Opening cocktail – 28th edition

Festival Accès Asie invites you to the Conseil des arts de Montréal on Thursday, May 4 starting at 5 p.m.

Asian tidbits, matcha cocktails, and photobooth await! Join us in celebrating the beginning of Asian Heritage Month!


edition 2023
Opening cocktail – 28th edition
May 4 — 5:00pm
Free - Conseil des arts de Montréal


Festival Accès Asie invites you to the Conseil des arts de Montréal on Thursday, May 4 starting at 5 p.m.

The evening will be hosted by activist and athlete Laëtitia Vu offering you a sneak-peek at one of the Festival performances by guest choreographer Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo and musician artists Ziya Tabassian (tombak) and Maryam Tazhdeh (târ). DJ Parker Mah will also be on hand to get you dancing!

The opening of the exhibition Bijin 美人: Japanese Beauty by Artiasiam Gallery will also take place at the same time upstairs.



Laëtitia Vu

Raised at the crossroads of her Vietnamese and Quebec identities, Laëtitia has long sought to link her different heritages. Now 23 years old, she is dedicated to the fight against racism, as well as to the valorization of the diversity of identities, from an intersectional perspective.

International relations and human rights being at the heart of her preoccupations, she studied at the University of Montreal in International Studies, where she specialized in international law, diplomacy, and governance of artificial intelligence. She is currently completing her master’s degree in public and international Affairs.

Her interests are reflected in her professional career, engaged since 2019 in processes of citizen and democratic participation, social innovation, and support to citizen mobilization. She has worked with the international cooperation NGO Katalizo, with the World Social Forums, and with the Institut du Nouveau Monde’ Steering Committee for the Youth Initiative on Living Together. In addition, she worked for almost a year at the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie in multilateral diplomacy. In 2022, she joined Numana, focusing on public policy in quantum technologies and cybersecurity.

Sport remains a central part of her identity, as she is a multiple Quebec champion in artistic swimming and was nominated Quebec Athlete of the Year. Competitive coach since 2014 and nominated Quebec Coach of the Year in 2020, she has held the position of head coach and manager of her sports organization, Brossard Synchro, since 2019. Since 2021, she is member of the Commission for a safe and healthy sport of Natation Artistique Québec. She works to engage a healthier and more inclusive culture in the sport community. Teacher at the Pole Station dance studio since 2020, Laëtitia participated in her first Pole Dance competitions in 2021 and won the first place at the Canadian Pole Artistic Championships, semi-pro.

Laëtitia joined the Festival Accès Asie’s Board of Directors in December 2022. This commitment represents the responsibility to ensure the mission and the influence of the Festival, as well as the unique opportunity to serve her convictions.

Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo

Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo (Kanien’keha:ka Nation/mixed heritage) is the Artistic Director and Choreographer of A’nó:wara Dance Theatre.

Originally from Kahnawake and now living in Montreal, Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo (Kanien’keha:ka Nation/mixed heritage) is the Artistic Director and Choreographer of A’nó:wara Dance Theatre.


She has been on her toes since the tender age of four when she started studying classical ballet. She landed her first professional dance role at age 17, then went on to graduate with a BFA in theatre from Concordia University and a certificate in indigenous culture, theatre, and performance from the Native Theatre School. She has studied many forms of dance, including ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, powwow, etc. As a choreographer and dancer, she specializes in creating works that highlight Indigenous themes/stories/perspectives by often combining powwow, Haudenosaunee dance, and other contemporary styles to create a fusion of dance that speaks to many different populations and tastes.

She often works with La Danse sur les Routes du Quebec as an Indigenous Project Development Officer. With them, she led the development of the project: The keys to understanding Indigenous dance for better audience development, for which they were awarded the Diversity and Inclusion Prize by Compétence Culture. She continues to teach dance, is Chair of the board of the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, and often is a consultant for Indigenous arts for various organizations.

Her goals are to inspire others, encourage cultural pride, uplift the spirit, and increase education and communication.

Ziya Tabassian

Ziya Tabassian began learning the tombak (Iranian percussion) at the age of ten. After an initial period of study in Iran, he continued to learn on his own. From 1994 to 2001, he studied western classical percussion with Julien Grégoire in Montreal and obtained a bachelor’s degree in performance from the University of Montreal. In the winter of 2003, he was in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, where he explored a repertoire of contemporary music on Iranian percussion instruments. He then continued his research through advanced courses with Bahman Rajabi (Tehran), Aziz Alami (Fez), Trichy Sankaran (Toronto), Misirli Ahmet (Istanbul), Shree Sundarkumar, and Yogesh Samsi (India).

As a percussionist, Ziya is active in the fields of early medieval, renaissance, and baroque music, contemporary and current music, and world music. He has performed in over 40 countries in prestigious concert halls and festivals with internationally renowned ensembles.

© Cindy Voitus

Maryam Tazhdeh

Maryam Tazhdeh has been a composer and musician and a Târ and Setâr teacher.  She has also been a university professor for 14 years, a researcher, and columnist in the field of Iranian music.

Her musical credits include the albums This Infinite Description; composer and musician, Segah, Afshari; composer, Negshbandan; composer and musician, Singing in the Shadow. She has performed as a solo musician as well as in group concerts in Canada, Iran, The Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Greece, Austria, Turkmenistan, and Turkey.

Parker Mah

Musical vagabond and inveterate digger, Parker Mah aka Rhythm & Hues has been sharing his offbeat selections for over a decade. As a featured DJ, he has set dancefloors alight in places as far-flung as Mexico City, Cotonou and Hong Kong. Co-founder of the Tumbao DJ collective, his specialty spans the afro-latin-brazilian-caribbean spectrum, with a predilection for vinyl.

Musician, composer and radio show host, his passion is to broaden and share his interest in the socio-cultural legacy of these musics, and the stories they tell of migration and cross-pollinisation.

© Aloh Vera


Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo – Choreographer

Ziya Tabassian – Musician

Maryam Tazhdeh – Musician

Parker Mah – Artiste DJ

Laetitia Vu – Host

edition 2023
Opening cocktail – 28th edition
May 4 — 5:00pm
Free - Conseil des arts de Montréal