mixed roots

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