Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Culture in Greater Vancouver

Please go either to the International Writers Festival (that started today and is on until Sunday) - or to any other cultural event of your choice (e.g. concerts, plays, dance performances, movies, etc) and tell us about it in any genre and form you wish.

Here some links you might find useful:

Enjoy the event!




  1. Hi this is Michael,

    Unfortunately I did not get an opportunity to watch any of the cultural events going on this week. I did however participate in many theatrical activities in the past few years including in-class theatre, theatre company as well as THE SEXY CHIN AND CHOW CAST of 2012-2013. Most of the productions I have participated in have been astounding, and really scary. I used to be somewhat of an introvert and didn't open up to anyone but after participating in theatre, I found a love for performing. Nevertheless I am still very fearful when it comes to auditioning or performing. The roles I played consisted of Paris Prince of Troy, the lead dancer of Star Academy, and my recent role was Janitor a janitor. Surprisingly from all my experiences, the most enjoyable role was Janitor the janitor because the play consisted primarily of improv. We were given a basic story line in which the cast members had to go about fulfilling but we were never given any lines. During our actual production we rented out a place entirely with an array selection for gourmet food.

    "Fancy breads and non-expired butter
    Arugula and Spinach Bed with pasteurized Goat Cheese and Fresh Organic Beets
    Hail Caesar Salad
    Snobbypants Platter of International Cheeses

    Eggplant Parmegiana in a Light Tempura Batter with Fresh Basil Tomato Sauce and Grated Mozzarella
    Shrimp and Scallop swimming on Linguine with Slow-Roasted Vegetables tossed in a heavy Pesto Cream Sauce
    Authentic Vancouver Beef Bourguignon served with delectable Mashed Potatoes
    Savory Moroccan Lemon Chicken served with Cous Cous and Manzanilla Olives

    And a delicious assortment of high-sugar, cellulite-inducing desserts"

    The entire event took interactive-dinner theatre to a whole new level. I made a lot of new relationships that impacted my life in a positive manner. The idea of having to come up with humorous criteria on the spot was really difficult. The cast consisted of different levels of experience and we met up for three hour practices twice a week for several months before presenting. Our tickets were about 30 dollars each and they sold out fast. I miss the experience because of the people you meet. It was an unforgettable experience for sure!

    1. Sounds like a great - and very creative experience (including the names of the dishes). Thanks for sharing!

  2. I could't make to the writers' festival either. I remembered one time my friend she brought me to the one rock music band concert, because she is really into the rock music. Being honest, I don't really like rock music that much, I felt it is too loud and noisy. However, after that concert night, it totally changed my idea of that. Although the music is loud too, but somehow I really looked into the lyrics. It was so beautiful, it totally expressed what the author wanted to say, and it touched with my emotion too. And I realize that the rock music is loud and very strong on it melody because it could creates a different environment for the  listeners as well, it could make people feel happy and excited if your mood is really down. For example, so tired for homework, maybe listening to one of those kind of music could save you. After this band concert, it is only changes my opinion on the music, it also teaches me a really true life lesson, don't judge until you really understand it.

    1. Very interesting, Biwen. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I was not able to make it to the writers' festival, but being an Indian Sikh born and raised in Canada, I get to go to the annual Vaisakhi parade in Surrey every year. In Sikhism, Vaisakhi celebrates the birth of our religion, and living in a community outside of India with so many Indian-Sikhs is an incredible thing.

    Surrey has the largest Vaisakhi parade in all of North America with a turnout of over 200, 000 each year. Having the opportunity to experience and celebrate such an important day even though I live no where near India is great. Sikhism is an extremely welcoming religion, so the parade welcomes people of all races, cultures, and religions. This day and parade is not just for Sikhs, but for the entire community.

    This annual parade is an amazing cultural experience as so many different types of people from various cultural backgrounds come together to celebrate this day which may mean nothing to them, but means everything to me. It may not mean much to some people, but they still come and celebrate the day.

    In a way, all of the different cultures come together and become one, even if it's just for a few hours. I have never in my life experienced more generosity or friendliness than I have on this day from everybody I come across. It's a day of giving and giving and giving. Giving help, giving smiles, and even giving food. It's a day of sharing so many different things and ideals. Cultures mix and experience everything together.

