While food always brings people together, the “Friendship Kitchen” at TAIWANfest reveals the passion and devotion in culinary arts from the visiting chefs from Taiwan and Vietnam and uncover many remarkable and heartwarming stories that real foodies crave for. If you are a chef-wannabe, don’t miss the cooking class. TAIWANfest opens on August 23rd with an evening of the symphony by the water with a special theme “Celebrate Women” conducted by renowned Canadian conductor Maestro Ken Hsieh. World-renowned Ju-Percussions of Taiwan brings their quintet edition of “Stunning Virtuosity” to headline the Saturday evening concert with inspirations in percussion from the East, the West and the imaginative universe. If there is a special breed of Taiwanese rock bands, “Island Scream” is your ticket to experience Taiwan through sounds and sights. Don’t understand the language? No worries! Let your eyes and hearts help you! Sorry Youth and two Taiwanese visual artists will replicate the scene of a Taiwanese live house to anchor the festival on Sunday.
While you are at the festival for these amazing shows, make plans to take in other experiences designed to reshape many of your perceptions on Taiwan, Vietnam and Canada. Two documentaries “Man Fei” and “The Immortal’s” that share two courageous Taiwanese and Vietnamese women in Dance and Opera. A photography exhibit in “Home Winds” by an emerging photographer from Vietnam who is trying to re-connect with the Vietnamese community in Toronto. A fashion exhibit in “Taiwan New DNA” that showcases how cultural influences are changing the DNA of Taiwan’s future designers. For the first time, Harbourfront Centre is adding another outdoor stage in “Taiwan Stage”, this mobile and a transformer-like miniature stage will be premiering in Canada and allow Canadians to taste this very dynamic and popular street stage culture of Taiwan. Not only the opening of the stage is a show on its own, but the “Robot Prince Dance” will also show some of the most iconic Taiwanese folk dances in recent times. Over the years, “Hope Talk” invites inspirational artists and speakers to share their life journeys with people who are always soul searching. A special session in “Music and my journey of identities” by an indigenous musician from Taiwan and local musicians to explore how music plays the role for their lives as they face challenges of shifting or changing identities. Along with the courage theme for the festival, Alison Zhao, an award-winning young writer/journalist, will share her story with her book “Their Journies” - a book that documents five feminist movements in China. If you are into literary arts, “Taiwan Book Store” will provide a glimpse of extraordinary book culture in Taiwan. Finally, TAIWANfest is always filled with an abundance of activities for children and young puppeteer training in Vietnamese water puppets and Taiwanese glove puppets will sure be very popular for the youngsters.
TAIWANfest is proud to be supported by Toronto’s Vietnamese community with both participation and programming. The lineup will feature some of the best and brightest talents in Toronto. Be prepared, be curious and get ready to take home something memorable for life!
That is in a nutshell of another exciting year of “Dialogue with Asia”. 2019 TAIWANfest “Riding the Waves with Vietnam” is co-produced with Harbourfront Centre and Taiwanese Canadian Association of Toronto. August 23 - 25, 2019 Admission is Free!