Now in its fifth year, the Hamilton World Music Festival is a three day event featuring artists from the local, national, and international stage. Taking place July 21-23, visitors to this Hamilton music festival can enjoy free admission, DJs, 3 stages, food and craft vendors, and a family friendly environment. Filimone Mabjaia of Matapa Music and Arts— the company in charge of the festival— is the Executive & Artistic Director of the event. During our talk, he shed some light on what the event is all about and why it is so important to the Hamilton community.
Mabjaia describes the Hamilton World Music Festival as a, “demonstration of diversity” and a “sharing of culture.” The festival helps to show the culture people bring with them when they come from other places into Canada, and how they mix their culture together with the culture here. It is a “reflection of how people are rich with their own culture.”
The slogan of the HWMF is celebrating world culture. Mabjaia says the World Music Festival has an “international focus” and “brings people from all over the world” together. It is important because it “teaches about culture and tradition and helps people learn about places and people they might not otherwise know or understand.” Artists come from Spain to the Yukon to Korea and beyond.
The mandate of Matapa is “make room for everyone.” Mabjaia says it is their goal to do a “little bit to help build a strong community of belonging. We accept everyone here. As long as you feel that you have something to say, as long as you feel you are a part of this community.”
Having all of these people from different countries and cultures, you would think it would get confusing trying to communicate, but Mabjaia says that “music is a universal language.” “
“Music speaks with people. Music touches people. Even if we don’t know each other’s language, we can connect through the music.”
One group that Mabjaia is very excited to have at the festival this year is the group direct from Ukraine, Dakha Brakha. He says that he has been trying for quite some time to get the group to the festival, but that it never worked out. He is excited to finally have them performing. He is also very excited about the many performers from Spain this year, as Spain is the special guest country.
Some of the other groups that will be performing include Mû Mbana, Davide Salvado, Waleed Kush, Try Truck, Okavango African Orchestra, Light of East Ensemble, Ventanas, Isabel Vinardell—Isabel Laudenach , and Maracatu Mar Aberto. These artists come from all over the world and each have their own unique style that is influenced by their culture.
If you are interested in experiencing this event that Mabjaia describes as being a “spectacular, beautiful show,” it will be running July 21-23, 2017 at the Lincoln Alexander Centre.