Year of the Snake 2013 Asian Expo Vancouver Lunar New Year celebration (Jan 31 – Feb 03, 2013) at BC Place in Vancouver BC, Canada. Chinese New Year multicultural celebration. Dance, Hip Hop, Model Search Competition, body-paint Fantasy Makeup Contest, Justin Lo Singing Show, Gary Chaw Concert etc.
It’s the Year of the Snake, so even a tortoise could be faster than a Ferrari!!
Diwali means the festival of light. The organizers of the Vancouver DIWALI 2012 (Nov 09, 2012) adopted the slogan “Light Your Spirit” to celebrate the universal light that exists in all of us. Enlightenment would perhaps be appropriate as well.
The evening’s programming included a number of highly sought-after dance and music acts from the Canadian South Asian community.
First up is the Chaniya Chokries Vancouver Garba Dance team at the Roundhouse Community Center in downtown Vancouver’s Yaletown on Nov 10, 2012. The dance story is the telling of the widely-known and popular Radha & Krishna tale that has long been an Indian folklore. The Chaniya Chokries dancers are Vancouver’s newest Garba dance team coming from a national competition in Canada where they placed first in their category.
Other performers included Merlyn Prakash, South Asian Arts from Panj Bhangra, Sangeeta Maruti, Amika Kushwaha, Lapis, Kathak + Flamenco Fusion, DJ A-Slam + Kytami, Vancity Bhangra, Shaimak Vancouver Bollywood Dance Team. Fusion seems to be a key concept and there are no shortages of cross-cultural collaboration between artists from very different backgrounds and artistic disciplines within this group.
To top off the evening at 8:30 PM, a band of percussionists brought together by Sal Ferreras lead the audience outside onto the ground where the old Engine 374 came to rest at the roundhouse which was renovated 26 years before in 1986 when the city of Vancouver celebrated its 100 years of incorporation. The locomotive engine now lies inside a glassy museum nearby.
There, band members played a variety of instruments including Bhangra drums, Taiko, Brazilian bongos and others. Many in the audience stood on their feet and danced enthusiastically as if to release some of the pent-up energy gathered from the night’s powerfully rhythmic beats and vibrant writhing bodily moves from many of the South Asian dance numbers earlier.
Once again, it is what this writer would proclaim ‘Bollywood in Vancouver’. Live!!
Shiamak Vancouver Bollywood Dance [A Video by Ray Van Eng | www.vancouver21.com ]
Chaniya Chokries Garba Girls Team [A Video by Ray Van Eng | www.vancouver21.com ]
Amika Kushwaha + Cassius Khan [A Video by Ray Van Eng | www.vancouver21.com ]
DJ A-Slam + Kytami [A Video by Ray Van Eng | www.vancouver21.com ]
Presented by the Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Society of BC, the Caribbean Days 2012 Festival (July 28-29, 2012) is two-full dayS of festivities featuring an amazing lineup of bands playing Soca, Reggae, Calypso, Latin, African and other international sounds to a large crowd. The event started out on Saturday as a multicultural street parade spiraled its way down Lonsdale Ave. & W. Esplanade in North Vancouver.
Let the Caribbean island music gets you moving. Dance to the rhythm, move to the beat. Performers included Rikki Jai, Gabriel Palatchi, Spirit of the Seas, Queen of Samba, Socacize, Fish, Maffie & Crew, Destiny Band and many more. At the Waterfront Park, right next to the Sea Bus terminal across the Burrard Inlet just north of the City of Vancouver.
The 2011 Canadian National Hip Hop Champions and Hip Hop International Grand Finalists, “FRESHH” from Fresh Groove Studios, Richmond performed at the Canada Day 2012 Celebration at Canada Place Vancouver on July 1, 2012. Choreographed by Cezar Tantoco, this dynamic group has performed at the Closing Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Canada’s Got Talent, Vancouver’s “Summer Live” Festival and many other community events.
Jamaican Kingfish Limbo dancer Clifford Palmer did the limbo rock also to help celebrate the country’s 145th birthday and the 200th anniversary of the Battle of 1812.
Featured here are Cruz de Cristo from Portugal and Tamburica Orchestra Kardinal Stepinac from Croatia that performed at the EuroFest BC 2012, a pan-European cultural event that highlighted many of the smaller Euro nations such as Slovakia, Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan together with Russia, Spain, France, Germany and England. The one-day festivities which reflected Canada’s multiculturalism were organized by the EuroFest BC Society and took place on May 26, 2012 at the Swanguard Stadium in Burnaby, BC (right next to Vancouver).
