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February 23, 2018 – Guyanese Republic Day

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wish to members of the Canadian Guyanese community on the occasion of Guyanese Republic Day.

Republic Day is celebrated on February 23rd marking that day in 1970 when the Burnham government proclaimed Guyana, The Co-operative Republic of Guyana.  The proclamation also severed Guyana’s last significant constitutional tie to Britain.  However, to this day, Guyana remains a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 

The birth of Guyana as a sovereign republic is celebrated with the annual Mashramani festival.  The word ‘Mashramani’ is derived from an Amerindian language that means ‘the celebration of a job well done’.  The festival takes on a carnival atmosphere – participants dressed in vibrant ancestral costumes dance to steel bands playing calypso music; hold parades and masquerade bands; and, enter costume competitions.  It is a spectacular celebration of the rich multi-cultural heritage of Guyana.

Toronto is a proud multicultural city that embraces a wide variety of cultures and faiths.  Our city flourishes because of the diversity of people who have chosen to make Toronto their home. It is important to recognize each and every community that plays a part in enhancing Toronto’s social and cultural landscape.

As the Newcomer’s Advocate with the City of Toronto I strongly believe that we must work to together to promote togetherness. We must Respect our newcomer communities. We must Accept our newcomer communities. We should Celebrate our diversity and Embrace our different cultures and traditions, because we are all part of the human RACE.


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