|During the 2nd National Asian Heritage Month Symposium, many participants expressed their desire to develop a national network of collaboration and exchange to strengthen unity between Asian artistic organizations and artists across Canada. Festival Accès Asie responded to this call by launching a National Showcase based on a collective program bringing together three Canadian cities to celebrate Asian Heritage Month in May 2021. This event brought together artists from Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg working in the dance, music, and multidisciplinary fields.|
Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba is proud to lead this program this year, working along with the Festival Accès Asie (Montreal), Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (Vancouver), and artists based in Edmonton for the second national program. Working in collaboration, these three organizations dedicated to Asian Canadian heritage will present The National Showcase / La Vitrine Nationale online on Saturday May 28 at 7 PM CST (5 PM PST), followed by a discussion period with the artists and will be graciously moderated by Dr. Art Miki, founder and Jié Yang, board member of Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba.
Anjalica Solomon and Merissa Victor | Vancouver
Soni Dasmohapatra and Shrina Patel | Edmonton
Fubuki Daiko | Winnipeg
Huu Bac Quach | Montreal
Anjalica Solomon is a genderfluid Desi poet, spoken word artist, organiser and multi-disciplinary performer based in what is colonially known as Vancouver, BC on the stolen and unsurrendered territories of the Coast Salish, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Nations. You can watch their most recent poetry film production “Honey Queen” and “Fruiticana On Fraser Street” which recently premiered on YouTube and all streaming platforms! Their poetic work often seeks to proclaim the possibilities of love and resilience. Anjalica is a poet of startling emotional intellect and candour whose work testifies to a deep faith in beauty, the power of nature, and ultimately, the human capacity to salvage integrity, radiance and joy from moments of struggle. In this way, Anjalica Solomon’s poems and performancees offer robust visions of hope, tenacity, and love.
Merissa Victor is a filmmaker, animator and illustrator. Driven to craft engaging, meaningful stories that connect, inspire change, and uplift, her work primarily revolves around the subjects of identity, community and place. She is a 2019 Adobe Creativity Scholar and a 2020 graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Media Studies program. Her work in film, animation and illustration has led to collaborations with artists and brands in Malaysia and Canada. Her 2020 animated film, Electric City, exhibited at the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen, curated by the Grunt Gallery in Vancouver, Canada. Her 2018 spoken word film, The Entropy of Forgiveness has been screened in festivals in Germany, Ireland and California and was chosen as a winner of the #KindArt Challenge hosted by Adobe Project 1324 and the Born This Way Foundation.
Soni, has been involved in the Alberta cultural sector since she was a child. She is a trained classical Indian Kathak dancer. Soni is a choreographer of dances from India such as bhangra, Bengali and Odia folk, as well as Bollywood. She has been a cultural administrator in the areas of Canadian Heritage and Arts in Alberta and Ontario. Most recently she has collaborated with Skirts Afire to be a story teller in the documentary “Covid Collections” that was featured during the month of October 2021 in the Edmonton International Film Festival. As part of her community work in Edmonton she is a board member of two cultural organizations, Azimuth Theater and Litfest. She is a member of Thirdspace Playback Company. In 2021 she attended the Postmarginal Edmonton theater forum. Soni is a passionate consultant, educator and arts practitioner who uses yoga and somatics as pathways of self-discovery, healing and artistic creation.
Shrina Patel has dedicated her life to dance and theatre ever since her first trip to India. Dance became a way to advocate for equality, women’s rights and justice. She resides in Edmonton where she directs shows in collaboration with local artists. Throughout the year she travels around Canada collaborating with studios, teaching dance and yoga workshops and performing. In 2015, Shrina founded Shaktiflow, a dance and theatre company, which aligned me to and afforded the opportunity to communicate and bring awareness for non-profits such as Girls International to end the trafficking of girls in Asian countries, WIN HOUSE to raise awareness and funds to support women escaping abusive relationships and marriages, Canadian Red Cross bringing an exploration of light-hearted fun to the organizers and workers working tirelessly to bring aid in times of emergency, and gracing the stage at SkirtsAfire to illustrate, teach, and bring to action the now-common phrase “women supporting women” thereby creating a connection of sisterhood.
Fubuki Daiko reinvents traditional Japanese drumming with their eclectic and energetic performances that are part martial arts athleticism, part meditation, and all rhythm. For over twenty years, they have performed at festivals, concert halls, and schools across North America. Collaborations with a wide range of groups including the Winnipeg Singers, Moses Mayes Family Funk Band, the Northern Plains Ballet, and Ron Paley’s Big Band, have continued to fuel their pursuit of excellence and innovation in this ancient art form. The core members of the group each have over 25 years of taiko experience and received their formative training from the founder of North American Taiko, Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka. After performing at Carnegie Hall with the San Francisco Taiko Dojo and leaving with Tanaka’s blessing, they relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba where they expanded into the current professional touring ensemble. The group’s self-titled CD received a Prairie Music Award for Outstanding Instrumental Recording.
Huu Bac Quach & Huu Bac Quintet
Composer and multi-instrumentalist, Huu Bac Quach founded his quintet in Montreal, skillfully combining his Vietnamese and Chinese heritages to North American Jazz music. Backed by a solid team of some of the most prominent musicians on the up-and-coming Montreal jazz scene, Huu Bac performs his compositions inspired by his numerous travels in Asia, Europe and South America. In concert, he charms a large public through the beauty and intensity of his musical pieces as well as through his impressive mastery of the dan bau (Vietnamese monochord), the erhu (Chinese fiddle), the quena (andean flute) and the jazz guitar. The Huu Bac Quintet delivers a true dialogue between Asian, North, and South American cultures in a contemporary, original, and unique way.