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Upcoming Amazing Cochrane Culture Quest aims to educate and celebrate the town’s diversity

"We want them to be quite interactive as far as what you're learning," Weisner said. "You might learn a dance or you might learn how to say something in a different language."
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Edwin Aguanta and Alice Rafella perform the national dance of the Philippines the Tinikling at the Filipino Booth during the Amazing Cochrane Culture Hunt in September 2020. The cross-city scavenger hunt organized by the Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee served as alternative to CultureFEST. The event saw 36 teams sign-up to participate. File Photo
COCHRANE— Encouraging Cochranites to learn, celebrate, and be more inclusive of their neighbours' cultures, The Amazing Cochrane Culture Quest is set to return for its second year on Sunday, Sept. 12.

The Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee is hosting the free event which will kick-off at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre. Registered teams will get their first clue there, along with a passport to be stamped at 10 different culture stops and a fun sneak-peek of some of the representation in town. 

Candy Weisner, Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee vice-president, said the event is in line with what the organization is all about— Welcoming newcomers by also including people who have lived in town for any length of time to learn about and celebrate Cochrane's diverse cultural mosaic.

"You may have lived here your entire life, and your relatives came from Scotland and were homesteaders. But, you still can take pride in your original heritage, as well as learning about your fellow Cochranites and the amazing diversity that we have and people may not realize that we have right here in town," she said.

Those who wish to participate must register with a team by Sept. 1. Teams can be any size among your cohort, and all ages are welcome, but one team must fit in a single vehicle.

Those interested should act quickly though, as spaces to register are limited. Last year a waiting list was created because the event sold out.

Weisner said the quest will take place in a modified Amazing Race style and includes prizes, but it is not about the speed of completion as it is in the popular television show.

There is no prize for the fastest to finish. Instead, teams are encouraged to take their time and soak in as much of the experience as possible.

"We want them to be quite interactive as far as what you're learning," Weisner said. "You might learn a dance or you might learn how to say something in a different language."

Ten culture stops will be set up within town and will include representation from Thailand, Germany and Nigeria to name a few. The stops will be run by volunteers who live in Cochrane but originate from their respective countries.

After completing an activity at a stop teams will be given a clue about the next country they need to visit and its location within Cochrane. With the clue in hand teams can set out to search for their next stop.

Each vehicle will also be given a goodie bag that includes information about the partners and services involved, as well as some swag and other little prizes.

"We'll also have two or three door prizes and each vehicle will get entry for a door prize," Weisner said. "The whole event is free. It's such a sensory experience."

The event is in partnership with Spray Lake Sawmill Family Sports Centre and sponsored by the Town of Cochrane and Cochrane Family and Community Support Services.

For more information and to register for The Amazing Cochrane Culture Quest, visit the Eventbrite page. For general inquiries contact CISCCochrane@gmail.com.