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Saanich woman honoured for bringing diversity and culture to Greater Victoria

Pam Virk and the Punjabi Cultural Community of Victoria also active in philanthropy
Pam (Parminder) Virk was given an appreciation award by the District of Saanich for her dedication to bringing the community together through the Punjabi Cultural Community of Victoria. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

The Punjabi Cultural Community of Victoria consists of people from across the region who come together to share culture, cooking and the promotion of diversity.

Director of the association, Pam (Parminder) Virk, was recently honoured by the District of Saanich for contributing to a more vibrant and inclusive community.

The association hosts fundraisers for cultural events such as Diwali and members are active philanthropically, dedicating themselves to providing for the needs they see in Greater Victoria.

“We donate to the Pingalwara Charitable Society in India and to women in need there as well,” Virk said. “We’re mostly focused on what’s going on in our own backyard, though, because we see the need here and this is our home, too.”

Our Place and the Rainbow Kitchen are regular recipients of the organization’s generous efforts, through both cooking and cash donations.

The group meets twice a month at Pearkes Recreation Centre in Saanich: an everybody welcome poetry reading, and on the last Sunday of the month for women only to share in conversation and support.

“We cook, eat and socialize together, discuss lots of educational subjects, we sing, and provide educational opportunities for families to learn from each other in a supportive environment,” Virk said.

Such activities are important to help the next generation stay close to their cultural roots, she added. The group welcomes anyone who wishes to learn more about Punjabi culture.

“We are a warm and loving people who love to make everyone feel welcome and acquainted with our culture,” said Virk. “I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the help of my husband, Jagir Singh.”

To learn more about the Punjabi Cultural Community of Victoria call Virk directly at 250-889-7411.

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