By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large
WELLAND – A long-established tradition here continues today with the opening of the Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre’s 40th International Luncheons.
The first is being hosted by the Hungarian Self-Culture Society. All luncheons take place at the Welland Market Square.
Though a far cry from their makeup of years ago when they were sponsored by the ethnic communities that formed Welland’s heritage, the luncheons reflect the cultural change that has been going on in the city.
With ethnic communities shrinking due to attrition and assimilation, the Heritage Council found ways to reinvent the series, inviting businesses and schools to fill the gap left by the withdrawal of ethnic groups such as the Slovaks, Germans, Poles and Ukrainians.
The addition of two schools known for their culinary arts programs, Confederation and Eastdale, was a particularly nice touch. Eastdale serves up a Greek cuisine luncheon and Confederation, French cuisine. Their involvement helps continue the tradition and gives profile to the culinary arts programs.
The international luncheons program dates back to days when the late Yvette Ward was executive director of the heritage council, was continued and revised by daughter Claire after she took over its reins and is being carried on by the new administration after her retirement.
This year’s lineup is: Tuesday, June 7, Hungarian cuisine; Wednesday, June 8, Greek; Thursday, June 9, French; Friday, June 10, Polish; Tuesday, June 14, Italian; Wednesday, June 15, Croatian; Thursday, June 16, Korean and Friday, June 17, Mexican.
The luncheons are from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and tickets are $12 each. Purchase tickets in advance at the heritage council office, 26 East Main St., Welland.