There's a new festival in town and it looks to be one of Vancouver's finest, shining the spotlight on the rich inter-mixing of cultures that defines the city apart. Hapa-Palooza: A Vancouver Celebration of Mixed-Roots Arts and Ideas is a celebration of the city’s myriad hybrid ethnic cultures.
Through film, music, dance and art, the Hapa-Palooza puts the spotlight on mixed-roots identity, especially amongst youth. It's a highly VO-recommended event: the future is all about hybrid cultures, and Vancouver is a forerunner in this phenomenon. This event will open your eyes to what the city is all about.
"I think it's a long time coming," said Jeff Chiba-Stearns, animator and documentary film maker behind Hapa movement-defining movies such as One Big Hapa Family and What Are You Anyways? (both showing tonight at 7 p.m. in the Alice McKay Room) "The mixed race population has doubled in Canada and in the US this past 10 years. Everybody is mixing now, and this festival is just a way to celebrate what's happening."
Chiba-Stearns said that the concept of mixed race and mixed culture was coming back into the forefront of peoples' minds, as evidenced by recent coverage in the New York Times and CNN. However, he makes it clear that the event is not about celebrating an exclusive "Hapa club".
"I like that it's not just about one group -- it's not a Japaense festival, it's not a Greek festival. Everyone can be a part of this," he said. "It's inclusive of everybody and of all the arts: poetry, music, dance, visual arts, film. I think there's no other festival that includes as many genres of art as we do."
"You'll see (Jocelyn Petit), and you might wonder what's an Asian-looking girl playing Celtic violin, but that's how it is right now. It makes people think, about how we don't have to worry about breaking people down into groups anymore."
Jocelyn Petit, a Celtic fiddler who will be performing at Robson Square this Saturday from 2:30pm.
Thursday, September 8th, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Location: Alice McKay Room, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch
Tonight is the FREE film event, featuring fantastic movies about mixed race identity.
FILM TRAILERS –
Hafu – Trailer (Japan) – 0:30 minutes – dir: Lara Perez Takagi and Megumi Nishikura. A sneak peek at a film about the experiences of mixed-Japanese living in Japan