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Alberta Culture Days at CFN

CFN’s Alberta Culture Days event, funded by the govt of Alberta, included a cooking demonstration and tasting of traditional Indigenous recipes along with a popular dish from India. At the CFN kitchen the two dishes were cooked and served to an audience comprised of guests from the Miskanawah Family Resource Network and CFN newcomer clients. The two cooks talked about how they learned how to make the dishes and their significance in their respective cultures.

Our Indigenous cooks were the mother and daughter team Cathy and Laura Kostincer.

Cathy Kostincer grew up on the Cowessess First Nation east of Regina and now lives in the Treaty 7 area. She enjoys cooking and sharing her knowledge with others. Growing up, berry picking was done every year. She remembers sitting outside crushing choke cherries between two stones and making little patties to dry in the sun that would later eaten in winter. Saskatoon’s were dried and stored in a pillowcase for the winter and later we made a berry soup with them. She loves bannock and even makes it over the fire on a stick sometimes! Her family members are hunters, and she usually goes out and picks tea while the hunt takes place. Cathy also beads and makes leather goods.

Laura Kostincer is in her 3rd year of university, working to complete a degree in Conservation Biology. Laura grew up in the middle east and went on many fishing trips in the Arabian Gulf with her Tata (dad), who fished for barracuda, grouper and hammour just to name a few. When Laura moved to Canada she started hunting and fishing. While at NAIT, Laura studied plants, animals and birds and enjoys being outside surrounded by nature. Having travelled to different countries and eaten food among friends from many nationalities, she continues learning about cooking, including the traditional Croatian “Peka” method of cooking with coals.

Our Indian dish was prepared by Mohit Chand, Manager of CFN’s Ethnicity Catering Program. EthniCity Catering and Cafe is a non-profit social enterprise of the Centre for Newcomers, providing Canadian work experience and training to immigrants in their transition to Canada. EthniCity Catering and Cafe has also designed a menu that incorporates an array of exciting dishes from around the world for their Calgary customers.

Alberta’s government awarded 122 grants to organizations across the province to host Alberta Culture Days events in September, including CFN. Almost $350,000 was distributed to applicants hosting events in their communities.

“Culture is an important economic and social driver in our province. Alberta Culture Days helps us celebrate and appreciate the rich and diverse arts and culture on display in every corner of our province. As we come together in healing and reopening post-COVID, I invite all Albertans to take part in as many events as they can. This year’s Alberta Culture Days truly offers something for everyone and should not be missed.”
Ron Orr, Minister of Culture

A total of 84 host celebration sites received funding for up to two days of activities and 33 pop-up celebration sites received funding for one day. A complete list of sponsored and unsponsored events is available at

Quick facts

  • Almost 250,000 Albertans participated in virtual and in-person Alberta Culture Days celebrations in 2020, with 47 communities hosting 943 events.

  • Alberta Culture Days started in 2008 as a celebration of Alberta’s arts and cultural communities, known as Alberta Arts Day.

  • In 2009, it changed from a one-day event to a three-day celebration, helping to inspire the establishment of National Culture Days in 2010.

  • In 2012, Alberta Arts Days was renamed Alberta Culture Days.


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