Connect with a joyous culture for Hispanic Heritage Month

By Cecilia Nasmith

Hispanics coming to Canada joyfully embrace their new communities.

For Hispanic Heritage Month in October, Northumberland Hispanic Cultural Club event director Emilio Ojeda hopes Canadians will take a look at the colourful, exuberant culture of their Hispanic community members.

The club is celebrating the month with events open to all that offer a look at the music, dance, film, food and other aspects of this amazing culture.

It's the second year they've organized this kind of celebration, Ojeda said in a recent interview, following the success of last year's events.

“This year, since we have help from the Federal government with funding, we are actually doing more and better events.”

The first of these on Oct. 3 is the grand opening of the exhibition in the Heritage Room at the Colborne Art Gallery (51 King St. E., Colborne), Holding On To Our Beliefs: Religion And Immigration. Admission is free at the gallery, and hours are Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. This exhibition will run through Dec. 8.

Oct. 4 brings the Latin-Licious evening to Cobourg's Craft Food House (201 Division St.) for the first time.

“Nice Spanish food and flamenco,” Ojeda summed up.

A three-course Spanish menu has been planned by Chef Z will be followed by flamenco dancing by Lesley and Michael, all for $35. There are seatings at both 6 and 8 p.m., but reservations are required.

An exciting Oct. 11 concert called Ahead Of Her Time pays tribute to 19th-century pianist-soprano-composer-conductor (and Venezuela native) Teresa Carreno. A prodigy who showed promise at a young age, she would go on to play for President Abraham Lincoln in the US and give several Canadian performances as well. The program of piano, string-quartet and choir music will be conducted by Mitchell Cox, with tenor Fabian Arciniegas as featured artist, at 6 p.m. in the Victoria Hall Concert Hall (55 King St. W., Cobourg). Tickets are available through the Concert Hall box office at $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for children up to age 12.
The Loft Cinema (upstairs at 201 Division St., Cobourg) hosts the Northumberland Hispanic Film Festival Oct. 17 through 19. The first evening offers the perspective of a struggle with disability, as Shadow Girl is screened at 7 p.m. Chilean-Canadian director Maria Teresas Larrain will be on hand for the presentation, and will offer a question-and-answer time after the film.

The second day's films – Embrace of the Serpent at 6 p.m. and Neruda at 8 p.m. - offer an historical perspective, Ojeda said, while the Oct. 19 films are more anthropological in nature. These would be The Liberator at 4 p.m. and Birds of Passage at 7 p.m., with a Penelope Cruz comedy called The Queen of Spain at 2 p.m.

The final event in the line-up is the Oct. 26 Noche Latina Gala at Victoria Hall - “a nice Spanish dinner, and then dance all night,” Ojeda said.

The music comes from a live band (Carla and Her Latin Train) as well as a DJ (Alejo from Toronto), he added, “so there's not excuse not to dance.

Dinner will be served at 6 p.m., and tickets are available through the Concert Hall box office – $50 for club members and $55 for non-members.

As well as the splashier celebrations, Ojeda said, the club is observing the month by arranging a workshop on cross-cultural references It is directed at front-line workers as well as other interested community members, as an opportunity to learn about communications from the Hispanic perspective to the Canadian.

“There is nothing like our club in the area,” he stated.

“We are very excited to be doing this.”

For more information on the club and its events, visit