While the summer festivities are drawing to a close, a combination of new and traditional cultural events should reinvigorate not only the transition to the fall season, but also a historic district of Vancouver.
There are two new Chinese festivals, both based in Vancouver’s Chinatown, which will offer an array of arts and entertainment, education, culinary explorations and more.
Whereas during the first phase of the pandemic, Vancouver’s Chinatown was one of the main targets in a wave of anti-Asian attacks, coupled with the financial challenges created by the restrictions, these new opportunities celebratory events will help revitalize interest in the neighborhood, provide opportunities for cross-cultural appreciation and affirm the Asian-Canadian presence in the city, which can bring hope and a sense of renewal as we continue to go out. of the darkness of the past year.
Here is an overview of what is on offer.
Ahead of the annual Mid-Autumn Festival (see below), a new celebration is planned to light up a historic district of Vancouver.
The very first Light up Chinatown!, co-hosted by the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation and the Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Area Society, will be held this weekend (September 11-12) with a lineup of musical performances, food events, entertainment, visual exhibits and many more that go beyond Chinese culture.
The two-day celebration begins with an opening ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 11, with a lion dance and a performance by the Goh Ballet.
A main stage at the intersection of Columbia and Keefer streets will feature performances by singer Marie Hui, hip-hop dancers Now or Never Crew, DJs Niña Mendoza and Kubanito, children’s taiko group Chibi Taiko, Bonnie Northgraves Quartet, of the Madison Reunion Band, and Maestro Kenneth Hsieh with violinist Ken Lin.
A number of intercultural collaborations will be featured in the food offerings, such as:
- Peking duck croissants from Many Bakery and Chinatown BBQ;
- all day dim sum and Kam Wai Dim Sum cocktails with the Keefer Yard;
- DD Mau Saturday Saigon Cocktail and Sunday Brunch.
The food component is already shaping up to be a resounding success as two culinary events – a multi-course Cantonese dinner accompanied by organic wines by Jade Dynasty with Juice Bar and a Sunday brunch by Bao Bei, Kissa Tanto and Nancy Go Yaya – took place. already sold.
Alongside this festival, the second Taste of Chinatown by the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation is also presented.
This is a self-guided food tour of Chinatown, which covers over 25 recommended restaurants in the area, chosen by the Chinese Restaurant Awards Critics’ Choice.
Full details are available on the Light Up Chinatown website.
This year, the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, will take place on September 21.
Those who want to learn more about this annual moon celebration as well as the Cantonese language can attend a two-part online event at the Vancouver Public Library.
The first session, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on September 15, will feature Cantonese language classes for beginners, presented by Justin Cheng, Honorary Assistant Curator of the History Museum at Queen’s College Hong Kong.
Then on September 22, Wongs’ Benevolent Association Vice President Jeffrey Wong will teach attendees how to make a traditional pomelo lantern, which looks like a pumpkin.
This second session is presented during the new Fire Dragon Festival (see below).
For more information, visit the VPL website.
After all these events there will be another new festival.
The inauguration Fire Dragon Festival and Yummy Noodle Festival will celebrate the Fire Dragon from September 24 to 26 during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
This new festival is inspired by a hakka tradition that originated in Hong Kong more than a century ago of creating a dragon with straw and incense and dancing for several days in order to banish misfortunes.
In addition to fire dragon dance workshops, a fire dragon demonstration, and art installations, the festival will include mid-fall elements, such as lantern making, moon cake demonstrations, and bird watching. from the moon.
There will also be Chinese opera, storytelling, mahjong and more.
Meanwhile, the Noodlelicious Festival will feature Chinese noodles at participating restaurants in Chinatown.
This is all presented by the Culture and Heritage Working Group of the City of Vancouver’s Chinatown Legacy Stewardship Group, as well as the Vancouver Chinatown BIA Society, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the Chinese Cultural Center. and the Chinatown Society Heritage Building Association.
Further information is available on the festival website.