TAIWANFEST HISTORY 活動足跡
A local Taiwanese Canadian music/cultural enthusiast, Cecilia Chueh of Vancouver Formosa Academy, started “Music Night of Taiwanese Composers” aimed at introducing works of Taiwanese composers to the Canadian general public in order to promote mutual understanding between Canada and Taiwan in the field of music. With the famous composer Mr. Tyzen Hsiao as the special guest, the first concert was held at Vancouver Presbyterian Church and attended by an audience of more than 1000. The event thus unveiled a series of events to come.
Vancouver Formosa Academy again organized the Piano Music Festival of Taiwanese Composers at Vancouver Playhouse. The event further introduced Taiwanese composers’ works to the Canadian music community and different ethnic groups in Canada in order to promote mutual understanding by means of the universal language, music. In the same year, Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society was officially founded in Vancouver.
溫哥華東寧書院於女皇小劇院（Vancouver Playhouse Theatre）再次舉辦台灣作曲家鋼琴音樂會。本次活動更進一步向加拿大各音樂團體與不同族裔推廣台灣作曲家的作品，以國際共通的語言－「音樂」促進彼此理解。台加文化協會在今年正式於溫哥華成立。
Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society joined Vancouver Formosa Academy to present this annual music event, the Chamber Music of Taiwanese Composers. The number of participating Canadian musicians and audiences increased year after year, and the foundation of this music and cultural exchange was thus firmly set.
The name of this event was officially changed to “Music Festival of Taiwanese Composers,” and the scale of the event was expanded to include members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Professor Tsang-Houei Hsu also gave a speech, “Music in Taiwan: Its Tradition and Transformation,” at University of British Columbia.
In order to introduce more Taiwanese culture to the Canadian public, a simple music performance was developed to a festival of various kinds of cultural and art activities. Held in Hotel Vancouver, this year’s programs included photo exhibits, lectures, cultural seminars, and three fantastic concerts: Concert of the Teachers’ Chorus of Taipei City, Dramatic Tenor William Wu’s Recital, and the Music Festival of Taiwanese Composers performed by the entire VSO and scores of other musicians. The diversity and variety of the programs makes the Music Festival of Taiwanese Composers a great success.
In order to more accurately reflect what was intended, the festival was renamed to “Taiwanese Cultural Festival.” With its focus on Taiwanese aboriginal culture, the programs included A Music Tribute to Lu Chuan-Sheng, Video Presentations, Cultural Seminars, and the 1995 Music Festival of Taiwanese Composers. The famous Taiwanese composer Tai-Hsiang Lee was the special guest this year. More than 5000 people were attracted to the festival. Also, the festival was included as a part of Richmond’s Gateway Theatre’s 10th anniversary celebration.
The entire Vancouver Symphony Orchestra joined the well-known Taiwanese violinist Cho-Liang Lin, and flutist Chen Chung-Sheng in Orpheum Theatre to present two concerts, “Salutes to Taiwan,” both of which ended with a bang. At the same time, the Exhibit of the Taiwanese Delicateness, A Talk on Taiwanese Folk Songs, and Taiwanese Folk Songs Karaoke Contest were held at Robson Square.
The 1997 Taiwanese Cultural Festival was designated as part of the official program of Canada’s Year of Asia Pacific. The Lan-Yang Taiwanese Opera and the Yin Qi Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Gordon Chin overwhelmed the Taiwanese community and other ethnic groups. Together with an exhibition of Taiwanese Canadian Artists, and Taiwanese Canadian Young People’s Talent Show, both held in the Asian Centre in UBC, the festival attracted about 5000 people.
台灣文化節被訂為加拿大亞太年(Canada’s Year of Asia Pacific)正式節目之一，該年蘭陽戲劇團與金希文帶領的音契合唱管絃樂團，帶來其他台灣僑社和族裔團體無法比擬的表演，加上於UBC大學舉辦的台裔加拿大藝術家展覽、台裔加拿大青年才藝表演等節目，總計吸引5000人參觀欣賞。
Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society alone organized the festival, in which Hakka culture was introduced to the Canadian public for the first time in order to show that Taiwan indeed is also a multicultural society. Other programs included exhibitions of pottery art from Ying-Ko, Taiwan, which generated lots of enthusiasm. Later that year, the 1998 Taiwanese Cultural Festival was nominated for a star award in the category of Best Cultural Event by the Second Annual Canadian Event Industry Award. More than 5,000 participants were attracted to the various performances and exhibits.
