By Khaula Siddique
Every year I look forward to attending and participating in MuslimFest, it was amazing to be back in person again and be out with the community for food, festivities and amazing art! This was the 19th year of the largest Muslim festival in North America which attracts over 67 000 attendees from all over Canada and beyond!
For the sheer size and impact of the festival, the team behind it is comparatively small and the amount of work and hurdles they manage is just commendable. They also provide great learning and networking experiences for the local youth and hundreds of volunteers sign up to take advantage of this amazing experience every year.
MuslimFest is where I began my journey as a professional artist. I had been urged by a friend to exhibit my work there and she made sure I signed up when the artist submission call came out. I will be forever grateful to her for pushing me. I exhibited a small series themed on the 99 names with the calligraphy integrated into the images, I sold my very first piece of work and I have never looked back since then.
I love bringing art to the community and am grateful to have done another painting workshop this year with MuslimFest, it was great to see returning participants as well as new ones! I was also honoured to be one of the judges for their Battle of the Brushes event this year, and what an exciting event it was, the artists were required to create a complete painting in just twenty minutes! The winner of the event was Asma Sahar a local Mississauga artist.
There were four major art exhibits including the Seerah Exhibition, organized by the Duniya Melayu Canada Community and it is the first time that the Seal of the Prophet (PBUH) and his Sandals are being exhibited in North America, I never imagined I would get to see these precious artifacts up close, in person. They will be having a full exhibition on September 23rd at the International Centre, mark your calendar!
There were a hundred vendors and food stalls, with halal food from all over the world and it was such a treat to have everything in one spot to try out!
It was great to see the Palestinian Culture Pavillion, the activities and talks in the Amphitheatre and of course the performances from all corners of the globe on the main stage by Muslim artists who excel in all the different forms of art. MuslimFest truly gives the full picture of just how diverse the Muslim community is as well as the creativity and artistic talent to be found within it.
Check out their Instagram account for all the videos of the different performances!
About the Author
Khaula Siddique, artist at Khaula’s Art, has written for Dawn Pakistan and now paints stories on large walls. She loves bringing art to the community and achieves this through interactive art activities and public art projects. When she is not painting, she is over-indulging her large eccentric orange tabby who part-times as her critic and her muse. You can find her art shenanigans on her website, Khaula Siddique.com.