Hapa-palooza Festival

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.


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 !

Brown and White

My parents were married in 1962, before biracial marriages were a thing.  It was shocking to some and a novelty to others.  Some people shunned them and others embraced them as the totally opened minded and cool people that they are.  My mother is from Trinidad and my father is a “white guy”… which means I have frizzy, sometimes awesome, hair.

My brothers and I ventured out into the real world, right when Cher’s song “Half-Breed” was hitting the radio.  It got kind of crazy.  As youngsters we experienced all kinds of racism, from both sides: some white people considered me brown and some brown people considered me white.  My religion was up for grabs, and my culture… what exactly is culture?  It was so confusing and I was so jealous of people who had clear definitions of themselves.

I have recently discovered the Hapa community here in Vancouver.  When I say things like cultural confusion, they totally get it.   We all share that moment in childhood, usually around grade 3, when you realize that your parents are different colours, and it’s usually pointed out by an innocent classmate.

Mixed race marriages are so common today that it seems like a non-issue, but I think it can still be difficult. Mixed religion can be confusing for kids, and it seems the news is full of stories about “race”, whatever that is.   Finding community is difficult for us Hapa’s so here it is- a community for mixed race people… finally… thank-you.

 - Hapa-palooza Team Member Nadine


Enjoy a 5th anniversary discount on Lawrence Hill tickets

Have you checked out the trailer for Lawrence Hill's new book, The Illegal?


The Illegal releases Sept 8, and Lawrence Hill speaks at Hapa-palooza Festival on Sept 17. For the earlybirds out there, please enjoy a discount on our event, 'The Book of Negroes: From Page to Screen with Lawrence Hill,' where The Illegal will also be on sale.

To buy tickets click on this linkEnter discount code HAPAHIGH5 at the checkout for $5 off.
1) add the number of tickets you’d like to your basket. 
2) Enter the promo code and click ‘unlock’ 
3) Check the boxes for each ticket you'd like discounted. 
4)  Select the price type from the drop down menu in the header & click ‘Apply Discount’

Limited supply: get your discounted tickets before they sell out!
Offer for regular priced tickets only. 


Hapa-palooza Festival presents The Book of Negroes

Tickets Available Now

September 17, 2015
SFU's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC 

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What are the highs and lows of transforming a critically acclaimed best-selling novel into a major television mini-series? What is it like to write dialogue for Cuba Gooding Jr.? How do mixed race origins lead to an inspired creative career exploring issues of identity and belonging? Join Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes, and CBC Hot Air radio host Margaret Gallagher in an evening of stimulating thought, rich revelations and intimate conversation.

Author of more than ten books, Lawrence Hill’s writing includes non-fiction books Black BerrySweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada, and most recently Blood: The Stuff of Life, which was delivered as the 2013 Massey lecture series. But it is Hill's third novel,The Book of Negroes, which has brought his work to readers across the world, garnering him a Commonwealth Prize for Best Book, the Rogers/Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the CBC Canada Reads prize. In 2015, Hill co-write the script for The Book of Negroes television mini-series, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire) and Aunjanue Ellis (The Help). The mini-series aired on CBC in Canada and BET in the United States. Hill was recently appointed to the Order of Canada. This will be Hill's first public event in Vancouver after the launch of his highly-anticipated fourth novel, The Illegal.

Margaret Gallagher is an award-winning CBC radio host and passionate community advocate who can be found hosting events from the International Jazz Festival to Asian Heritage Month. She is of Malaysian-Chinese and Irish heritage.

Copies of Lawrence Hill’s books including The Illegal will be available for sale and author-signing.

The Book of Negroes is a masterpiece…” The Globe and Mail

Regular $17 (+ $3 S/C)
VIP Front Row seating $25 (+ $3.25 S/C)

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With Lawrence Hill and Margaret Gallagher