The diversity of Taiwanese culture could be perceived by the various programs of this year’s festival. The Taiwanese Tea Ceremony, Vegetable & Fruit Carving, Taiwanese Aboriginal Folk Arts, Photographic Arts by Dr. C.H. Lin, and an Exhibition by North America Taiwanese Women’s Association again attracted crowds of people gathering at Robson Square. The festival culminated in the “Concert by Egret Ladies and Girls Choirs” and the “Music Taiwan Concert” by three music professors from Taiwan.
“From Caterpillar to Butterfly” was the theme of the 2000 festival. The metamorphosis of Taiwan from a poor country relying on foreign aid to one that gives a helping hand is like that of a butterfly transforming from an ugly caterpillar to a brilliantly-coloured and beautiful butterfly. This year demonstrated the transformation of Taiwan through photo exhibitions and performances.
The traditional Taiwanese theatre is an open theatre. The public is free to come and go as they please. It is not uncommon for viewers to partake in a little shopping or to go for a bite at any point during a show. Various folk handicrafts, toys, and food stalls can all be seen on temple grounds.
The festival continued the success achieved in the previous year and attracted another record crowd of 30,000. Outstanding programming was cited as one of the best aspects of the festival. Publicity of the festival also reached another milestone with millions of audiences reached throughout North America and Asia. The Festival was nominated for “Best Cultural Event”, “Best Public Entertainment Event”, “Most Outstanding Event Over $300,000″ and “Best Festival” by Canadian Event Industry Award.
延續前年的成功，台灣文化節吸引3萬人參觀，其精彩的節目編排被認為是最好的重點之一，活動宣傳遍佈至數以百萬的北美與亞洲民眾，達到另一個里程碑；本活動亦被加拿大藝文活動事業協會 (Canadian Event Industry Award, CEIA)提名「最佳文化活動」、「最佳大眾娛樂活動」、「成本30萬以上最傑出活動」、「最佳活動」等大獎。
Taiwanese Cultural Festival received the CEIA Best Cultural Event Award for the 5th straight year. With the addition of the Digital Culture Exhibition of Taiwan, the festival further expanded the horizon. However, the most sought-after exhibition among the 60,000 attendees was the Barbie & Me exhibition, the story about how the world’s most popular doll changed the lives of many in a little town in Taiwan.
2006 was a major milestone for Taiwanese Cultural Festival as the festival expanded to Toronto and co-produced the event with the renowned Harbourfront Centre for the first time. While the Vancouver event set another attendance record of 70,000, the Toronto debut successfully brought in 45,000. Under the theme “Ho-Hai-Yan Taiwan”, Taiwanese Cultural Festival was awarded the 6th consecutive Best Cultural Event award.
Innovation is critical for events depending on continuing success. TaiwanFest elevated the quality of the festival programming by incorporating two live concerts. One of which, Mayday, the premier Rock band in Taiwan, made their Canadian debut at the festival. Another example of innovation was the use of the “Noodles of the World” concept to expand the festival to include various communities in Canada. Over 4,000 bowls of Championship Noodles were served during the three-day festival in Vancouver. The two festivals in Toronto and Vancouver exceeded 110,000 in combined attendance, making the festival one of the largest Mandarin/English cultural events in Canada.
Inspired by the multi-cultural aspects of Canada, the programming of 2008 TELUS TaiwanFest : World in an Island explored Taiwan’s ever-evolving identity through its many influences in history, such as the Dutch, Japanese, Canadian and Aboriginal, and how these influences have contributed to the development of the island. The festival showcased multifaceted and vibrant culture with the debut of King of Rock Wu Bai from Taiwan. Cultural exchanges were made between the legendary artists in water-Colours of Doris McCarthy (Canada) and K.J. Shen (Taiwan). For 2008, attendance met a new milestone of 140,000 across both Vancouver and Toronto.
啟發自多元文化的加拿大， 2008年研科台灣文化節「世界島嶼」試圖從荷蘭、日本、加拿大、原住民等逐步演變的歷史，探討台灣進化發展的身分定位與影響。2008年研科台灣文化節邀請首次於加拿大登台演唱的台灣搖滾天王伍佰，亦促成台灣國寶級水彩畫家沈國仁與加拿大國寶級水彩畫家Doris McCarthy一起聯展，展現台灣多才多藝、生氣蓬勃的特色。2008年研科台灣文化節溫哥華和多倫多參與人數總和達到14萬，達到全新的里程碑。
“A New Journey” was the theme for 2009 TELUS TAIWANfest. This 20-year-old festival not only celebrated the milestone with the “wedding-inspired” theme, it also took on a new vision that expanded the artistic mandate, engaged diverse communities and committed to the environment for the festival’s present and the future. As the largest English/Mandarin bilingual festival in Canada with over 100,000 attendees in two cities, TELUS TAIWANfest prided itself on three initiatives for 2009,demonstrating leadership for festivals in the area of Social Responsibilities.
