New Canadian Media
Friday, 07 July 2017 23:27

Carnaval Del Sol Vancouver 2017

By: Sam Minassie

As an integral part of Latin American Week, Carnaval Del Sol has returned for another year with an even larger assortment of activities, vendors and events. Initially established in 2009 with approximately 500 attendees, it has evolved into an annual pillar of the community. In comparison, the festival now hosts up to 100,000 guests annually. 

The festival is slated to take place across 7 plazas: The Food Plaza, Kids Plaza, AON Family Plaza, YVR Travel Plaza, Urban Plaza, Sports Plaza and the Beer Plaza. The different sects will host fashion shows, body painting, street performers, live DJ’s and even artists at work on paintings and sculptures.While recent expansions have resulted in new additions, such as “Music on Wheels”, as well as a Beer Plaza which now seats 600!

An entrepreneur by her early teens, founder, Paola Murillo began her first business, selling sandwiches to schoolmates. And although she received backlash from school authorities, by high school she’d already added pens as a second venture. A testament to her resiliency, Murillo, has never been one to shy away from a challenge.

So, when she moved to Vancouver, recreating an authentic “Plaza Latina” was merely another opportunity. In several Latin-American countries, plazas serve as major hubs for residents to socialize, share news and celebrate. These areas often make up the most intricate parts of a city’s dynamics. Murillo's aim to help connect the community through a more traditional approach has been highly successful and has helped bridge the gap for many newcomers.

Originally from Columbia, Murillo came to Canada in 2005 with business aspirations that have lead her to a number of projects including Latincouver. The online platform which provides a central place to find news and information, also hosts a number of programs. With a list that includes the Latin-Canadian Professional Network (LCPN), Inspirational Latin Awards (ILA), ExpoPlaza Latina (EPL), and the Amigo Card; the site offers something for everyone.

Now a Canadian citizen, she has been honoured a number of times, including the prestigious Mary Ozolins award given to a BC woman who “provides exemplary and meaningful contributions to the community”. And was recognized as one of the 10 Most Influential Hispanics in Canada by the Canadian Hispanic Business Alliance in 2010.

Although Murillo’s efforts often resonate more closely with Vancouver’s Hispanic residents, initiatives like the ExpoPlaza target broader international business relations. The conference which focuses on improving intercontinental trade helps Canadian companies connect with South American distributors and organizations. 

The festival is scheduled to host approximately 250 performers, musicians, and dancers, keeping the stage overflowing with talent throughout the weekend celebrations. Outdoor cooking demos by the Chefs del Sol will also showcase traditional Latin-American recipes. Entry is free and with a variety of over 25 food vendors to choose from, a virtually unlimited assortment of Latin-American dishes is available. 

The event takes place in Vancouver at the Concord Pacific Place, just north of Science World, from 10am - 10pm on July 8 and July 9.

Published in Arts & Culture
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 15:01

Surrey Fusion Festival

 OVER 100,000 festivalgoers joined in BC’s largest multicultural celebration, Surrey Fusion Festival, this past weekend. The event featured live entertainment on five stages, 40 cultural pavilions, an indigenous village and a kick-off zone celebrating the countdown to Canada’s 150th birthday. Forty countries and cultures from around the world were represented in the Parade of Cultures, including […]

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Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in Arts & Culture

by Shan Qiao in Toronto 

From a machine gun wielding high school girl-yakuza boss to time travelling samurai; from sexual awakening in the final devastating days of WWII Tokyo to the true story of “the Japanese Schindler”, Canadian and Japanese audiences enjoyed yet another cultural feast at the 5th annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival.

The Festival ran for two weeks in June in the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC), located at Don Mills Rd. and Eglinton Ave. It screened more than two dozen Japanese movies to over 10,000 audience members from all over the GTA. 

“Our 2016 line-up again reflects the films that resonate with Japanese audiences, critics and Japanese Academy Award judges, providing a thorough cross section of the very diverse Japanese film industry. In our first four years we attracted large and diverse crowds and much positive reaction to the films,” says Gary Kawaguchi, President of JCCC. 

The 70th anniversary of the Second World War

A lot of films came out the end of 2015 that marked 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. These include Nagasaki – Memories of My Son, which centred around a mother who lost her son when the atomic bomb was dropped; and The Emperor in August, a powerful political drama that tells the little-known story of Japan’s surrender in the Pacific War.

There was also Persona Non Grata, the story of Ghiune Sugihara, known as the “Schindler of Japan” for saving 6,000 Jewish people from the Holocaust; and When I Was Most Beautiful, a story of Japanese people’s lives in the summer of 1945 when the war is drawing to a close. 

