November 7, 2021

CHINATOWN: a new opera by Madeleine Thien & Alice Ping Yee Ho


CHINATOWN is a new opera by librettist Madeleine Thien, Hoisanese co-writer Paul Yee, and composer Alice Ping Yee Ho; commissioned by City Opera Vancouver opening September 13 to 17, 2022 at the Vancouver Playhouse. This streaming event features the world premiere of two songs and excerpts of two Hoisanese arias from the opera. Enjoy commentaries from a panel of distinguished guest speakers and performers, followed by Q&A at the end of the performance sharing insights with audience.

CHINATOWN runs September 13-17, 2022, at the Vancouver Playhouse. 

Event Details
  • September 13, 2022 8:00 pm – 17, 2022 10:00 pm
  • September 14, 2022 8:00 pm – 18, 2022 10:00 pm
  • September 15, 2022 8:00 pm – 19, 2022 10:00 pm
  • September 16, 2022 8:00 pm – 20, 2022 10:00 pm
  • September 17, 2022 8:00 pm – 21, 2022 10:00 pm

November 6, 2021

My Art Is Activism: Part III with Sid Tan


Longtime Downtown Eastside ACWW board of director, documentarian and organizer Sid Chow Tan shares selections from his extraordinary archival video collection of volunteer-produced video journalism. Sid’s choices of videos highlight Chinese Canadian social movements and direct action in Chinatown, particularly community media and redress for Chinese head tax and exclusion. Sid is grateful for the community television volunteers and staff who made possible the production, broadcast and archive of these videos. Sid also thanks the Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grant and Heart of the City Festival for their support. Online presentation by the Heart of the City Festival 2021 followed by Q&A with Sid.

September 25, 2021

Congratulations to Jinwoo Park, Winner of the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award


The Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop (ACWW) is pleased to announce Jinwoo Park winner of the 2020 Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award for his manuscript The Oxford Soju Club. Shortly after the North Korean regime change, Yohan Kim, a North Korean intelligence agent based in Brussels, is on the run after the assassination of his mentor, Doha Kim. Disguised as Junichi Nakamura, Yohan is tasked by the dying Doha to find Dr. Hongjin Ryu, a high-ranking intelligence officer who has gone missing. He follows the only breadcrumb he has been given: Soju Club, Oxford. Park’s accomplished fiction manuscript is a riveting “tale of mystery and intrigue, C.I.A. agents, false identities, betrayal and love, each character committed to their own cause.”

Jinwoo Park is a writer based in Montreal, has won the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers’ Award for his manuscript, Oxford Soju Club. Jinwoo completed his Master's in creative writing at the University of Oxford in 2015, and has been working as a marketing professional in the tech industry since and is active in scripting for film and video games.

Created in 1999 as the Emerging Writers Award and renamed in 2017 to the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award in honour of Asian Canadian writing pioneer and mentor Jim Wong-Chu. The award continues Jim’s lifelong passion to discover and encourage writers to develop quality manuscripts and promote their work to established publishing houses. Previous award winners include Rita Wong, Madeleine Thien, Philip Huynh, Catherine Hernandez, Karla Comanda, and Jamie Liew.  

The jury consisted of Dr. Trevor Carolan, an award-winning poet, biographer, editor, and professor emerita of English and Creative Writing; Edwin Lee, author of Sum Yung Guys; and Marlene Enns, former Asian Canadian Writers Workshop board director and spouse of the late Jim Wong-Chu.

"After the End, Came the Beginning" at Word Vancouver Festival

 

 The Canadian literary scene, once said to be void of diverse voices, has steadily seen a flourishing community of BIPOC writers in recent years. Asian Canadians, once marginalized and voiceless, have birthed a generation of writers who have influenced the literary establishment with celebrated works and garnered literary acclaim. Join this panel of authors who witnessed this amazing transformation and who are at different stages of their careers as writers, but whose stories internalize the interracial, intergenerational and international stories of the Asian Canadian experience. This event will also announce the winner of the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award for 2021 and celebrates the occasion with “Jim’s Special Menu” of favourite classic Chinese Canadian cuisine. 

Host: Todd Wong 
Readers: Madeleine Thien (Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Penguin Random House), Jamie Liew (Dandelion, Arsenal Pulp Press), Ann Shin (The Last Exiles, HarperCollins)

September 9, 2021

Past Winner of Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award "Dandelion" by Jamie Liew Published by Arsenal Pulp Press

When Lily was eleven years old, her mother, Swee Hua, walked away from the family, never to be seen or heard from again. Now, as a new mother herself, Lily becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Swee Hua. She recalls the spring of 1987, growing up in a small British Columbia mining town where there were only a handful of Asian families; Lily's previously stateless father wanted them to blend seamlessly into Canadian life, while her mother, alienated and isolated, longed to return to Brunei. Years later, still affected by Swee Hua's disappearance, Lily's family is nonetheless stubbornly silent to her questioning. But eventually, an old family friend provides a clue that sends Lily to Southeast Asia to find out the truth.