When Vancouver entered the Year 2010,the whole world set sights on Canada; when City of Vancouver challenged TAIWANfest to carry the torch of celebrations from the Winter Olympics, the Taiwanese Community in Vancouver answered the call. Ironically, it is the same old dream that most of us all have – a dream to show and share the best of what we have. It is not the City of Vancouver or Toronto, the Province of BC or Ontario, or the True North Nation of Canada or Island Nation of Taiwan that was battling for the bragging rights; rather, it was the opportunity to shine that inspired us all.
Dreaming for the next big opportunity shall never stop. And, so long as the dream lives on in all of us, new chapters will continue to bring joy and warmth to the world. While Vancouver 2010 and TAIWANfest 2010 showed the world new perspectives, the dream to think big is still the same old key.
As an immigrant nation, Canada prides itself on values of diversity and benefits from our country’s cultural harmony. Taiwan, an island nation, has its share of stereotypes due to the complexity of its history. A hot spot of energy and connectivity, the influxes of various cultures have not only impacted the formation of the new culture, but have also become the foundation of new expressions in arts. The conflicts and chaos between preserving and abandoning the traditions have given the innovative minds from Taiwan nutrients to excel and motivations to succeed. It’s time for the world to see Taiwan with an open mind – a cultural phenomenon – Taiwan Rising.
The total attendance for 2011 for both Vancouver and Toronto is 200,000.
Continuing the direction of changing the stereotypes of society, TAIWANfest is prepared to start a new dialogue on Canada’s multifaceted lifestyles between the new immigrants and Canadians who have been here for generations. Lifestyles encompass the arts in taste, sounds and sights, the ways we live, move and communicate, and the beliefs in spiritualities, physicality and morality. Lifestyle has no right or wrong as it is a matter of choice. TAIWANfest features a series of culinary arts, music, dance and film events designed to stimulate conversation and promote understanding of the various lifestyles that exist in Canada today.
The total attendance for 2012 for both Vancouver and Toronto is 200,000.
加拿大台灣文化節以分享台灣經驗為主軸，提供加拿大移民族群中重要的對話平台，探索「生活藝術」的形成與發展。過去台灣社會發展的心路歷程，台灣人民「敢夢」的精神讓「不可能」變成「可能」，台灣文化裡「執著」的性格，讓夢想可以成真 － 「逐夢、築夢」不但反應了台灣文化的特質，也呼應著加拿大移民社會的中心價值。
Culture is the acronym for the lifestyles in a civilization; it is beyond just stories of the past and the customs of the ancestors. The wisdom found beneath a culture truly embodies the foundation of the future and constantly steers the formation of a new culture. While earth’s global ocean is the largest confirmed surface on all observable planets, only so little was ever explored by human. Furthermore, the ocean is an integral part of all known life and influences our climate and weather patterns. Connecting continents and civilizations, the ocean symbolizes diversity, inclusiveness, and infinity and may hold the secret to advancing humanity. Can Taiwan, an island nation where people are constantly battling with national identity, learn from her rich historical past and envision her future with inspiration from the ocean?
TAIWANfest celebrated its 25th Anniversary in Vancouver. The festival used the flower Myosotis, a non-Taiwan native plant, to show the foreign influences on the island and to set the stage for a vibrant, colourful and ever-evolving culture today. Like Myosotis, Taiwan may be insignificant in the eyes of the world’s giants; Taiwan is also reminiscent of many little stories with big aspirations around the world. Everyone of us matters as we always leave footprints in our paths, past, present or future. We are our own legacies and we dare the world to Forget Me Not!
What would be different for you today had some long distant ancestor made a different decision? What will be the impact on future generations of the choices you make today? In 2015 TAIWANfest explored this complex idea, reminding us all that even inaction will cause ripples across the fabric of time and space. History – whether Taiwan’s or any other nation’s – is built upon the work of those who came before us. We will all leave something behind for those who come after us – let’s try and make that something a Torch of Hope!
TAIWANfest echoed Canada’s diverse values in 2016, launching the Dialogues with Asia series: a five year plan to feature a different Asian culture each year. Through various artistic and intercultural exchange, each year is an opportunity for a new community to self determine and self express their connections to Taiwan, Canada, and the world. Against the backdrop of two of Canada’s most vibrant downtown environments, develop an even deeper respect and appreciation for the diversity we are all so proud of!
