Pride in Chinatown 2022

Pride in Chinatown, organized by the tireless Don Kwan featured a several events, including a brunch with Opera, Dim Sum, and Tea - what a great combination - and "Neon Nights", an evening with karaoke, dance and art at the Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden. An ardent celebration of queer and Asian identity.

William Liu, owner and creative mind of Kam Wai Dim Sum in Vancouver's China town, walked us through the pronunciations of common Dim Sum selections including an explanation of the tonal characteristics of the language. I had no idea that whereas Chinese has four tones, Taiwanese has nine - no wonder William is a musician!

William has been recognized in the Vancouver Sun and other news sources for his efforts on China town revitalization, and Kam Wai Dim Sum was recently relocated and renovated, by architecture firm Haeccity (which posted an article about this reno) with an eye on ensuring continued viability and connection to the community in China town.

William was also featured in "China Town Stories - volume 3", a 2020 publication released in collaboration with the City of Vancouver.

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Dim sum started as a side dish for tea [wikipedia], as small-portion meals called yum cha, or "drink tea" meals. So naturally the event included an education on tea as well; pu-erh tea specifically.

Olivia Cheung from Treasure Green tea company in China Town demonstrated brewing pu-erh tea which involved a lot more pouring of water than I had expected.

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More info at Pride in China Town.

The final Pride event in the series, "Neon Nights", was held in the "Sun Yat-Sen Garden" in Vancouver's China Town.

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Based in Ottawa, Kwan is a queer third-generation Chinese Canadian artist whose work is influenced by his upbringing in a family-owned restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown. We had the privilege of having him walk us through the exhibition.

 Don Kwan: Beyond Exclusion is exhibited in the Sun Yat-Sen buildings, and examines exclusionary practices such as the head tax and stereo-typed professional choices.

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The other special guest, Don's brother Ed Kwan: an Ottawa-based performance artist, community builder, karaoke impresario, and drag performer, who uses her over-the-top drag character, China Doll, to spread love, joy, and laughter. China Doll weaves humour into her everyday costumes and performances to broaden conversations about queer identity and culture.

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Pride in Chinatown took place on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. It was produced and presented by On Main Gallery in partnership with Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Pride in Art Society (Queer Arts Festival/SUM Gallery).

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