This is a great time to live in Toronto, with food festivals and cultural celebrations occurring just about every week. And this coming weekend, starting Friday August 28 and winding down on Sunday, TAIWANfest will bring all facets of Taiwanese culture to Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.
“Jia Ba Buei?” in Taiwanese means “Have you eaten yet?” It is the equivalent of “How are you?” in English and is one of the most commonly-used greetings you will hear in Taiwan. Making sure your friends or guests are not hungry is not only an important social etiquette but also shows the hospitable nature of Taiwanese people.”-Asian Canadian Special EventsAssociation
Showcasing the best of contemporary Taiwanese arts and culture, the festival promises to feature a wide range of events that represent the diversity of the island nation once known as Formosa. This year, the theme of the festival is “The Torch of Hope,” highlighting the rich history and legacy of the country, and how this is manifest in present day Taiwan, and how it is shaping its future.
“The rise of many visionaries over the centuries was the thread that has helped Taiwan preserve its place in the world today,” says Charlie Wu, Managing Director of the Asian Canadian Special Events Association, which is partnering with Harbourfront Centre to host TAIWANfest. “Those visionaries made sacrifices and left impacts that are still being felt generations later. They are the inspiration for the youth of Taiwan today as they try to follow these visionaries’ paths to ensure the torch is still burning strong and the future is still shining for Taiwan.”
This weekend promises to be better and bigger than ever, so the organizers have made the multitude of events more accessible and easier for visitors to navigate, arranging events under “Festival Routes” such as culinary, music, film, kids, arts and culture, lifestyle, and for those with a limited background knowledge, “Taiwan 101.”
With the exception of the “Magic Power” concert Friday evening, (tickets for admission to see one of Taiwan’s top rock bands is $48) admission to the festival is free.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Food: The exciting International Pan-Asian Culinary Competition will see Taiwanese chefs compete against Torontonian chefs to create the tastiest pan-Asian dish.
Using food as a cross-cultural touchpoint, the Friendship Picnic brings participants together with Taiwanese-Canadian hosts to make new friends and learn about Taiwan. This looks like a really cool event and is free! If you want to check it out, please RSVP here.
Music: Two major bands, two very different sounds: TAIWANfest presents Magic Power, the most popular EDM band in Taiwan, and Brit-pop Taiwanese indie icons, ECHO.
For a more traditional Taiwanese vibe,The Beautiful Island, performed by the TAIWANfest Symphony Orchestra, revisits Taiwan’s storied past. The concert is accompanied by videos from the National Taiwan History Museum.
Craft and Design: A unique collection of chairs created from bamboo, The Art of Seating exhibit uses furniture to explore heritage, creativity and eco-friendly design.
Film: Cinematic Taiwan brings together screenings of animated, short and feature-length films, includingFormosa Boulevard by Scott Weatherall and Replace by Mark Ang, which received an Award of Excellence in Foreign Film at the 2015 Canada International Film Festival.
Jia Ba Buei?