Each May has been officially designated as the Asian Heritage Month in Canada since 2002. During that month, a variety of events featuring Asian art & culture are brought by local communities, art and educational institutions to memorize the vibrant and diverse Asian heritage across Canada. As dedicated to showcasing Asian culture, exploring Chinese artwork and music, and strengthening cultural exchanges between China and Canada, Poly Culture North America will organize a series of online events, which end with a virtual concert on May 28. The events can not only entertain art lovers who are quarantined at home during the pandemic, but also demonstrate our understanding of Canadian multiculturalism and integration.
“The Oriental Voice” online event series will be held on every Friday from May 7 to May 28. Sharing the same theme of traditional Chinese music, two of the events focus on artwork and the other two concentrate on performance. The specific arrangements are as follows:
- On May 7, a video collection of guqin performance by Li Fengyun, the vice president of the China Guqin Committee, and Wang Jianxin,
the professor at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music will be premiered on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
- On May 14, a program is planned to introduce the Chime Bells of Marquis Yi of Zeng〔曾侯乙编钟〕 archived in Hubei Provincial Museum, RongSheng Chime Bells〔戎生编钟〕and other important exhibits archived in the Poly Art Museum. Chime bells have profound significance on Chinese ancient music Culture. Among these, the Chime Bells of Marquis Yi of Zeng have 2400 years of history, and they are the largest and most precise chime bells in the pre-Qin period found in China. To allow the audience to better appreciate the ancient music spanning thousands of years, the video of the Chime Bells performance will be played at the end of program.
- On May 21, a guqin expert will be invited to give an online lecture focusing on several important guqins in the past and upcoming auctions of the Beijing Poly Auction, which includes “The Song Shi Jian Yi imperial Guqin” which is an ancient string instrument made during the Song Emperor Huizong’s reign and has the imperial inscription of the Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty. It was sold at 136 million RMB at the 2010 Beijing Poly Auction’s 5-Year
Anniversary Autumn Auction. At the end of the lecture, a guqin musician will be invited to play.
- On May 28, a virtual concert named “The Oriental Voice” will be held to conclude the series.
“The Oriental Voice” Virtual Concert
The virtual concert is entitled as “the Oriental Voice” demonstrating the history and diversity of traditional Chinese music and culture. Presented in both English and Chinese, the show will be premiered on May 28 through 8 major video platforms around the world: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Kwai, YangShiPin, Weibo, and WeChat Live Streaming. The most celebrated Chinese musicians and Orchestras are invited, for example, the master of Pipa Wu Yuxia, Erhu expert Song Fei, China Broadcasting National Orchestra, etc. Also, traditional instruments will be displayed in a great variety, including but not limited to Pipa, Erhu, Guqin, and the program covers different solos and ensembles of orchestral music, vocal music, opera, and dance.
The concert will be constructed with 3 chapters: “Classics”, “Nostalgia”, “Diversity”.
Chapter I – Classics: In this Chapter, we will choose traditional Chinese musical instruments that represent oriental aesthetics, such as Guqin, Xiao, Pipa, Erhu, etc. to perform, so that the audience can feel the ancient rhythms of the Orient.
Chapter II – Nostalgia: Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival for Chinese people. There is an old saying in China “All alone in a foreign land, I am twice as homesick on this day”. Across the globe, no matter where they are, the family reunion of Spring Festival is the most ardent expectation in Chinese people’s hearts. Therefore, we will choose some songs we usually can hear during the Spring Festival, such as “Jasmine Flower”.
Chapter III – Diversity: Although we have different culture background, we respect and celebrate multiculturalism in Canada, there are plenty of opportunities and space for the development and display of all ethnic cultures here. To illustrate the theme of “diversity”, we will invite the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra to bring an ensemble of classical guitar and traditional Chinese instrument erhu, demonstrating the power of cross-cultural integration of music. In addition, as an essential part of the Canadian community, the cultural contributions from First Nations must be included to better illustrate the theme of “diversity”. Therefore, we will invite Haida activist and artist Guujaaw and Kichwa musician Edgar Muenala to collaborate with Inner Mongolian musician Utamu to perform. As revealed in their music, “when ancient cultures meet, ancestors speak, we are all immortal as long as our stories are told.” The innovative combination between Mongolian folk song and First Nation music is so impressive that can better fit in what we are expected to express during the Asian Heritage Month: respect the diversity of minority culture & art.
About Poly Culture Group/Poly Culture North America
Poly Culture Group is China’s leading art and culture company who manages the world’s largest theatre chains and operates the world’s third largest auction house. Poly Culture Group offers performance and theatre management, art business and auction, cinema investment and management. Its business also covers art education, cultural tourism, artwork, and finance.
As of January 2021, Poly Culture Group operates 70 theatres located in 62 cities across China. In 2020, Poly Culture Group established Poly Cloud Theater and released more than 230 videos of performances online, with a cumulative play volume of more than 4 million times.
Established in 2015 as the North American headquarters of Poly Culture Group, Poly Culture North America Investment Corporation Limited (Poly Culture North America) is committed to promoting Poly Culture Group’s main business sectors in the North American market, strengthening bilateral arts and cultural exchanges between China and Canada. Since its establishment, the company has successfully held 15 high-end exhibitions and more than 170 art events. it has also successfully brought seven high-quality international shows to more than 50 cities in China with a total of 208 concerts. Meanwhile, two world-class Chinese performances have been introduced to Vancouver. In October 2018, Poly Culture North America was awarded the Canada China Business Excellence Awards by the Canada China Business Council on its 40th anniversary.
Since May 1st, 2020, Poly Culture North America has launched 42 online events. The topic covers Chinese ancient calligraphy, jewelry, etc. Two digital shows were also held last year. One was the Music in the Air: A Digital Show in cooperation with Vancouver Academy of Music, and the other was the 2021 New Year Digital Show. Both shows convened outstanding musical artists from China and Canada to communicate love and hope with music to the world. And they were all well received, reaching 300,000 and 750,000 views, respectively.
Music in the Air: A Digital Show:
2021 New Year Digital Show: