2021 TAIWANfest is about to debut in Toronto and Vancouver. This year, the Festival continues the dialogue with Asia Series, Re-Think Asia, and offers more than 20 online programs. There will also be an in-person concert and exhibition in Vancouver. Toronto TAIWANfest begins August 27, 2021, and Vancouver TAIWANfest starts on September 2.
Each year, TAIWANfest attracts more than ten thousand attendees. For the past two years, although in-person programs have been moved online due to the pandemic, it has remained very popular among Canadian audiences. This year, TAIWANfest offers a great variety of programs, starting with the opening ceremony, which includes the Opening Concert, led by the conductor, Maestro Ken Hsieh, and the TAIWANfest Orchestra. Everyone is welcome to watch the concert online, and Vancouverites can also attend the concert in person at the Orpheum Theater.
Other online programs include a song titled “Healing for Damaged Emotions” that a Taiwanese musician, Suana Emuy Cilangasay, and a Cree Artist, Kent Monkman, co-wrote to call upon all Taiwanese to reflect on lessons from Canada. In Cultures Fermented, illustrator Chin-Wen Cheng believes that the theme provides a very interesting contrast, which is fully and exquisitely expressed in his artwork. Hope Talks invites many Taiwanese experts on arts and culture to share their views of different aspects of Taiwan, such as “Taiwan, A View with South Korea in Mind,” in which Rex How uses his insight as a publisher and author to introduce seven books to guide audiences through an understanding of the differences between Taiwan and South Korea, their people, and their futures. In “Mountains, Seas, and Plains,” Chairman of the Chen Cheng-Po Cultural Foundation, Li-Po Chen, tells his grandfather’s story and gets to know Taiwan through the island’s natural beauty. In “Their World of Music,” the founder of Crystal Records, Jang Dal Im upholds the rule-breaking spirit of rock and roll, analyzes the fundamental problems faced by music development after globalization, and explores the “third path” to return music to its essence. Filming for “Small Talk,” from Taiwanese Film Director Hui-Chen Huang, provides the opportunity for her mother and herself to face the unspoken past and mend their relationship in order to start anew. “May Sea Turtles be with you... Always,” by Taiwanese Film Director, Chin-yuan Ke, addresses environmental issues. There are also a few in-person programs, including “Rethink Asia, Dialogue through Comedy” at Annex Theater and the aforementioned Cultures Fermented at the Vancouver Art Gallery in North Plaza.
Asian-Canadian Special Events Association (ACSEA) is a Vancouver-based non-profit organization that creates sustainable art and cultural projects and works with partners throughout British Columbia, Canada, and the world. From its humble beginnings as the Music Night of Taiwanese Composers in 1990, TAIWANfest has grown to become the largest English/Mandarin bilingual cultural festival in all of Canada, and the largest event held outside the island nation to bear the name “Taiwan.” The annual summer event takes place in downtown Vancouver, attracting over 350,000 visitors.
TAIWANfest is supported by the Spotlight Taiwan project, which is designed and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan. Its aim is to promote Taiwanese culture, arts and cinema to a wider audience around the world.
To see the full summer programs for 2021 TAIWANfest, please visit the following Vancouver and Toronto websites for further information and links.
Toronto TAIWANfest: August 27-September 6www.TorontoTaiwanFest.ca
Vancouver TAIWANfest : September 2-12www.VancouverTaiwanFest.ca