Every spring for the past 26 years, Festival Accès Asie has been taking place throughout the month of May, celebrating Asian Heritage Month. For this 26th season, the festival offers a rich and diverse program reflecting Asian cultures with four weeks of festivities awaiting audiences from May 6 to 29, 2021.
The Festival launches this year’s celebrations with a virtual Opening Cocktail party, co-hosted by Milton Tanaka and Kiran Ambwani, on Thursday, May 6 at 5:30pm The event will be held live on Zoom.
Over the course of the evening, the event will host entertainers, cultural speakers, and artistic performers to offer you a taste of the eclectic programming at this year’s Festival. The guest of honour for this 26th edition will be Samian, a multi-talented artist from the Abitibiwinni First Nation.
To kick off Asian Heritage Month celebrations, Festival Accès Asie is pleased to broadcast, via its website, Asiate Imparfaite, a podcast about the experiences of Canadians of Asian origins, offering exciting encounters and discussions orchestrated by Laura Nhem and Emmanuel Hessler. The podcast will be broadcast from May 1 to 31, 2021. Tune in for an exclusive interview between Laura, Emmanuel, and Khosro Berahmandi, artistic director of Festival Accès Asie.
Also throughout the month of May, the Festival is delighted to offer a Chinese shadow theater video workshop for children aged 7 to 10, hosted and conceptualized by Chloé and Jade Barshee. A pleasant introduction to shadow theater, this theatrical form opens the doors to the imagination and is sure to be an inspiring and creative family activity!
On Friday, May 7, the Festival presents, in collaboration with the Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC), Pipe Dreams, a documentary film in which we follow five organists during the 2017 CIOC in Montreal. A discussion between Khosro Berahmandi, Thomas Leslie, Executive Director of CIOC and Yuan Shen, one of the organists, will be sent to you with your reservation.
On May 8, the Festival invites you to the opening of the exhibition Les Nocturnes by Azalia Kaviani, a visual artist and dancer of Iranian origin living with cerebral palsy. Her paintings and drawings will be on display from May 6th to May 30th, 2021 at the Maison de la culture Janine-Sutto. This exhibition is the result of an intensive year of work on the ABILITIES Project, a pilot project in inclusive practices. A conference about the project will also take place online on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 2 p.m., with Azalia and her team.
Also on May 8, we present live on Facebook an East Asian pop themed evening, A Transpacific Night in Town. The Transpacific Express collective will transport you to a retro Japanese and Korean hip-hop universe where beats mix with funk and disco sounds. This celebration opens up a totally unique Eastern time capsule. Don’t miss the departure!
To end this first week, Teas Guru and Festival Accès Asie invite you to an online double tea ceremony. Master Han Le will offer you a traditional performance of the Chinese tea ceremony “Gong Fu Cha”, followed by Tsz Ha Leung who will present a Japanese Chanoyu tea ceremony “Unohana Temae” (卯 の 花 点 前). To completely immerse your senses, Kayo Yasuhara will perform the shamisen, a traditional Japanese instrument.
The second week of activities kicks off on Thursday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. with Acts of Reclamation, a live online viewing of five video dances from the Philippines in which choreographic practice is used as a means to engage, confront, and challenge various contexts of violence. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the Acts of Reclamation curators Roselle Pineda and Louise Jashil R. Sonido.
On Friday, May 14 at 8 p.m., ‘NIPPON SHÔWA’ brings together the members of TEKE::TEKE, singer Maya Kuroki, and DJ Ginzafor an exclusive virtual show where the psychedelic pop and rock sounds of 1960s Japan will be in the spotlight.
Creative partners for 20 years, the artist-run center OBORO and the Festival Accès Asie are joining forces once again as part of the Intervalles production and broadcast residency, to present to you the immersive work Approchez, je vous raconterai ce que j’ai oublié by artist An-Laurence Higgins. This event will be presented live via OBORO and the Festival’s Facebook page. During this performance, An-Laurence tells the stories of her adoption, from her birth in China to her arrival in Quebec.
On May 16, Festival Accès Asie, in collaboration with the Kabir Center, is pleased to present its international section Perles d’ailleurs for a sixth year. We will host a virtual concert with the master mixer Abhijit Pohankar, and his group Bollywood Gharana. Fusing the different styles of Indian classical music, they will perform traditional Indian compositions sung on a groove and mixed with retro Bollywood and modern songs with unique and captivating sounds.
The third week begins with Amour et amitié: des récits qui nous unissent, a program of 15 short films produced by Wapikoni Mobile with a live online broadcast on Thursday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. This film night is being presented as part of the Voix des cercles section, dedicated to bringing Asian and indigenous communities together.
On the program on May 21 at 8 p.m., Festival Accès Asie, in collaboration with Le Vivier, is pleased to invite you to a virtual piano concert for an exclusive performance by the great pianist Kyoko Hashimoto. Memories, is a collection of beautiful works written for piano by composers from Japan such as Toru Takemitsu, Yuji Takahashi and Rikuya Terashima.
The Festival continues its music programme on Saturday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. with a virtual concert by the Persian music ensemble DIBA, presented by the Maison de la culture Ahuntsic, as part of the CAM touring program. The ensemble will present Migration des oiseaux, a musical experience that renews a traditional Persian repertoire and dresses Persian poetry with a touch of modernity.
On Thursday, May 27 at 7 p.m. the Festival presents readings of excerpts from two plays that will be broadcast online. First, Trace, by Jeff Ho, is a fascinating story about family uprooting, and Hors Médée, is a classic revisited by Tamara Nguyen.
Closing the Festival on Saturday, May 29 at 8 p.m., we invite you to a major online event with On the move: National Asian Heritage Celebration. A national showcase bringing together a collective program from three Canadian cities to celebrate Asian Heritage Month. Festival Accès Asie in Montréal is proud to work with the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (Vancouver) and the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba (Winnipeg) for this first national program of artists working in the dance, music, and multidisciplinary arts. The evening will be graciously hosted by Khosro Berahmandi, artistic director, and Karine Kerr-Gillespie, general manager, of Festival Accès Asie.
For more information:
IMPORTANT: Due to COVID-19, this performance is subject to change. Some projects of this 26th edition of the Festival Accès Asie could be presented in an alternative form to the traditional representation. For the most recent updates, please consult the website accesasie.com.