Here’s what’s happening in Vancouver for Asian Heritage Month

May is Asian Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the contributions Asian Canadians have made to our communities.

Each year, events of all kinds are organized, sharing the stories, experiences and ideas that come from the continent west of Vancouver, across the Pacific. This year sees a mix of virtual and in-person options.


The LiterASIAN Festival explores Asian voices in Canadian writing with a variety of events from May 7-15. Of particular note are the May 7 opening day events, which include a pair of panel discussions. In one, Asian Canadian writers will discuss where storytelling fits for them in 2022; in the second, the focus will be on the POC navigating a predominantly white cultural industry.

When: May 7 to May 15

Or: Chinatown Storytelling Center / Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden

Cost: Events with individual ticket (usually $5 to $10)

Launch of Kinship wheat beer

Stanley Park Brewing and the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation have teamed up for this one.

“Stanley Park Brewing is launching its Kinship Wheat Ale, a beer celebrating the coexistence of cultures and embracing the diversity that makes Canada unique,” the foundation said in an email. “All proceeds from Stanley Park Brewing’s Kinship Wheat Ale will go to the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation.”

While the launch is May 10, the beer appears to be already available from Stanley Park Brewing’s online store.

When: May 10

Or: Stanley Park Brewpub and online

Cost: $5 per can

Virtual walk through Chinatown

While cross-cultural walking tours around Chinatown have already sold out for May, a virtual Zoom tour will take place so everyone can explore Vancouver’s famous neighborhood with a guide. The Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC tapped former presidents John Atkin, Bob Sung and Hayne Wai to lead the event, based on the Chinatown map and guide.

When: May 11 at 7 p.m.

Or: Your choice.

Cost: By donation.

spring bazaar

Ok, so it’s not technically in Vancouver, but it’s in Burnaby, and it’s pretty close. The Nikkei Auxiliary Group will hold its annual market and plant sale at the Nikkei Cultural Center. You’ll find Japanese food, new and used goods from the island nation, and spring plants. Funds raised from the sale are used to support center events and programs.

When: May 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Or: 6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby

Cost: Free tour.

Hong Kong Fair

This is the first year of this market with 50 stalls presenting artisans, associations and products from Hong Kong. There will also be cultural activities throughout the market. Although it is free, tickets are suggested.

When: May 14 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Or: 515 West Hastings St. (SFU Harbor Center)

Cost: Free

JT Party

This one is also in Burnaby, but barely. The festival celebrating Tian-Jin will take place over two days at Tian-Jin Temple with food (including pockets of sweet red beans) and music. There will be performances from groups like Tian Jin Line Dance Group and Shaolin Martial Arts Academy.

When: May 14-15

Or: Tianjin Temple – 3426 Smith Ave, Burnaby

Cost: Free

Spring Ikebana Show

Japanese flower arranging is a delicate art form, with centuries of heritage behind it. Those interested in learning more can visit the Vancouver Ikebana Association show at the Roundhouse Community Arts Center for two days of demonstrations and workshops.

When: May 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Or: 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver

Cost: Free tour. Workshops are $25.

Kodo Incense Ceremonies

Sabi Tea Arts will teach classes of eight the art of Kōdō, the Japanese incense ceremony. Participants will learn traditional scents and practices from instructors certified by the Senzan Goryū School of Kōdō.

When: May 21 and 22, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. every day.

Or: 3674, 16th ave West

Cost: $45

Asian takeover at the Hollywood Theater

A quartet of comedians will take the stage at the Hollywood Theater for a night of laughs in a nod to Asian Heritage Month. Julie Kim, who appeared in Kim’s Convenience and as the opener for Ronny Chieng, will host with San Francisco star Irene Tu headlining. CBC Debaters regular Yumi Nagashima and Juno nominee Andrea Jin will also be in attendance.

When: May 20 at 8 p.m. (doors at 5 p.m.)

Or: Hollywood Theater (3123 West Broadway)

Cost: $28.88

Watch us, listen to us concert

Elimn8Hate, the group working for racial equity for all Asian Canadians, is hosting a concert to highlight these voices.

“Come listen to songs written and performed LIVE by Asian Canadian artists about anti-Asian racism and resilience,” organizers say.

When: May 26, doors at 6:30 p.m.

Or: J/6 Bar & Lounge at Parq Hotel – 39 Smithe St, Vancouver

Cost: Tickets are $18 until May 15, then $25. At the door they will be $28.

Lunch and Learn

Cross Cultural Walking Tours and Knowledge Network are teaming up for a day of learning as “British Columbia: An Untold Story” is screened in its entirety. The four-part documentary series explored the lives of people of color shaping British Columbia, including Chinese, Japanese and Punjabi stories. Halfway there will also be a free lunch!

When: May 29

Or: Hon Hsing Athletic Club of Vancouver – 29 East Pender St

Cost: Free

If you’re interested in other Asian Heritage Month activities, check out the exploreASIAN 2022 schedule with over 60 events.

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