The 4th annual Journey’s of Migration event was at Western University Thursday night. The keynote speaker, Alfredo Caxaj, is the Founder and Executive Artistic Director of Sunfest.
Alfredo came to London in 1985 as refugee from a country torn by civil strife. At the age of 26, he and his young family left Guatemala with the help of the Canadian embassy shortly after his older brother was assassinated.
When he first arrived, he found it extremely difficult to survive in London as one of the few immigrants in the Forest City. He explained how there were no services or institutions set up to help immigrants. If you wanted to go to college or university, nobody advised you what program or institution best fit your skill-set.
Today, he is happy to call London home. He feels the city has improved significantly over the past 31 years in terms of being a more welcoming community, but there is still work to do.
In 1995, Alfredo began Sunfest here in London to try and bring the city together. The festival, which now attracts hundreds of thousands of people, is held every summer in Victoria Park. He explains that the most amazing thing about the festival, is the impact it has on all of London. Alfredo says that when you come to Sunfest, you see the whole world.