The province has announced that August is its first-ever Pakistani Heritage Month, and the timing couldn’t be better for the nearly 30,000 members of Alberta’s Pakistani community.

“The province of Alberta hosts the second largest population of Pakistanis in Canada. This represents the significance in which our community is woven into the economic, social and political fabric of this province,” said Salman Naseer, president of the Pakistan Canada Association of Edmonton (PCAE).

“I hope that this opens an opportunity for Albertans to learn and engage with the Pakistani community and build bridges to strengthen relations. It means a lot to be honest. It’s honouring that we are contributing in all these sectors that the Alberta government is recognizing this and appreciating it. It’s time to acknowledge it.”

The announcement came in advance of a massive Jashn-e-Azadi celebration on Aug. 18 at the PCAE Hall, offering a moment for the community to come together to commemorate the 71stanniversary of Pakistan’s independence on Aug. 14. Heritage Days was only two weekends ago also, and the Pakistan booth was a big hit with great food and music by band 34th Avenue. Premier Rachel Notley even stopped by to show her appreciation.