Spring Programming: Hapa-palooza MC's VAHMS Opening & more!

Opening of 2017 Vancouver Asian Heritage Month
Saturday April 22, 10:00am

explorASIAN 2017, produced by the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society, is featuring the Mixed Asian Heritage Community for Canada's 150th Anniversary! What better represents Canada than many heritages and cultures coming together to form a community of many different roots?

We are proud to work this year with the explorASIAN, which is hosting its official opening ceremony on April 22nd. Our very own Jeff Chiba Stearns and Anna Ling Kaye will be MC'ing the ceremony.

Check out all of Hapa-palooza's Spring programming (events on April 19 & May 4!) in our latest newsletter.

Sign up for our mailing list to receive the latest Hapa-palooza programming updates!

2016 Art Exhibit: Lauren Brevner

As part of its 2016 programming, Hapa-palooza Festival is delighted to present the art of Lauren Brevner in the Vancouver Public Library Moat. Free and open to the public during library opening hours. Lauren's paintings will be on display for the duration of September 2016 and spotlighted at our Sept 23, 2016 Hip Hapa Hooray Gala.

Lauren chats with Hapa-palooza on identity and creativity: check out the full profile here!

Minelle Mahtani opening words

On Sept 23, 2016, we are excited to have Roundhouse Radio host and academic Minelle Mahtani open our festival with a keynote address. Minelle is of Iranian and Indian heritage, and was raised in a Muslim and Hindu household.

On that evening, we will also honour Minelle with our Community Builder Award (past recipients include Kip Fullbeck and Margaret Gallagher) for her advocacy and advancement of mixed race identity and understanding. Elder Larry Grant and Director X will also be honoured, and comedian Sean Devlin will MC. All are welcome to attend, please RSVP at this link to guarantee attendance!

For a preview of Minelle's thoughtful approach, please see her opening statement for our Raising Mixed Race event with Sharon H. Chang at the 2015 Hapa-palooza. You can also read an excerpt of Minelle's book, Mixed Race Amnesia here.

It is almost irrelevant whether race is a social construction when the lived reality of race is so abundantly apparent in the lives of mixed race people.
— Minelle Mahtani, Mixed Race Amnesia

Can't wait to continue conversations and meaningful connections at our festival next week! See you there and please feel free to spread the word!

Sixth Annual Hapa-palooza Festival 2016


The 2016, sixth annual Hapa-palooza Festival runs for the month of September, including a month long art exhibit at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, and three days of free community programming welcoming all:

  • Fri., Sept. 23rd, 2016: Hip Hapa Hooray Awards Gala, with performances, music, hapatizers and drinks at CBC Studio 700, downtown Vancouver, from 7-9pm.
  • Sat., Sept. 24th, 2016: Hapa-palooza Family Day, with live music and dance performances, face-painters, henna, balloons, community art project, and photo-booth at Granville Island Picnic Pavilion from 1-4pm.
  •  Sun., Sept. 25th, 2016: Hapa-palooza meets Word Vancouver, workshops and panel discussion on mixed heritage at Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, noon - 5pm.

The Hapa-paplooza Festival celebrates mixed heritage and cultural hybridity.  The (Hybrid Ancestry Public Arts) HAPA Society aims to create opportunities for engaging community in raising awareness, dialogue and celebrating mixed heritage. Hapa is a Hawaiian term for people of mixed ancestry used globally today.


May 21 - HybrIDentity Art Workshop

Hybrid Ancestry Public Arts (HAPA) Society is excited to offer May and June events in partnership with the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society.

HybrIDentity Art Workshop - Join in on this hands-on art workshop that explores how immigration and multiculturalism continue to shape Canadian society and identity through language, text & image.
Led by Nargis Dhirani. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016 - 6:30-8:30pm
Heartwood Community Cafe (317 E. Broadway)
Free Public Event - RSVP on Facebook

HAPA Eco Film and Panel

Mixed Voices Raised:

Environmental Advocacy Panel + A Last Stand for Lelu Film-screening

HAPA Society / Hapa-palooza presents A Last Stand for Lelu film screening with hapa environmental advocacy panel featuring the film’s co-director Tamo Campos (Founder of Beyond Boarding), Anne Casselman (Environmental journalist), Toby Barazzuol (Owner of Eclipse Awards) and Kai Nagata (Communications Director at Dogwood Initiative). Panelist will explore the connection between their passion for environmental activism and being of mixed heritage.  Moderated by Hapa-palooza co-founder Zarah Martz.  In association with the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society.

