Storytelling for change: a filmmaking contest for Canadian youth

The UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs is inviting Canadian youth to produce their own short film this summer for submission to the Storytelling for Change campaign. There’s no cost to enter, big prizes to be won, and invaluable connections to make with mentors from around the world. The contest asks young filmmakers…

The fateful meeting of star-crossed lovers

The Tanabata + Flea Market event at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre celebrates the popular Japanese star festival, Tanabata. The celebration will be held on Sat., July 4, from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. “Tanabata is the tale of two star-crossed lovers, Orihime, the star Vega, and Hikoboshi, the star Altair,” says Yukiko Nishikawa, special…

New e-journal reimagines the post-COVID-19 future

Interdisciplinary e-journal Ideas and Futures launched in May 2020 with the aim of provoking serious reflection on an uncertain post-COVID world. Founding editors Sadia Abbas and Raza Ahmad Rumi explain that the journal, which evolved out of a COVID-19 working group of scholars, activists, policy analysts, and artists, will serve as a platform for international…

Shavuot celebration embracing online format for 2020

Although social distancing measures are beginning to ease, too many restrictions are still in place to allow celebrations for Shavuot to take place at syniguages (synagogues). “One of the main reasons behind the festival: we celebrate the receiving of Torah from God to Moses on Mount Sinai,” says Rabbi Carey Brown from Temple Sholom in…

Armenians celebrate their freedom

Each year on May 9, Armenians from Vancouver and around the world will be recognizing Victory and Peace Day, celebrating the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s defeat in the Second World War. “It’s a celebration of happiness,” says Serge Maranjyan, owner of Lamajoun, an Armenian bakery/cafe in Richmond which he runs with his family. “People are…

Om from home

With no plans in place for a 2020 BC Buddhist Festival, Vesak celebrations – the annual holiday of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death – may have to take place from home this year to adapt to the measures in place to deal with COVID-19. The BC Buddhist Festival usually draws large turnouts for the celebration…

Women of Vancouver: Carmen Rodríguez

Chilean-Canadian bilingual writer Carmen Rodríguez has been nominated for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award this year under the Arts, Culture & Design division for her trailblazing work in the field of literature. Rodríguez spent her early childhood in both the southern Chilean city of Valdivia where she was born in 1948 and in the…

A celebration of the Chinese language

The United Nations celebrates one of its six official languages, Chinese, on April 20th. Chinese Language Day marks the contribution of the Chinese language and culture to world culture. Jia Fei, PhD, a senior lecturer teaching Chinese language and culture at Simon Fraser University (SFU) feels that the Chinese language is special and she hopes…

Women of Vancouver – Shannon Permal, winner of the Shakti Awards 2020

Shannon Permal recently won the Shakti Award for Volunteering (Youth) for her community involvement this year. “I have become heavily involved with youth-related projects and initiatives through my involvement in a couple of different organizations,” Permal says, speaking of her varied volunteer endeavours. Background Born and raised in Surrey, Permal has roots in the South…

Easter: religious rites blend with culture

Easter: a time of hopping bunnies and chocolate eggs? Not for the religious communities of Metro Vancouver, who are living it up towards the Holy Week at the end of March with a whole month of special religious services, culminating in the Easter celebration on the 1st of April. The Christian Easter period begins with…