A Scottish splash in B.C.

There is a strong Scottish presence in British Columbia. In fact, roughly 15 per cent of British Columbians are of Scottish descent according to Darryl Carracher, general manager of Vancouver’s Scottish Cultural Centre. From the very start of the 20th century and into the 1960s, there was a large number of Scots settling in Vancouver.…

Audrey Siegl: an activist and a musician

December 10 marks International Human Rights Day. In light of this upcoming event, Audrey Siegl, a Musqueam First Nations member, reflects on local human rights challenges in Vancouver and her role in shining a spotlight on these issues. A menu of words easily describes who Siegl is: Anti-poverty activist. Feminist. Artist. Role model. These words…

Vancouver Turkish Film Festival returns

The Vancouver Turkish Film Festival is returning for the second time this Dec. 4–7. This year’s VTFF is dedicated to women filmmakers, with 14 of the 29 films presented directed by women. The Vancity Theatre will be hosting the festival, which will feature twice as many films as last year. With the support of the…

Beyond the lights: spices of the Diwali Fest

Diwali Fest, an annual South Asian arts and culture festival, is celebrating its 12th year in Vancouver. Diwali, meaning “row of lighted lamps,” is a Hindu tradition undertaken by many throughout the world and signifies the spirit’s triumph of light over darkness. Diwali Fest Co-Producer Rohit Chokhani explains. “Our society is driven to build bridges…

Moon-gazing festival a time for families

On Sept. 27, families in Chinatown will gather to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, an event that is held every year on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. Traditional food, spending time with family members and moon-gazing are central to the festival, but this year’s event will have a…

Celebrating 25 years with the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival

The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary as one of the world’s most prominent annual flamenco festivals outside of Spain. Founded by Rosario Ancer and her husband Victor Kolstee, the festival has been providing Vancouverites with world-class performances by popular flamenco dancers and musicians from around the world, and instilling a strong…

Immigration and integration at heart of the Polish Cultural Festival

Metro Vancouver’s Polish community will be holding its third annual Polish Cultural Festival on Sept. 6 and 7 in North Vancouver, presented by Belweder, the non-profit North Shore Polish Association. “The main purpose of the society is to keep the Polish culture and tradition alive in our community,” says Urszula Sulinska, president of Belweder. Waves…

Chat goes into the Dutch-Taiwanese connection

Cheryl Robbins, an expert on Taiwanese indigenous tourism and the Dutch-Taiwanese connection, will speak to an outdoor audience on Granville Street for Vancouver’s 26th annual TAIWANfest. A celebration of arts and culture rooted in the Mandarin-speaking community, TAIWANfest will showcase music, dance, film, food, fine art and fashion along seven festival routes on Granville Street…

Taiwanese festival brings communities together

On Sept. 4–7, the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association will hold its annual TaiwanFest in Vancouver to celebrate the culture, film, music and art of Taiwan. Managing director Charlie Wu says that the festival started 26 years ago as an indoor concert of classical music and has gradually expanded to a multi-disciplinary festival. Even today it…

The Korean Cultural Heritage Festival expands beyond Korean community

On Aug. 8, the Korean Cultural Heritage Society will hold its annual festival at Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium to celebrate Korean culture, arts, entertainment and food, and the multiculturalism of the Lower Mainland. Mike Suk, the director and spokesperson for the Korean Cultural Heritage Society, says the 14-year-old festival began as an event for the Korean…

Celebrating Vancouver’s Latin flair at the Carnaval del Sol

Paola Murillo and Latincouver are proud to present the seventh annual Carnaval del Sol, a festival aimed at bringing an authentic Latin American fiesta to Metro Vancouver. For the past seven years, the Carnaval del Sol has showcased and promoted the Latin American community’s cultural flair. “It’s a space for people to think ‘Wow! I’m…

Greek Dancers

From Broadway to Boundary: Summer festivities in the Greek community

“Live a Day the Greek Way!” – Originally a weekend event in 1987, the annual Vancouver Greek Summerfest has become a 10-day event over two weekends run solely by volunteers. But what is the “Greek Way?” “The ‘Greek Way’ is one of filotimo,” says Rania Hatzioannou, who works behind the scenes of the summer festival…

Greek festivities with Yannis Sahamis

Bouzouki instrumentalist Yannis Sahamis will share his Greek heritage with audience members at the Vancouver Greek Summerfest, July 2–12. At the event, which takes places at 4641 Boundary Road, Sahamis will perform as a member of a 3-piece band that also includes a drummer and a guitarist. They will be performing instrumental Greek music, followed…