‘What I enjoy is you get to see a lot of people that you don’t normally get to see and it’s nice to make that contact,’ says Kevin Lusignan
Wednesday July 13, 2011 — Camille Jensen
Rain wasn’t enough to wash away the community that showed up for the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion’s (BACI) annual summer barbecue June 24.
Held at BACI’s Still Creek Educational Centre, nearly 200 packed the parking lot for the event celebrating diversity and multiculturalism.
Kevin Lusignan, BACI’s senior manager of social and economic inclusion, says changing weather — the day saw rain, sun and more rain — kept event organizers busy moving activities inside and outside to accommodate guests. Eventually, the weather cleared “and we had a really nice barbecue,” says Kevin.
What he enjoyed most about the day is seeing how the barbecue connects and reunites people.
“It was clear that BACI is a big community, and you begin to see how big of a community it is when people come together around food,” says Kevin. “What I enjoy is you get to see a lot of people that you don’t normally get to see and it’s nice to make that contact.”
Several politicians were on hand, including British Columbia’s minister of social development and minister responsible for multiculturalism Harry Bloy.
Grilled burgers, hot dogs and fresh salads were served, while music, a belly dancer and a flame thrower provided entertainment for the crowds.
People who access services from BACI were encouraged to come forward and share elements of their culture. Senior manager for community and housing development Karey Degenova earlier told the BACI Blast that the event is a welcoming venue for the people they support to get to know others.
“We just realize we’re all different, but we’re all part of a big family,” said Karey, adding the barbecue features many elements that were encouraged by the people BACI supports.
“The people we serve really enjoy it, and look forward to it all year,” adds Kevin.
The annual summer barbeque is BACI’s second largest celebration of the year, only trumped by the Bonsor Christmas Party.
Both Karey and Kevin say celebration is important to BACI, resonating with staff, people served and community members.
“One of the things we do here at BACI is celebrate and have a lot of fun. It’s a really (key) part of our organizational culture,” says Kevin.
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