Deciphering Canadian Multiculturalism – TaiwanFest 2019

Finding the Courage to Discover the Connections Between Canada’s Communities

Canada proudly embraces multiculturalism as a defining trait of this modern, diverse country. How, though, can immigrants discover how their heritages impact the way they express their Canadian identity? Instead of simply showcasing our mosaic of cultures for the sake of inclusivity or respect, how can we integrate the role immigrants and immigrant culture play into the greater conversation surrounding Canadian multiculturalism?

This summer, TAIWANfest is continuing its Dialogue with Asia series, as we go Riding the Waves with Vietnam at Harbourfront Centre. From August 23rd to 25th, embark on a journey of flavours, fashions, performances, and more, as we dive into the ocean that lies between Taiwan and Vietnam! Perhaps, as we are inspired by the stories of Taiwanese and Vietnamese people who are not afraid to pursue their dreams, we will build a bridge of connection that at one point, no one may have thought was possible.

Without daring to venture into the unknown – without courage – we cannot learn about the multitude of communities that surround us as Canadians. Beginning in 2016, we sought to explore the things that bring communities together, starting conversations with Hong Kong, Japan, and the Philippines. This year, we’ve looked to Vietnam to discover a shared impulse to care and protect our families, cultures, and land with an element of tenacity. As countries and peoples that have endured the tribulations of colonization and war, Taiwan and Vietnam find opportunities to interact through shared emotions and histories. From artists to designers to singers, this quality of courage and determination shines through.

At TAIWANfest, you can witness an unprecedented musical collaboration between Indigenous Taiwanese musician Suana Emuy Cilangasay, as he searches for his lost culture and roots by exchanging stories and life experiences with Canadian artists from a wide range of backgrounds. Watch for the bridges that food builds between people at the “Friendship Kitchen”, and meet passionate chefs from across the world. Marvel at the Ju Percussion ensemble, as they seek to go beyond the concepts of “East meets West” within their rhythmic mastery. See as photographer Bao Khanh Vu showcases the perseverance and tenacity of the Vietnamese people through photographs of his homeland. Hear the stories of Caroline Nguyen, once a Vietnamese newcomer in Taiwan who is now a YouTuber drawing together the culture, lifestyles, and people of two nations who are nearly 2,000 km apart.

Every conversation is a courageous undertaking, but it is a testament to how much there is to learn about each other and the myriad of communities in this country. Perhaps most importantly, we will see a promising glimpse, a glimpse of a diverse and interconnected Canada!

Experience TAIWANfest 2019 from August 23 to 25 in Toronto, before continuing onwards to Vancouver from August 31 to September 2. For more information, see www.taiwanfest.ca.

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