Every year, VAHMS honors three individuals, community organizations, or educational institutions representing Pan-Asian communities that have made significant contributions to VAHMS’ vision of fostering, promoting and celebrating the arts and cultural diversity that Asian-Canadian communities bring to Canadian society. This year, our award ceremony was held on July 30th. Congratulations to The Middle East North Africa Film Festival (MENA), Todd Wong and Kassandra Lea for coming the award winner for the year 2023!
2023 Community Award Winner: The Middle East North Africa Film Festival (MENA)
The Middle East North Africa Film Festival (MENA) provides a platform for filmmakers and artists from the MENA region to share their work with a broad audience. For more than 5 years MENA has provided educational and collaborative opportunities to create a more inclusive arts scene. Screening films from the MENA region, the festival promotes understanding of MENA culture and challenges stereotypes. MENA’s focus is to create a more diverse and inclusive community through art and to contribute to cross-cultural and multicultural exchange of Pan-Asian art.
2023 Community Award Winner: Todd Wong
Todd Wong created Robbie Burns Gung Haggis Fat Choy celebration dinner in 1998 as a tribute to two distinct cultures that played major roles in BC’s history. His commitment to racial and cultural harmony has been at the forefront of his life. Todd also created the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team and significantly engaged with the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop, the Joy Kogowa House Society, the Word Vancouver Literary Festival as well as other organizations. Well-known for his commitment to building bridges and enhancing cross-cultural understanding, Todd has received numerous accolades and media attention.
2023 Community Award Winner: Kassandra Lea
Kassandra Lea, known as Kassandra La China, is the one and only flamenco artist in Vancouver. A stunning performer herself, for more than 30 years Kassandra has promoted Flamenco through education, leadership, advocacy and by performing in shows throughout BC. Co-founder of Mozaico Flamenco dance academy, she shares her talent and knowledge with students from different cultures, backgrounds and ages. Kassandra is a unique and original Asian Canadian artist celebrating diversity and cross-cultural understanding through her art.