FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2019
Rainy Weather Fails to Dampen the Spirit of Community at Silk Road Festival
Vancouver, BC – It is the thread that binds, the ancient road that connected communities across land and water. On July 6 and 7, the šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square (Vancouver Art Gallery, North Plaza) was abuzz with sights, sounds and tastes of the Silk Road as businesses and groups representing communities from Asia to Europe gathered to showcase their cultures.
The rain over the weekend did not dampen the ‘Spirit of Community’. Braving the cold and wet weather, festival goers poured in to the plaza for the two-day festival to enjoy dazzling performances, sample delicious cuisines and discover technology, travel places, arts and crafts of different countries.
The Honourable George Chow, Minister of State for Trade officiated the festival opening joined by dignitaries, foreign consulate officials, politicians, festival partners and supporters. Emcee Lien Yeung, award-winning multimedia host and producer of CBC Vancouver News charmed the audience with her sense of humour.
Captivating and Colourful
Exciting acts and colours painted the main stage as the Silk Road performances meandered their way from China through Central Asia, Persia to Europe and beyond. Qiu Xia He and Andre Thibault of Silk Road Music introduced their opening act with their musical fusion of Chinese, Celtic, Latin, Arabic, Aboriginal, jazz, and blues.
Eager crowds armed with cameras huddled under canopies to capture the colours and dances presented by some of Vancouver’s renowned performing arts companies including the Vancouver Cantonese Opera, Rosario Flamenco, Adalat Omar Dance Company, Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver and Fame Dance Group.
Rosario Flamenco dancers captivated the crowd with their riveting music, stomping feet and swaying skirts. The Russian Community Centre Yablochko Dancers wowed audience with their Central Moscow dances. Sampan Bujana Sentra flew in from Indonesia to showcase their intriguing Balinese and Javanese dances. On the Kamanche,Tonbur, Daf and Dayere instruments was the Persian musical group, Chakameh .
Flavours of the Road
Food continues to play a big part on the Silk Road. Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Italian, Israeli, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Spanish and Thai were among some of the featured cuisines.
Presenters include culinary experts from local restaurants and communities such as The Federation of Pugliese Social Clubs of British Columbia. Serving the best of Vancouver’s flavours on wheels were Out for Lunch, Mr. Arancino, Bocao Spanish Tapa, I Love ChickPea and JAPADOG.
At the Travel and Technology Hub, Neil Squire Society showcased and explained some of the different solutions for people with disabilities and other barriers to their work related activities. Personal Travel Management travel expert shared insights on travel to Mongolia and other Silk Road destinations.
Award-winning artisans came as far as Uzbekistan and India to showcase their crafts. Visitors were treated to ceramic demonstrations by local Korean Celadon master potter Junghong Kim.
Acknowledgement and Appreciation
Thank you all who came to support and make this one-of-a-kind festival a success. Appreciation goes to Partners: MOSAIC, City of Vancouver, CBC Vancouver, Translink, Vancity, Vancouver Sun, GlobalEAT, Texana Premium Rice, Afghan Horsemen Restaurant, Groovy Yurts; Supporters: Italian Cultural Centre, Craft Council of British Columbia, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra and Confcommercio Impress Per L’Italia – Province of Cuneo; Exhibitors, Performers, Presenters, as well as to businesses that placed ads in the souvenir program and dedicated volunteers for their time and hard work.
We also like to extend their appreciation to all the media outlets who publicized the festival through their channels and publications including Shaw Multicultural Channel, Il Marco Polo and Fairchild TV.
The Silk Road Festival opens a window to the wonderful treasures of Canada’s rich and diverse communities. As Premier John Horgan said, “Our lives are enriched every day by the inclusive, multicultural province we are so lucky to live in.” Rain or shine, the festival is a catalyst for greater ‘Spirit of Community’ to flourish.
About Silk Road Festival
The Silk Road Festival (silkroadfestival.org) theme is to Bridge Cultures, Engage Communities and Inspire Discoveries. The festival aims to enhance intercultural appreciation and community interaction, inspire travel and technological discoveries with ancient Silk Road aspirations. The two-day outdoor multicultural festival features cultures and exchanges between East and West on the world’s famed historic trade routes through arts, food, travel and technology.
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