Canada’s First Asian Canadian Writers Festival, September 21 to 25

LiterAsian poster5.6 print-page-001 copy

Our Theme – History and Memory
As Canada nears its 150 celebration of Confederation, it is timely for the Asian Canadian community to gather to reflect on its history.
Festival Pass
This year we are launching a festival pass. This $20 festival pass will allow the purchaser unlimited access to all five of our workshops and three panels as well as an annual membership to ACWW which includes subscription to the online version of Ricepaper magazine and discounts to some community partnership events. A good deal plus a great way to show your support to the Asian Canadian writing community.
Opening Event

Panel Discussion: Searching the Past – Locating History and Memory 
Vancouver Public Library, 350 W Georgia Street
Wednesday, September 21, 6.00pm

Our opening event will be hosted jointly by the Vancouver Public Library on Wednesday, Sept 21, 6pm at the Central Branch lower level, Alice MacKay Room. The panel will explore the different ways we chose to gather and record the past and illuminate the deeds of earlier generations. The panel will include Award-winning authors and editors, Paul Yee, Denise Chong, SKY Lee, JJ Lee, Simon Choa Johnston, Jean Barman and Judy Hanazawa.

Additional Panels

Crossing Boundaries: Writing the Diaspora
Chinese Cultural Centre Museum 555 Columbia Street
Friday, September 23, 6.00pm

Aside from the opening event panel at VPL, we have a Friday evening 6pm panel “Crossing Boundaries: Writing the Diaspora” at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum (555 Columbia Street). The panel will look at History and Memory from the perspective of diasporic writing when our writers situate their stories beyond Canadian shores. Panelists, Simon Choa Johnston’s new publication, The House of Two Wives begin his story in Calcutta by way of Bagdad and eventually end up in Hong Kong. C. Fong Hsiung traces the plight of the Hakka community following the India-China war of 1962, the Chinese Indians (the Hakka), fearing suspicion and hostility, begin to emigrate. Fong Hsiung’s main character, Jillian Wu was sent to Canada as a picture bride to marry a man she had never met. Filmmaker and director, Cheuk Kwan and cinematographer, Kwoi Jin are partners in a 15 part documentary series “Chinese Restaurants” that tells the stories of the diasporic Chinese from such places such as Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, India, Israel, Madagascar, Mauritius , Norway, Peru, South Africa, Trinidad, Turkey and Canada. They will discuss their new book project to further elaborate on what didn’t ‘make it” into the film. Anna Wang Yuan is a Canadian novelist currently living in California. She edited an anthology “The Strangers” a short story collection by nine new generation ethnic Chinese writers, mostly immigrants who reflect the alienation of being a stranger in a strange land.

The Medium as the Message: Telling Stories Beyond the Written Word

Chinese Cultural Centre Museum 555 Columbia Street, Vancouver, BC
Saturday, September 24, 3.00pm

The written word is not the only way we can communicate our idea. This panel brings together storytellers, filmmakers and those who use other creative means to create effective content. Sarah Ling is a part of a team of producers, writers and filmmakers that are based in U.B.C. and together with elder Larry grant has chronicled Larry dual native aboriginal/Chinese heritage on film. Dan Seto uses youtube as a vehicle for his “Chinese Canadian Roots TV” to explore and chronicling his roots through cooking, culture, travel, history and events. 1985 to 1987, Paul Yee served as Chairman of the Saltwater City Exhibition Committee of the Chinese Cultural Centre and along with David Wong, help put together this seminal Exhibition about the Chinese in Vancouver. David Wong also published an acclaimed graphic novel,”Escape from Gold Mountain”. Filmmaker and director, Cheuk Kwan and cinematographer, Kwoi Jin are partners in a 15 part documentary series “Chinese Restaurants” that tells the stories of the diasporic Chinese from such places such as Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, India, Israel, Madagascar, Mauritius , Norway, Peru, South Africa, Trinidad, Turkey and Canada.  This is a multi-media panel where each panelist will showcase some of their activities and discuss the creative process behind work.