In even the Chinese-speaking world, Taiwan and Hong Kong share an incredible amount of cultural, economic, and even political history – understandable given their proximity and shared roots. Yet each has walked along a very different path to arrive at where they are today, having sacrificed neither their heritage nor identity. Reflecting on their roots and carving a new path for their peoples, pursuing the strength that is found in freedom, the 2016 TAIWANfest: A Cultural Tango with Hong Kong uses “Redefining our Roots” as the Artistic Direction. Roots are not just about our past; they could be the start of a new society, the beginning of a dream, or the inception of something deemed impossible. Experience the progress of Hong Kong and Taiwan, two cultural leaders in crafting the evolution and creation of a more inclusive cultural awareness.
The festive staple of toasting is ubiquitous and nearly every culture has its own variation on this gesture of goodwill. Whether it is the French “Santé”, German “Prost”, Scandinavian “Skål” or others, toasting and merrymaking go hand in hand.
But at that split second when the glasses clink, a solitary sound amidst the festivities, one moment is suspended in the air. It could be simple and it could be complex; it could be a tribute to the past or a dream for the future. It could be a hope, a desire, a wish shared by all who are present. It is a moment of inspiration.
Yet what are the influences that drive us to the toast? For what reason do we seek this unity, this inclusion in the collective? What is that something we strive for, so obviously bigger and better and grander than any one of us could achieve alone?
“Kanpai, Japan!” is an exploration of these influences, connecting the island nations of Japan and Taiwan, and again with Canada. Join us for a collective Kanpai!
What does it mean to be culturally diverse? What does it mean to be part of any one community? What defines who you are or what your community is? Does the community define Chinatown or does Chinatown define Chinese? Out of convenience in the globally interconnected conditions of today, we continue to sort people and communities; first we were stereotyped by those who did not know us, now we are funneled by algorithms and machine learning. Why can we not derive our own identities from our curiosity on our connections with others? How do we show respect without being corny? Why should we fear to learn the truth?
Martin Luther King’s 1968 speech inspired Americans to end racial discrimination; it wasn’t until 2008 that an official apology was offered to the victims of Residential Schools by a Canadian Prime Minister; Oprah Winfrey’s rousing speech during the 2018 Golden Globe Award ceremony is still calling for women to rise. When are people going to recognize the perhaps unintentional bullying on other people’s cultural identity? Engaging each new culture is a new opportunity to grow – to discover not only something you did not previously know, but also re-shape your understanding of your own past, present, and future. Growth can only happen when we dialogue from one heart to another heart, and as South African philanthropist Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
多元文化的意義是什麼? 族裔認同又代表著什麼? 誰可以決定你的認同或是你屬於哪個族裔? 是居民的文化定位了唐人街, 還是唐人街決定了什麼是華人的文化? 在一個追求方便與速度的地球村裡, 我們用數據把人歸類; 從以前陌生人用刻板印象決定我是誰, 到今天我們被人工智慧演算出我們應屬的族群. 究竟什麼時候才可以用真誠的內心去回應自己對多元文化的好奇與學習, 不再讓尊重變成老生常談, 更不畏懼尋找真理.
馬丁路德博士1963年的演講喚醒了美國種族歧視的良知; 加拿大政府一直到2008年才有總理為殘酷的原住民學校政策道歉; 奧普拉在2018金球獎動人的演講還在肯定與鼓勵女性為自己發聲. 什麼時候才會有人發現自己可能無心地正在霸凌別人的文化認同呢? 學習與欣賞另一個文化, 在其中找到與自我在過去, 現在或未來的連結, 就是一種成長. 語言是我們對話的工具, 打開我們的視野. 有南非國父之稱的曼德拉曾說, “你用別人懂的語言與他對話, 他聽懂了; 你用別人的語言與他對話, 他感動了!”
Survival for many is an act of courage; to live is to find meanings in the suffering. When people are displaced and lives are detoured, the tenacity one demonstrates to survive is the essence of beauty.
Painters, musicians, poets and artists love to capture this quality in people and these works often inspire others to find the strength to continue their path.
Wars often show the worst in mankind, as violence is the most convenient way for power to be gained. Like many places in Asia, Vietnam and Taiwan shared chapters of histories resisting the intruders and living under the colonizers. Time and time again, the people rise to preserve their families, cultures and homeland; stories of remarkable women keeping families together resemble the very tenacity required in survival.
What is courage really like? When does survival become art?