  • Date: June 1, 2016 Time: 7pm to 8:30pm
  • Location: VPL Central Branch - Alice MacKay room
  • Free Public Event
A LAST STAND FOR LELU Produced & Directed by Farhan Umedaly (VoVo Productions) & Tamo Campos (Beyond Boarding) 2016, Canada, 24 minutes A great injustice is being done on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, B.C., the sacred and traditional territory of the Lax Kw'alaams people for over 10,000 years. The B.C. provincial government is trying to green light the construction of a massive LNG terminal on the island – Pacific Northwest LNG, backed by Malaysian energy giant Petronas, without consent. The Lax Kw'alaams are the keepers of Lelu Island and its connected Flora Bank, a massive sand bar that is part of the Skeena River estuary and known by fisheries biologists as some of the most important salmon habitat in Canada. The project would devastate the Skeena River, the natural wildlife and countless communities in the path of the LNG pipeline that will feed the terminal with fracked gas from Northeastern B.C. The Lax Kw'alaams have voted unanimously against the project and became legendary when they rejected a $1.15 billion dollar deal from Petronas in an attempt by the company to gain consent. Ignoring the voice of the Lax Kw’alaams, Petronas, with full backing of the Provincial Government have illegally begun drilling into Flora Bank where they now face off against warriors of the Lax Kw'alaams who have occupied the island since August 2015. Join the resistance of the Lax Kw’alaams on both land and sea in ‘A Last Stand for Lelu’. Worldwide debut February 15, 2016: Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) www.vimff.org www.vovoproductions.com www.beyondboarding.org

Hapa Family Day Story

Personal story - Hapa-palooza Team Member Nadine

When my son was born I asked my mother to write down her stories as a gift to him.  20 years later, she finished her autobiography and I finally met my mother.  Not the woman who raised me but the woman who left a tropical island to live in snowy Canada and fall in love with a white man, in the 1960’s.  I love her stories - about running to school in her bare feet then stopping to cram her dusty feet into leather oxfords before the teacher caught her - her first experience seeing snow - wartime in Trinidad - her crazy friends… stuff that happened before I was born.  My father is in her stories too, woven throughout.

So… my take away?  Hapas have great stories - we must write them down!  And Facebook posts don’t count, folks.  There is a voice to written word that is not captured in photos, videos or social media posts.  Even certain handwriting can stop me in my tracks, like a memory of a smell.  As a gift to your family and the generations that will follow, to those you will never meet but will have inherited your eyes, your love of marzipan … give your stories to them.  But whatever you do, do not attempt to bring teenagers into the living room to tell them your stories - this is very dangerous - best to write it down.

Siupatie’s ebook link here soon


Boca del Lupo 3.7% Initiative !

Boca del Lupo is now accepting applications for The 3.7% Initiative!

Named for the low percentage of key creative roles in Canadian theatre held by ethnically and culturally diverse women (including those of aboriginal or mixed racial heritage), this initiative supports women who have a strong desire to change that statistic by taking their performing arts career into their own hands.

Led by Boca del Lupo’s Artistic Director Sherry Yoon and Associate Producer Intern Ming Hudson, the group aims to build a strong and supportive community of diverse females who are willing to work together and create change right here at home in Vancouver. 

Members of The 3.7% will benefit from peer-to-peer support and free programming such as workshops, local and national guest speakers, open discussions and cultural activities. Monthly meetings will commence in March 2016 and will be held at various spaces in Vancouver. 

Are you a member of The 3.7%?

Boca is looking for women in theatre/performance arts who: 

- Self-identify as being ethnically and culturally diverse (including those of aboriginal or mixed racial heritage). - Have aspirations to have a career working professionally and full-time if they had the opportunity.

- Have either finished post-secondary studies in theatre or have equivalent theatre training or experience. 

