Hapa-palooza is scheduled for every September in Vancouver, Canada, a place of hybridity, synergy and acceptance.   A vibrant fusion of music, dance, literary, artistic and film performances, Hapa-palooza places prominence on celebrating and stimulating awareness of mixed-heritage and cultural hybrid identity.  Hapa-palooza is the first mixed roots festival in Canada, and is currently one of the largest festivals celebrating mixed heritage in the world.

Hapa-palooza Festival is organized by the Hybrid Ancestry Public Arts Society (HAPAS), a non-profit society dedicated to bringing public programming that explores and celebrates mixed heritage.

Past participants in Hapa-palooza Festival programming include authors Lawrence Hill, Ruth Ozeki, Fred Wah, David Chariandy, Wayde Compton, Yasuko Thanh, Julie Flett, Joanne Arnott, Jonina Kirton and Sharon Shorty, to name a few. We have also had the good fortune to feature key contributors to the mixed roots dialogue such as Kip Fullbeck and Fanshen Cox, as well as beloved public figures such as CBC radio host Margaret Gallagher, VPL Chief Librarian Sandra Singh, and Roundhouse Radio host Minelle Mahtani. We also have had the good fortune to showcase the talent of a number of young artists and innovators, such as inventor Ann Makosinski, comedian and activist Sean Devlin, musician and composer Tarun Nayar, and filmmaker Tamo Campos.

Hapa-palooza is a very cool festival for all of our hapa/hybrid/half-blood/cross-bred/metis/mestizo/mixed-race/halved-and-doubled selves.
— Ruth Ozeki, Man Booker Prize short-listed author, 2012 festival panelist

Festival Vision and Mandate

Hapa-palooza is about bridging worlds, gathering community, and celebrating diverse ancestry and cultural heritage. 'Hapa' is a Hawaiian term used to describe people of mixed ancestry, and Hapa-palooza embraces it as an inclusive term for people who identify as having mixed heritage.  Hapa-palooza explores multiculturalism through the blending of various cultures and backgrounds.  Hapa-palooza's mandate is to cultivate community and dialogue among people identifying as having mixed heritage, to generate public awareness around topics related to mixed heritage, and, most importantly, provide positive role models and venues for discourse for future generations of mixed youth. As the mixed heritage community is the fastest growing demographic in North America, Hapa-palooza is a festival that unites and celebrates this community. 

Celebrating Mixed Heritage in North America: Rema Tavares (mixedme.ca), Fanshen Cox (mixedrootsstories.org), Zarah Martz (hapapalooza.com), Athena Mari Asklipiadisthena (mixedmarrow.org), Todd Wong (gunghaggis.com), and Anna Kaye (hapapalooza.com)

Celebrating Mixed Heritage in North America: Rema Tavares (mixedme.ca), Fanshen Cox (mixedrootsstories.org), Zarah Martz (hapapalooza.com), Athena Mari Asklipiadisthena (mixedmarrow.org), Todd Wong (gunghaggis.com), and Anna Kaye (hapapalooza.com)

Festival Origins

Hapa-palooza Festival founders Anna Ling Kaye, Jeff Chiba Stearns and Zarah Martz have mixed ancestry and cultural roots, however, when they were growing up there was little to no awareness about the experiences of being mixed.   Hapa-palooza Festival was founded in 2011 to raise awareness, explore and celebrate mixed heritage and hybrid cultural identity. 

Check out: Festival Genesis Graphic Novel

The inaugral Hapa-palooza Festival team and participants. 2011.

The inaugral Hapa-palooza Festival team and participants. 2011.