    I love the Vaisakhi parade because there's always so many different people to meet and learn from. I have never been in an environment that spans such a wide range of cultures and people than I have at the parade. Vaisakhi is proof of the diversity of cultures we have in this multicultural community, and I absolutely adore it.

    1. Hi Jasleen,
      Thanks a lot for sharing your experience of the Vaisakhi parade! I usually go there every year as well (not to the one in Surrey but to the one around Main and 49th) and really enjoy it!

  4. I was not able to make it to the writers' festival either but I was invited to sing a song at a multicultural event held in my high school. There was different foods of different countries and so much music and performances! I really liked Chinese bell(?) performance. They were fully dressed up and with so much color and elaborated instruments, it was so beautiful. The performance I think was originated hundreds of years from now, and the it was imperial performance . Music played for the kings. It's always fun to experience different cultures and I think through these multicultural events, people can know each other better and would build more trust and respect and most importantly build bridges between different cultures.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Sounds like a great event! You are totally right: it's great to have thought multicultural events - in particular at schools and universities!
      Which song did you sing? If we had another class left, I'd invite you to sing it for us….

    2. The song I sang is called Arirang. It's one of the most famous korean folk song.
      Here's a link for the song. This was performed in korea by many talented volunteers.

  5. I enjoy going to concerts particularly with classical music because I used to play Viola in my school orchestra. Last Friday I finally had some time and went to a symphony orchestra concert from my high school. It was nice to have a break and do something together with my family. I also noticed how much I miss playing my instrument. Even though I do think I could have a career in music I played in my school orchestra all of my high school years. I think it helped me take my mind of stress and allowed me to express myself. I also appreciate music and art more since I know how much hard work and genius goes into it. Music can often times connect us and express emotions we cannot describe with words. Sometimes I think it can make is get in touch with a part of us we have forgotten existed.

    1. Hi Wiebke,
      Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts about music. You are totally right in what you say. Therefore: don't stop playing the viola! Keep doing it - even if you don't have time to play in an orchestra or string quartet right now…. I also get very often to busy to play (I play the violin) and then don't play for months or even years. I always regret it after - and it feels really good to play again. So just keep playing at least two or three times per week even during exam time :)

  6. I feel so lucky to leave in such an openly multicultural place in Vancouver. We embrace so many nationalities and attempt to showcase them as much as possible. I will be honest I haven’t in the past gone to many of the events but have instead taken them for granted. I regret this choice because this year I decided to make an attempt to go to some of the events. They have heightened my love and appreciation for the place I live.

    The one cultural event I never miss is the Vaisakhi parade. Just like Jasleen my background is Sikh. I look forward to the parade because I am so proud of whom I am and I love the opportunity to be able to share/showcase with others. My favorite part of the event is that so many people of different cultures come to celebrate the day with us. I always love talking to people and teaching them about our culture whether it be about the food or how to dance. It’s such a fun day. I also love how our community is so together and we are able to come together and put on such an entertaining event.

    A new cultural event I went to this year was the Vancouver Writers Festival. I had never paid any attention to it until this year. The experience was awesome and I will definitely be going back. I was very lucky that my favorite author Maureen Johnson was speaking. I went to her event and I have never laughed so hard in my life. She didn’t talk much about her writing process but as a big fan of her I loved getting to know her on a more personal level. She is completely opposite of what I thought she would be. I loved her but I thought she would be a lot more passionate as she writes so much about love. However she was kind of the opposite. She was quirky with a cynical humor. She was more about reality and being sarcastic about all the hard things in life. She was fun and very honest with everything the audience asked her. I was really able to get a feel for who she is and it made me love her even more. My favorite part though was meeting her and getting her to sign my book. I was also able to share my idea with her in person about making my favorite series of hers into a movie. She actually liked it which made me really happy. When I talked to her as well she seemed really genuine and cared about her readers and wanted to connect with us. As one of those readers it made me feel special. The event was very cool and I am so glad that I went. I think going to these events is very important and I will definitely attempt to experience more of them.