Vancouver's TaiwanFest is back for its 33rd year this weekend, celebrating Taiwanese culture — both for those who aren't familiar with it, as well as those seeking to celebrate their heritage.
The festival opened Saturday and continues until Monday, taking place in various venues across the downtown core. The programming includes musical performances, cinema, literary and family events.
This year, festival organizers hope to convey a message of inclusion.
"What we're doing here is sharing stories," said organizer Becky Tu. "It's obviously about Taiwanese culture, but we're also inviting the diverse cultures of Vancouver to kind of learn and share stories with us."
Organizer Becky Tu says she hopes the event, which runs over the Labour Day long weekend, is inclusive to all cultures. (CBC)
Collaboration to explore themes
According to TaiwanFest's website, this year's festival is a collaboration between the Taiwanese and Dutch communities, exploring themes of decolonization, migration, and identity.
The Dutch East India Company operated a colony on Taiwan from 1624 to 1662, and 1664 to 1668.
"This year, the security and future of Taiwan have seized the global community's attention," the festival noted in a media release. "But this isn't the first time that Taiwan was in this position."
Festival-goer Nicole Chen was downtown on Saturday, exploring with her 14-year-old daughter, Milla.
"I think it's really good to experience the Taiwanese culture — the music, the food, it's very interesting," she said.
Chen said attending the festival was an opportunity for the pair to experience their heritage together.
"It kind of brings you back to your roots," Nicole Chen said. "She was born here so I felt it was a good idea for her to learn."