Asian Heritage Month is an annual celebration of Asian, Asian Canadian, and Pacific Islander culture and heritage that takes place internationally every May. As a diverse city, Vancouver is a great place to learn about, celebrate, and explore the richness and diversity of Asian, Asian Canadian, and Pacific Islander culture.
During May there are many ways to celebrate and learn about Asian cultures. Here are some of the most unique things to do in Vancouver to highlight the occasion.
1. Attend the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble Concert for Mother’s Day
May 14, 2023 2pm
A gentle Spring Breeze and live music flows through the Vancouver Chinese Garden where we will be celebrating Asian Heritage Month 2023 and Mother’s Day in a concert of beginnings and resurgence.
With the new season, brings new life and innovative music. We will be premiering music for all ages on the Chinese flute by Yong Sun who is a renowned composer making a comeback after decades on hiatus. It will be an unforgettable afternoon of music featuring our talented guest soprano Emily M Cheung, and new arrangements by Alan Lau, our composer-in-residence.
Grab your tickets and prepare to immerse yourself in the captivating sounds of Chinese instruments in a magical setting for this musical experience.
2. Explore the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden for Asian Heritage Month 2023
On May 26 from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm the Enchanted Evenings Concert Series is returning and will celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with performances by Michelle Kwan and Royce Rich at the beautiful Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. The concert series provides a safe, inclusive space for local BIPOC artists to showcase their talents and features diverse musical genres that reflect Vancouver's arts and culture scene.
3. Asian Heritage Month 2023 - A Comedy Show
On May 18 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm the Corduroy Restaurant will host a comedy show in Vancouver featuring Yumi Nagashima, a Tokyo-born comedian, as the headliner. She has performed at various comedy festivals across the world. The show also includes Robert Peng, a comedian from China, and Nicole Tanner, a doctor, and comedian from Hong Kong, as the feature act and host, joining them are several other comedians.
4. Asian Heritage Month 2023 - Making Space
May 18, 2023 Doors open at 6pm. Event from 6:30-8:30pm Join us in learning from four individuals and activists who are working for their communities in mindful and intersectional ways through cultural food justice. Guest Speaker Dr. Amanda R. Cheong from UBC’s Department of Sociology will be giving a brief presentation at the beginning. The panel will be moderated by Bill Yuen from Heritage Vancouver Society – an organization that centers heritage on people and their ways of living, and the meanings they connect to place.
Register early as space is limited. Light refreshments will be served. Masks, while not mandatory, are recommended.
5. Spells for Chinatown 2023
Dumb Instrument Dance along with other artists will hold this free, multi-sensory event at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on May 31st. The event features dance, music, and poetry installations in different areas of the garden, and will take place rain or shine. Two performances will be held at 5:00 and 6:00 since the show is only 25 minutes no latecomers will be allowed.
6. Asian Persuasion All Stars, Hotel Empress, Torpedo Lover
Triple concert on May 26 from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am at Lana Lou’s, including Asian Persuasion All Stars, Hotel Empress, and Jazzy Zircon with her new supergroup Torpedo Lover. Asian Persuasion All Stars is a nine-piece big band formed in response to pandemic animosity against Asian Canadians. Hotel Empress plays indie synth rock influenced by bands like The Pixies and Radiohead, while Jazzy Zircon's new group is known for catchy melodies and rich harmonies.
7. Places, Histories, Communities: Exploring Queer Asian Identities through Zine-Making
Zine-making workshop for queer Asian individuals to rewrite queer Asian narratives and places. Led by artist-writer Rachel Lau, the workshop is free and open to all, but requires registration due to limited spots. No prior experience is necessary. Hosted by UBC Hong Kong Studies Initiative, SFU Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, SFU Institute For Transpacific Cultural Research, and Queer Reads Library.
8. Water Dragon Tune: Vancouver Inter-cultural Orchestra
May 18 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM - Tickets
Roedde House Museum in collaboration with the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) is pleased to present our new musical series: “Music of the World”.
Join us in the parlour of Roedde House Museum as we take chamber music back to its originally intended intimate setting. We hope that through this concert series you will be introduced to a diversity of musical instruments and styles reflective of the diversity of the Canadian experience as well as a new appreciation of different types of classical music! Featuring Jenny Lu, speaker, Song Jun on erhu, and Albertina Chan, harp and music by Mark Armanini.
Asian Heritage Month 2023 is an exciting time to explore and celebrate the richness and diversity of Asian culture in Vancouver. Whether you're a fan of Chinese music, cuisine, or history, there are plenty of activities and events to enjoy. From visiting the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden to attending the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble concert, there is something for everyone to enjoy.