Kokoma African Heritage Ensemble is a Vancouver based African dance and drum performance group is founded by MaObong Oku from Nigeria. The musical journey of Kokoma sustains ancient rhythms and dances of Africa imbued with rich poetic mythos and imageries of the coastal people of Nigeria. Kokoma African Heritage Ensemble displays wisdom and dignity in their performances as they captivate audiences with their high-energy and interactive performances that excite the audience’s eyes, engage their spirits and energize their souls.
As part of the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the International Women’s Day in 2011, the Utopia Festival at Storyeum in Vancouver’s Gastown featured an evening program of female media artists on March 05, 2011.
The evening started with a First Nations dedication, then it’s onto the main show which featured performers such as DJs, media artists and author/orators: Peaches, Isis Salam, B-Traits, Betti Forde, Librarian, Lynx, Zenobia, She, Blondtron, DJ Veronica, Lady Lane etc.
There are aboriginal artists as well like Nunavut throat-singer Tanya Tagaq, cellist Cris Derksen and Musqueam MC Christie Lee Charles who raps in English and also her native Halkomelem language. After consulting with her elders, Christie Lee Charles was permitted to use the ancient dialect in her rap performance ’in this modern way and follow the protocol.’
Cris Derksen on the other hand is a half-Cree classically trained cellist who often uses loop station and effects pedals to create a new form of musical expression that blends hip hop, folk, rock and aboriginal rhythms.
VIDEO – Cris Derksen and Christie Lee Charles in Vancouver
Utopia Festival 2011: the 100th Anniversary International Women’s Day Event at The Storyeum in Vancouver’s Gastown district on March 5, 2011. The festival celebrates and empowers women in digital culture and features the largest line-up of female electronic music creators. Workshops, Mobile Dance Party and evening programs that highlight rhythm with musical performances by Canadian and international artists such as Peaches, Tanya Tagaq, Isis Salam etc.
One of the highlights of the evening at W2 Storyeum in the newly-renovated downtown Woodwards building complex was Tanya Tagaq, a throat singer from Nunavut, NWT, Canada. It would be appropriate to describe that Tanya Tagaq sings from her guts and innards. Raw, primal and hysterical, Tagaq’s musical act combines traditional aboriginal First Nations throat-singing techniques and contemporary hip hop DJ beats and rhythm to express the angst and the occasional heightened sense of elastic joy of a liberated modern female psyche.
The electronic music and vocal performance reverberated the room with such supercharged sexual energy that the appreciative screams from the audience was as loud as the animalistic howling from the artist herself.
VIDEO – Tanya Tagaq LIBERATED! International Women’s Day 2011 in Vancouver
The International Women’s Day is on March 08, 2011 but Vancouver celebrated early and in style during the weekend on March 05, 2011 with a festival dubbed Utopia and a parade named mobile dance. Much of the day’s events happened at W2 Storyeum in Vancouver’s Gastown district.
The Utopia Festival 2011 was designed to celebrate and empower women in digital culture and featured the largest line-up of female electronic music creators in Canada. Workshops, Mobile Dance Party and an evening program that highlighted rhythm with musical performances by Canadian and international artists such as Peaches, Tanya Tagaq, Isis Salam, B-Traits, Betti Forde, Librarian, Lynx, Zenobia, She, Blondtron, DJ Veronica, Lady Lane etc.
The Mobile Dance Party took place earlier in the day starting at the Broadway-Commercial Skytrain station. A large procession of hundreds of participants then travelled along Commercial Drive complete with an ensemble cast of drummers, sax-players and trumpeters, stilt-walkers and clowns etc. Plenty of political flag-waving for peace and justice in Iran, Amnesty International, freedom from sexism etc. VIDEO – International Women’s Day Parade along Commercial Drive in Vancouver
Those who carry the portable Shinto shrine chant washoi washoi or soya soya to set the rhythm and help keep the Omikoshi well-balanced as they make their way across the community. The harder the jolt, the more merrier the God feels and in return he bestows fortune and fertility upon the neighborhood. The Omikoshi ceremony is a very elaborate affair. First, the Japanese spare no expense in building the portable Shinto shrine. Then the night before the ceremony, the miniature Shinto shrine is put on display for all to admire and then a ritual is performed the next day which concluds with the parade. In many ways, there is nothing more Japanese than Omiksohi.