Winner of the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award from the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop, Dandelion is a beautifully written and affecting novel about motherhood, family secrets, migration, isolation, and mental illness. With clarity and care, it delves into the many ways we define home, identity, and above all, belonging.

Reviews

In Dandelion, a woman struggles to understand the mysterious disappearance of her own mother while on the brink of motherhood herself. Rich in imagery detailing the immigrant experience, Jamie Chai Yun Liew's debut novel picks at the open wound of diasporic displacement with tenderness and compassion. -Catherine Hernandez, author of Scarborough and Crosshairs

Jamie Chai Yun Liew's Dandelion is a poignant portrayal of a woman's coming of age as a Chinese immigrant trying to set down roots in a small town in British Columbia. In a story relatable to many, as Lily grows up, she awakens to the beauty and brutality of her home in Canada. Meanwhile, her mother retreats and finally leaves, unable to cope with the changing family dynamics of their new life. Dandelion invites readers to imagine multi-generational loss, gain, and love in a fresh take on the mother-daughter narrative. It is at once comfortable and unsettling, raw, and tender. -Carrianne Leung, author of The Wondrous Woo and That Time I Loved You

With Dandelion, Jamie Chai Yun Liew renovates the kinds of coming-of-age narratives that helped me understand what it meant to be an Asian diasporic person living in Canada at a certain time and place. Here is a novel that is at once recognizable and distinct. A meaningful contribution to the long legacy of Asian North American fiction. -Jenny Heijun Wills, author of Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related. : A Memoir

With finely wrought observations and complex characters, Liew captures the subtle nuances of immigration, race, belonging, diaspora, and what it means to be Other. Dandelion is an important debut. -Lindsay Wong, author of The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family

August 20, 2021

“After the End, Came the Beginning” and Presentation of the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers’ Award at Word Vancouver Writers Festival on September 25, 2021


The Canadian literary scene once said to be void of diverse voices, has steadily seen a flourishing community of BIPOC writers in recent years. Asian Canadians, once marginalized and voiceless, have birthed a generation of writers who have influenced the literary establishment with celebrated works and garnered literary acclaim. Join this panel of authors who witnessed this amazing transformation and who are at different stages of their careers as writers, but whose stories internalize the interracial, intergenerational, and international stories of the Asian Canadian experience. Presented by Word Vancouver and the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW), this event will also announce the winner of the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award for 2021 and will celebrate the occasion with “Jim’s Special Menu” of classic Chinese Canadian cuisine.

Speakers: Madeleine Thien (Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Penguin Random House), Jamie Liew (Dandelion, Arsenal Pulp Press), Ann Shin (The Last Exiles, HarperCollins).

Link to registration



Madeleine Thien 
Madeleine Thien is the author of four books, most recently the novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing, which won the Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction. Her books have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, The Women’s Prize for Fiction, and The Folio Prize, and translated into more than 25 languages. She teaches literature and writing at the City University of New York. 

Ann Shin 
Ann Shin is an award-winning writer and filmmaker who grew up on a farm in Langley, BC. She is the author of The Last Exiles published this Spring by Harper Collins, as well as a couple books of poetry including The Family China which won the Anne Green Award. Her documentary A.rtificial I.mmortality was selected as the Opening Night film for Hotdocs International Film Festival 2021. My Enemy, My Brother was nominated for an Emmy and a 2016 Academy Award. Her previous documentary, The Defector: Escape from North Korea won 7 awards including Best Documentary and Best Documentary Director at the 2014 Canadian Screen Academy Awards and an SXSW Interactive Award. Ann lives in Toronto with her partner, two daughters, and two cats. The Last Exiles is her first novel. 

Jamie Chai Yun Liew 
Jamie Chai Yun Liew (she/her) is a writer, lawyer, law professor, and podcaster. Her debut novel DANDELION will be published by Arsenal Pulp Press in the Spring of 2022. She is the recipient of the 2018 Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop (ACWW) Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award. She advocates, writes, and researches on issues relating to migration, statelessness, and law. Her podcast, Migration Conversations, features experts and migrants who have experienced immigration systems up close. With Hakka, Hainanese, and Nyonya roots in Southeast Asia, one of Jamie’s pastimes is to cook and eat SE Asian hawker fare including laksa and char kuey teow. She lives in Ottawa with her family. Follow her on Twitter @thechaiyun and on Instagram @jcyliew.