After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Schema Magazine and Sammie Jo Productions raise funds and fun for Giant Robot Magazine at Fortune Sound Club

Dance party West is East raises money and awareness for iconic Asian pop-culture mag

The Boom Box Saints were just one of many talented performers who donated their time for the West is East fundraiser Thursday night

Schema Magazine, in conjunction with Sammie Jo Rumbaua of Sammie Jo Productions and Giant Robot Magazine, invaded the Vancouver party scene on Thursday night with their combined fundraiser, dance-party and talent show: West is East.

Taking place at Fortune Sound Club in East Vancouver, this first annual event was one of the last events of Asian Heritage month and featured an impressive line up of talent which included hip hop dance groups, DJs, a uklele playing singer-song writer and freestyle rappers.

More than just a good time, the event, which was the brain-child of Alden Habacon, managing director of Diversity Initiatives for CBC and founder of Asian online rag Schema Magazine, was organized to showcase and support the talents of the Asian community here in Vancouver.

"I’ve always felt that we've taken our local talent for granted," Habacon explained in an email interview. "We don't recognize enough that we have world‐class talent in Vancouver, many of which are of Asian‐descent. In coming together as a community [through this event], we hope everyone feels a real sense of confidence in the cultural innovation Vancouver's Asian communities have given Vancouver."

In addition to raising awareness for local Asian artists, Habacon and Sammie Jo Productions also put the event together to help raise money for the magazine Giant Robot.

This iconic magazine, which is often described as the first magazine for and about Asian American pop culture, like many publications, has felt the pinch of the recent recession.

Feeling inspired and wanting to show their support, both Habacon and Rumbaua got on board to think of creative ways to help raise money for this important magazine and the West is East fundraiser was born.

"Giant Robot has been pivitol in exposing Asian Pop culture in North America and we don't want to lose them since they are the first Asian American magazine for youth and young adults. This is our way of saying thanks for what the magazine has done," said Rumbaua.

As Habacon went on to add, "It was an opportunity to support Giant Robot who brought Asian pop culture in to the consciousness of Americans, non-Asians and Asians alike."

Overall the night was funky and fun, with a highlight performance by hip hop group the Boom Box Saints. While the final numbers have yet to be tallied, organizers are hopeful that they have reached their goal of raising $3,000 for Giant Robot.

Schema Magazine and Sammie Jo Productions are also hoping to continue to do their part in making the talented voices of the Asian community heard here in Vancouver and as part of this goal are (of course) looking forward to hosting many more West is East dance parties in years to come.

More in Culture

Pie à la Modulus: Hot, Sweet & Savory

Music on Main's annual Festival serves up varied fare citywide

Spin cycle in the Cosmic Laundromat

Gamers "click" IRL through VR role-playing in multimedia staging of 3,000 year old Chinese classic

Holy Dips at Vancouver Sangam

Indian Summer Fest treats local palates to mixed masala of arts, laughs and ideas
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.