Workshops
Location for all workshops – UBC Learning Centre (612 Main Street)

1. The Self-Publishing Process (September 24, 11.00AM-12.30PM) – Workshop leader – Edwin Lee

2. Writing A Reflective Memoir: Telling a Great Story from Beginning to End (September 24, 1.00PM-2.30PM) Workshop leader – J.J. Lee

3. Literature and Rendering Memory (September 25, 11.00AM-12.30PM)Workshop leader – Denise Chong

4. Food and Inspiration of Storytelling from Memory (September 25, 1.00PM-2.30PM) Workshop leader – Larry Wong

5. Writing Effectively Using a ‘Trace’ and a ‘Hook’ (September 25, 3.00PM-4.30PM) – Workshop leader – Jean Barman

Book Launches

Book Launch: “Gently to Nagasaki” by Joy Kogawa 

Vancouver Public library, Central Branch, Lower floor, Alice MacKay Room
September 22, 6:30pmJoy Kogawa’s new memoir, “Gently to Nagasaki” is presented in partnership with the Historic Joy Kogawa House, the Vancouver Public Library, and Caitlin Press. This intimate exploration, both communal and intensely personal, invites you on a spiritual pilgrimage of forgiveness and resilience. Set in Vancouver and Toronto, the outposts of Slocan and Coaldale, the streets of Nagasaki and the high mountains of Shikoku, Japan, it is also an account of a remarkable life.
Book Launch: Picture Bride by C. Fong Hsiung Chinese Cultural Centre Museum, 555 Columbia Street, Vancouver,
Saturday, September 24, 2.00pm
Following the India-China war of 1962, the Chinese Indians (the Hakka), fearing suspicion and hostility, begin to emigrate. In Picture Bride, set during a period of changing times and changing values, twenty-year-old Jillian Wu leaves Calcutta to marry a man she has never met—Peter Chou, also a Hakka—with much anticipation, only to discover that he is gay. Forced by her husband to keep up the charade of a “normal” marriage, and pressured by her in-laws to have a child, she flees back to Calcutta, only to be disowned by her conservative family. A moving story with political overtones, Picture Bride confronts the politics of family, culture, and women’s rights.
Book Launch: The Strangers edited by Anna Wang Yuan

Chinese Cultural Centre Museum, 555 Columbia Street, Vancouver, BC., Saturday,

September 24, 4.00pm

What kind of images does “Chinese” stir up in your mind? Do you think of strange-looking workers who built the railroads before 1900? Or the quiet math genius from your high school whose strange-sounding name you’ve long forgotten? Perhaps you recall the mysterious man who brought bags of cash to pay for a car or even a house. In a time of globalization, you’ve learned to work with strangers and live amongst strangers, yet you’ve probably only read books written by familiar names. Anna Wang Yuan compiled the nine stories and written the foreword.
LiterASIAN at WORD Vancouver (11.00am to 5.00pm Library Square)

Come join us at the annual Word Vancouver, down at Library Square and meet our featured writers, Paul Yee, Simon Choa Johnston, JJ Lee and Joy Kogawa.  Come and say Hello at the Ricepaper Magazine/literasian table  Word Vancouver is Western Canada’s largest celebration of literacy and reading event. Book and magazine fair celebrating literacy and the printed word. (http://wordvancouver.ca/2016-festival/)

Closing Event

Gala Dinner $50 per person 

Sunday September 25, 6pm

Golden Phoenix Restaurant 2425 Nanaimo StreetCome join in to share a meal that includes a 10-course Peking Duck dinner and have a chance to meet and talk to and get your books signed by the featured writers, in our 2016 program. Our Gala dinner is a fun-filled event which includes celebrity MCs and music from our literASIAN house band with lots of prizes and of course, a ten course Chinese meal.

The $50 ticket also offers a one-year membership to the ACWW as well as a one-year subscription to Ricepaper Magazine (online version) and discounts and special opportunities to community partner events. So come and support the creation of new writers and readers in our community and celebrate the end of another successful festival.

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