The Festival ran for two weeks in June in the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC).

James Heron, Executive Director of JCCC, says that 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War is quite significant in Japan, particularly because many of the people involved in the war are at the end of their lives.  

“We saw a lot of the films from different perspectives. There are consistent anti-war films, mostly about the people who were trapped,” he continues. “Average Japanese people feel like they were trapped between the military government that started the War and the gigantic response from the Allies powers. The films are made for domestic markets, so they tend to look at things from Japanese perspective.”

Internment and Japanese persecution in Canada

“Last year we showed the film Asah, which was all about the internment of Japanese-Canadians. The film was made entirely in Japan but was about a Japanese-Canadian baseball team that really played for the pride of Japanese Canadians. The team was ended when Japanese Canadians were put into camps,” says Heron.

Japanese-Canadians had to suffer internment after the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941. Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King announced that Japanese-Canadians were to move into prisoner of war camps. Their possessions were confiscated and their belongings were sold. 

Heron, who spent 11 years living and working in Japan, speaks fluent Japanese. His wife is also Japanese. “One of the reason the Festival and the Cultural Centre exists is many Japanese-Canadians feel that they were persecuted in the Second World War because people didn’t understand them and Japanese culture. Because Canadians didn’t understand, they were afraid of the Japanese, even the Japanese-Canadians who were born here, “ he explains.

Their possessions were confiscated and their belongings were sold.

By having the Cultural Centre where they could introduce Japanese-Canadian and Japanese culture, the organizers hope there will be better understanding and that persecution will never happen again to Japanese-Canadians.

Aftermath of the Festival 

When the audience enjoyed sushi and Japanese sake at TJFF’s closing ceremony, Dr. Sandra Annett, an assistant professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, announced that Being Good, a movie on raising children and having compassion, received the Grand Prize Jury Award for Best Film. 

A coming-of-age story, Flying Colors, won the Kobayashi Audience Choice.  

Toronto resident Shiming Fei, 29, particularly enjoyed The Magnificent Nine, which featured one of her favourite Japanese actors, Eita.

As a young Chinese person who came to Canada to study ten years ago, Shiming says she experiences Japanese culture through food and TV dramas. This is why Festivals like TJFF are so important to her.

 “I come here for the food and movie, maybe make a couple of new friends,” she giggles, renewing her search for her favourite hors-d’oeuvre at the closing reception of the Festival. 

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in History

Bit biased, obvs, but we think that British music is the best in the world. End of. The Toronto Summer Music Festival seems to think along those lines too as the theme for 2016 is London Calling: Music in Great Britain. Full credit to Michael Vincent, Editor of Musical Toronto who has the scoop … […] 

Brits in Toronto

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Published in Arts & Culture

Suraj Sharma announcing an award at the Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival (MISAFF).

By Nita Balani

MISSISSAUGA: The four-day Mosaic International South Asian

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News East West

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Published in Arts & Culture
Thursday, 11 June 2015 06:02

Alleyner Remembered at Muhtadi Drum Fest

By Gerald V. Paul As Muhtadi was sitting down for an interview with The Camera, he said he got a call earlier in the morning with sad news: Toronto jazz…

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The Caribbean Camera

Read Full Archie Alleyne

Published in Arts & Culture

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress will host Ottawa’s first annual Ukrainian summer festival to recognize, celebrate, promote and nurture Ukrainian arts, heritage, and culture. Traditional, authentic Ukrainian food, including varenyky (“perogies”) will be served to an estimated minimum of 5,000 Festival patrons from around the world. Those devoted to classics and ancient traditions will also be able to enjoy Lvivske 1715 (Львівське) from the oldest still-functioning brewery in Eastern Europe. Several popular artists and musicians will draw in crowds beyond the Ukrainian community as they entertain non-stop on Saturday and Sunday. The Festival is...

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The Ukrainian Echo

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Published in Arts & Culture

THE Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration (VIBC) Society’s 2015 City of Bhangra Festival presented by Zee TV Canada kicks off next Thursday, May 28, in the heart of Vancouver’s entertainment district at LED Bar located on 967 Granville Street. Presented by the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society (VIBC), the annual City of Bhangra Festival unites local […]

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Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in Arts & Culture

THE fifth annual Indian Summer Festival returns to Vancouver with a compilation of creative dialogue, eye-opening public art exhibitions, and thought-provoking literary presentations and music events. World-renowned innovators and creators collaborate at this highly anticipated seasonal event that embraces the unexpected in venues across the city from July 9 to 18. “Indian Summer Festival brings […]

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Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in Arts & Culture

 Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana will ring down the final curtain on t...

PanAmerican World

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Published in Latin America
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