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UBCO Asian heritage month events go virtual

Artwork by Meg Yamamoto.
Image Credit: UBC Okanagan/Meg Yamamoto
May 06, 2021 - 1:30 PM

UBC Okanagan and its community partners are marking Asian Heritage month with virtual events.

Throughout May, UBCO will feature invited artists and performers, virtual tours in collaboration with the Kelowna Museums Society, and presentations by students and faculty on Asian language, identity and heritage, according to a UBCO press release.

On May 8, an opening forum will be be held virtually called Asian Canadians and the Pandemic: Perspectives from Okanagan and will be facilitated by Dr. Shirley Chau, UBCO social work professor and hosted by the Okanagan Chinese Canadian Association.

Tony Yu, a fourth-year UBCO performing arts student, said local artists are looking forward to sharing their work with the community.

“In this first-ever Asian Heritage Month event, there are 10 artists involved that will showcase different mediums of art,” he said, in the press release. “The event gives Asian artists of Kelowna an excellent platform to promote their art as well as express their personal stories to a much wider audience.”

Upcoming events

May 1-31 Asian Heritage Exhibition

Visit the Penticton Museum to learn about the history and contribution of Asian immigrants to the Okanagan. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

May 6 - UBCO Opening Event

Join Canada’s former parliamentary poet laureate Fred Wah for a poetry reading, followed by a reading of Stories of Care, stories of Filipino care workers and the impact of the pandemic on them, including stories of employment, unemployment, family, grief, healing, community and resilience. Elder Larry Grant, who is of mixed Chinese and Musqueam ancestry will open the event.

May 12 - Chinese Voices of the Okanagan: A Showcase

This event discusses linguistic diversity amongst members of the Chinese community in Kelowna — including those who trace their heritage to mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau — and showcases a website featuring community folksongs and folk stories.

The event enhances understanding of the complexity of heritage languages and identities in the Chinese-Canadian diaspora, and to foster connections between students and community members.

May 13 - The Story of Bhangra

Gurdeep Pandher, an internationally renowned artist based in the Yukon, will narrate the story of Bhangra, a popular dance form with deep connections to the land and people of Punjab, India.

Born into a farming family in the village of Siahar in Punjab, Pandher brings together artists from all backgrounds to promote inclusivity and diversity. Pandher’s works have been published by many international art and media organizations including BBC News, CBC and The Globe and Mail. Pandher’s presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

May 20 - Rediscovering Chinatown

Rediscover the history of Kelowna’s Chinatown and the cultural forces that drove its creation on a virtual tour of the Okanagan Heritage Museum. UBC Okanagan students and museum staff will help tell this story in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

May 26 - UBCO Artists Showcase

An event featuring the work of UBC Okanagan students and faculty in performance, creative writing, media and visual arts while they negotiate the complexities of Asian experiences, identities and heritages. A discussion and Q&A session will follow.

May 30 - Virtual Asian Heritage Community Showcase

This event will celebrate Asian Heritage Okanagan's 10th anniversary and will feature speeches and stage performances through YouTube from 7-8:30 p.m. Details can be found online here.

More information about these ongoing events, including how to register, are available online here.

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