kitchen Program.

Kapustnica‘s main ingredients are sauerkraut, pork, sausages and mushrooms. The soup is prepared slightly differently in each country’s region. Some people add plums, apples or ham. On Christmas Eve, soup is then followed by schnitzel or fish with potato salad and then by cookies. 

Ingredients: (serves 4-6ppl)

• 500 g (3.5 cups) sauerkraut

• 500 g (2.25 cups) diced pork

• handful of dried mushrooms

• 1 sausage (Hungarian sausage is a good choice)

• 2 onions

• 2 cloves garlic

• 1 cup sour Cream

• 2 bay leaves

• pinch of nutmeg, caraway, black pepper, paprika, salt


1. Rinse sauerkraut under cold water, drain and put
into a large pot with 2.5litres water

2. Turn 2 cloves of garlic into a paste and add to sauerkraut

3. Add black pepper, caraway seeds, nutmeg, dried mushrooms
(previously soaked in water), bay leaves and sliced onions

4. Cut pork into smaller pieces and add them to the

5. Add paprika and salt, cover the pot and simmer
for approximately 60 minutes. Slice sausage and add to the soup 15 minutes before
finishing. The longer you cook the soup, the better it tastes. I usually let it
cook for 90 minutes to achieve a great taste.

6. Typically, the soup is served with sour cream,but it is up to you, how you like it. It makes the soup more creamy and thicker.

Czech Barbora said about the Linzer cookies: ” These cookies are super popular around the Christmas tree with the family, and everyone has different opinion about how to make them right – different jam, different shapes, everyone thinks their cookies are the best…We make Linzer cookies every Christmas and my mum even makes special jam in summer to be ready for Christmas time.” ( quoted from Whistler’s Multicultural Cookbook 2017).

Ingredients for Linzer cookies :(makes about 4 dozen small cookies)

2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour

1cup (125 g) icing sugar

1lemon for zest

3 egg yolks

1 stick and 6 tbsp (200 g) butter –cubed & at room temperature

Jam/jelly of your choice


1.Sift the flour and sugar onto a clean surface (use the biggest one you have). Make a well in the middle, add in the egg yolks, lemon zest and butter cubes. Knead the dough until soft, smooth and elastic. It takes around 10-15 minutes.

2.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours (I leave in the fridge overnight).

3. Cut dough into 4 pieces. Roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inchthickness. Cut dough with desired cookie cutter shape. Make a large hole in thecenter of half of your cookie shapes. Place 1inchapart on a cookie sheet (I use baking paper instead of greasing the cookiesheets).

4. Bake at 355 °F for 7 to 10 minutes until edges are light golden brown.

5.When cool, spread each solid cookie with strawberry jam, put the cookie  with the hole in the middle on top, and sprinkle with sugar. 

How can you build your Canadian resume……

…….. and make a difference?

At last month’s WMN Advisory Board, we started talking about how we can recognise our volunteers better. We really do have so many volunteers who help us through the year, with the Festival, as volunteer income tax preparers, as peer educators. in our Pitch In team, and in many other ways – and we want to show our appreciation.

This month we’ve been looking at the ways volunteers can support the Welcome Centre and also build their skills with Canadian experience they can use on their resume. We’d really like your input on this new program to make sure we are offering people the opportunities they want.

We’ll also be asking for input on some other ideas for programs and information sessions, so we hope as many people as possible can make it. It’s your opportunity to help develop the Welcome Centre, so if you can’t come yourself, please pass this invitation to anyone you think might be interested.

If you’d like to find out more, or have some ideas for the volunteer program or other services – come to our WMN Advisory Board meeting November 2018 – we’re meeting next Monday November 26, from 5.30 to 7pm.

To get you prepared, here are the notes on our October meeting – WMN AB minutes October 2018 – and if you want to keep up to date with all the things we do at the Welcome Centre, here’s our WMN Report November 2018

Want to ask a question? Get in touch?


phone: 604.698.5960

Pierogi (Polish recipe)

Patryk and Ela from Poland were our chefs at the October Multicultural community kitchen. We’ve learned it takes many times to make a dough for pierogi to be perfect. Although Ela has made the dough at least 50 times before, she is still not a pro 🙂 Patryk used to watch his grandma doing it, but was never allowed to touch it. Pierogi are filled dumplings with a savoury of sweet filling, cooked in a boiling water.

Pierogi recipe (for 8 people)


  • 1kg of ricotta
  • 1kg of potatoes (they have to be peeled and precooked in salted water and have time to cool down)
  • 2 large or 4small onions
  • 900g of flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 80g of butter
  • salt and pepper


Precook peeled potatoes in salted water a while before starting the pierogi so that they have time to cool off to room temperature.


Sieve flour into a bowl, add a pinch of salt. Combine 500ml of boiled water with 80g of butter. Gradually combine flour and water whilst mixing everything. Add eggs and combine. Knead the dough for about 10mins and set aside.


Mix the ricotta with potatoes and mash everything together. Dice onion and cook until translucent, add half to the filling. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the dough into 10 portions. Roll each portion out to about 2-3mm thickness. Cut into 5x5cm pieces (or cut out circles with a large glass). Then add the filling on top of the cut-outs, fold in half and glue together.

In a large pot boil salted water with a splash of oil or butter, when the water boils place around 15 pierogi and cook until all the pieces start floating to the top. After they float let them cook for another 2 mins and take them out into a large bowl. Place the next batch in the pot. Repeat until all pierogi are cooked . Add remaining onion to the bowl of pierogi, mix and serve.