If this sounds like you, and you want to be part of this timely initiative, apply today!


Application deadline: February 15, 2016.

Click here to access the application form.

Boca is also looking for established performing arts professionals who self-identify as being ethnically and culturally diverse women (including those of aboriginal or mixed racial heritage) and would be interested in lending their support and expertise to this initiative.

If you are an established professional, or have any questions around The 3.7% Initiative, please contact Ming Hudson.

It's a Wrap! Thank you for coming to Hapa-palooza 2015!

A huge hapa high 5 to all of this year's Hapa-palooza Festival goers!

We want to say an especial big thank you to all of our dedicated Festival volunteers and generous sponsors. Without all of you, there would be no Hapa-palooza Festival! We hope you had as much fun as we did!

Check out our
2015 Photo Gallery for some great shots!

Here's a sneak peek!

An energetic crowd learning the choreography to "Beat It" with Michael Jackson tribute artist Kyle Toy.

An energetic crowd learning the choreography to "Beat It" with Michael Jackson tribute artist Kyle Toy.

Festival founders Anna Kaye and Jeff Chiba Stearns flank Hapa-palooza's 2015 award recipients Lawrence Hill, Margaret Gallagher and Tamo Campos. Congratulations to the award winners on their many achievements! 

Festival founders Anna Kaye and Jeff Chiba Stearns flank Hapa-palooza's 2015 award recipients Lawrence Hill, Margaret Gallagher and Tamo Campos. Congratulations to the award winners on their many achievements! 

Hapa and he knows it! Love the pride this festival goer showed at our Hapa Family Day event!

Hapa and he knows it! Love the pride this festival goer showed at our Hapa Family Day event!

Hapa-palooza Co-Founder Nominated for Prestigious Literary Award



Congratulations to Festival Co-Founder Anna Ling Kaye on being named a finalist for the 2015 $10,000 Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey PrizeThe Journey Prize is the most significant monetary award given in Canada to a developing writer for a work of short fiction published in a literary journal. Many past nominees have gone on to become some of Canada's most recognizable names in literature. 

Anna tells us her story "Red Egg and Ginger," originally published in Prairie Fire magazine, is about a young Cantonese girl making difficult decisions about her inter-racial relationship. Intrigued? Pick up a copy of the 2015 Journey Prize Anthology and read all about it!

Congratulations, Anna! We're all rooting for you!


Hapa Book Club Anyone?

Growing up mixed race can be confusing at times.  Thank goodness there are other Hapas out there writing about their experiences.  Chances are you will relate to the amazing authors and their books that we have dug up.  Here is a reading list we have collected so far.  Do you know any other books about mixed race heritage or mixed art culture?  Add them to the comment area and we'll add them to our growing list.  Can't find one you like?  Then it sounds like YOU need to write a book ! 

This year we are pleased to host two events that feature Hapa authors:

Lawrence Hill (Book of Negroes) with his new book "The Illegal"  and

Sharon Chang (Raising Mixed Race) will be conducting a parenting workshop.

Check out these events and bring your book club too !

The Bulletin & Hapa-palooza 2015

In celebration of the 5th annual Hapa-Palooza Festival, hapa Bulletin editor, John Endo Greenaway,  spoke to six members of the Festival Board.  It was an honour to be featured on the front page and to share our stories.
Read about each of our Hapa experiences and our upcoming Hapa-palooza Festival in the Bulletin!  with Jen Kato, Natasha Neale, Anna Kaye, Nargis Dhirani, Nadine Harding and Jeff Chiba Stearns.

Art meets Hapa with Hybrid Animals created by Jeff Chiba Stearns

Mixed race animals?  Festival co-founder and animator, Jeff Chiba Stearns, has used his award winning creative style to create a Hapa piece of art using hybrid animals.  The result is an awesome representation of what it means to be mixed race. 

Art in all its forms are showcased at Hapa-palooza celebrating the many cultures and fusions that make up our multiracial community.  If you are looking for a bear with antlers... this is where you'll find it - there are no rules when it comes to Hapa identities. 

Look for the Hapa-palooza posters in bus shelters and around town. To read more about Jeff check out his website at Meditating Bunny Studio.