Tribute To Everyone Who Made UWPACE 5th Annual Cultural Evening Possible!

backstage group pictureThe UWinnipeg PACE 5th Annual Cultural Evening took place on January 29th, 2016 at Eckhardt Gramatté Hall, the biggest event organized by the PACE Student Life Committee. As the event planner, I work with a large multi-talented team to make sure we create a beautiful experience for everyone involved: performers, volunteers, sponsors, and especially the audience. PACE students are the stars of the evening as they perform, emcee or work behind the scenes. We invite the best of the best in town to share the stage with them, like the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the talented Indigenous performer Leonard Sumner. Each year, we attract more and more fans, from the university to the larger community. As this one-of-a-kind cultural entertainment grows bigger, the bar raises higher each year.

Some fans waiving lights
DSC04450 (1)
PACE Instructor, Crystal Roberts and her husband







Our goal is that our audience enjoy a glamorous multicultural celebration held in a distinguished venue.  The audience is encourage to dress up in their cultural fashions, sample a variety of global delicacies, win some amazing prizes (which organizing team gets envious of, cause they can’t have them), all of these at no cost. Who didn’t say no? -/+ 300 attendees!

High Tea Bakery’s ever so delicious cupcakes!









As an event planner, just “wow-ing” the crowd doesn’t make a success. So here are some other points worth mentioning that counts towards what we call a “success:”

Success Factors

• Sold-out and standing room crowd.

Standing Crowd - Colleen's picture
Photo Credit: Colleen Little








• Diversity on the stage – representing 18 cultural groups.

Rangle Panjabi Group formed at PACE
Fashion from many different places around the world.







• Indigenous talents – performance by Leonard Sumner garnered many cheers from the audience. He is gifted with amazing music talents.

Leonard Sumner







• Instructors with talent – nothing like watching your role models perform. Brent Scott, the IT Guru, surprised students with his guitar and singing talents while Stephen Hayes, the diversity instructor, enlightened the crowd with what it means to be in a diverse community.







• Re-unions – alumni came along to meet their old classmates. It was fun to see the 2011 Project Management Team in one place! We heard you went to Garbanzos to continue your evening of fun! 🙂

PM 2011 batch reunion - Mekala's picture
From Left: Meer, Yadwinder, Eugenio, Rae, Veronique










•Little things that make your heart sing – it was rather a touching moment when PACE student Vasundhra’s dad shared Vasundhra’s Parks Canada Photobooth pictures on Facebook from back in India!


NSD Vasu's dad's share


Then, a couple who is getting married this February sent a lovely note all the way from  India wishing success for the event. They said they met during a dance performance at the Cultural Evening, 3 years ago.

Shamsher and Ankita
Left: Ankita and Shamsher at the 2013 Cultural Evening, Right, Ankita and Shamsher Wedding Day!!

PACE Alumna and former Cultural Evening Planning Committee member, Rajinder Singh attended the event with his new bride. Who doesn’t want a picture with this beautiful couple? 🙂


PACE Cultural Evening has created so many wonderful lasting memories, friendships, and relationships. We can only imagine the stories to be told in the future!

The Makers

• Partnerships – we are very thankful to our generous sponsors: Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Festival du Voyageur, Parks Canada, Pony Corral, Clay Oven – East Indian Restaurant, Metro Winnipeg, High Tea Bakery, Myrna’s Cafe & Catering, and Mangkok International Cuisine.








• Stars of the night – the committed and hard working student volunteer team represented eight different countries.

DSC055122016 volunteers

•Staff volunteers- As well, PACE Staff contributed a range of talents to the volunteer team. It was Friday, but staff still had time to attend this event after a full week of work in the office. Another reason why #IloveUWPACE!

Staff and Student Volunteers in their #IloveUWPACE T Shirts.






And most of all….

• Angel Volunteers – in business, “Angel Investors” are the ones who come with just what you need at the right, but unexpected time. The Cultural Evening attracts some angel volunteers; they are somehow linked to other event staff, which their names not always get mentioned. Here is the list:

 Many thanks to:

  • Neil Aseron, Marie Aseron’s brother
  • Cristiano Goncalves, Carol Goncalves’ husband
  • Adrienne Matias and Randy Salangsang, Melissa Matias’ cousins
  • Alex and Fiji, Victoria Elusakin’s friends
  • Breazy Wilson, Ashlie Wilson’s daugher
  • Rachel O’Connor, PACE Alumna
  • Milanyila Vargas, PACE Alumna
  • Erin Moorley, PACE Alumna
  • Ying yao, PACE Champions Toastmasters Member from the Red River College
  • UWinnipeg’s Virtuosi Concerts, for giving away last minute door prizes
  • Andy and Evan, UWinnipeg Media Services
  • UWinnipeg Physical Plant Staff
  • UWinnipeg Marketing Office
  • UWinnipeg Security Officers

My heartiest thanks to all who supported the successful staging of PACE Annual Cultural Evening!

PS: Please accept my apologies, if I have missed your name, but please let me know.

Mekala Wickramasinghe
PACE Student Life Coordinator

The 2017 event is in the making, and the tickets will be available in early November 2016. Make sure to reserve them early!

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