The Festival

About Festival Accès Asie

Festival Accès Asie is a Montréal-based arts festival that promotes Asian arts, cultures and histories through a diversity of artistic disciplines including the visual arts, dance, theatre, video, film, music, comedy, poetry, literature, performance, new media and culinary arts.

The Festival presents events that feature artists of Asian origin and artists whose work is inspired by Asian arts, cultures and histories. The Festival also offers cultural mediation activities, conferences and training workshops as part of its recently launched educational component. Festival Accès Asie is registered in Québec, as a non-profit organization (NPO) in the arts at the REQ (Registraire des entreprises du Québec).

Established in 1995, Festival Accès Asie is Canada’s longest continuously running Asian heritage arts festival. To date, it has presented works of over 900 artists of Asian origin from more than 20 different countries including East Asia (Japan, China, Korea); Southeast Asia (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore); South Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka); Central & Middle Eastern Asia (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Armenia).

This year, Festival Accès Asie celebrates its 26th anniversary edition, marking a milestone as Canada’s longest continuously running Asian heritage month festival.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director, Khosro Berahmandi and General Manager, Karine Kerr-Gillespie, Festival Accès Asie is a predominantly volunteer-based festival run by a small staff of employees and interns, a Board of Directors composed of artists and members of the Asian community as well as an Honorary Advisory Committee. In addition to federal and provincial funding organizations, the Festival benefits from the generous support of partners, collaborators and sponsors. Festival Accès Asie is a bilingual organization.

About the festival, click here: 20 anos_800Video directed by Najla Bacha The Origins of Festival Accès Asie

Festival Accès Asie was co-founded in 1995 by Bernard Nguyen and Janet Lumb to respond to the growing demand for a stronger Asian presence in the arts and cultural climate of Quebec.

It was initially named the Montréal Asian Heritage Festival to coincide with the nation-wide celebration of Asian Heritage Month in Canada in May. The founding members were comprised of Asian artists, community activists and entrepreneurs who shared the common goals of wanting to counter stereotypes and barriers to mainstream culture by raising awareness of Asian arts, cultures and histories.

In its infancy, the festival was purely volunteer-based, fuelled by passion, friendship, hard work and dedication to the arts and community. The founding members met in living rooms, cafés and all-you-can-eat buffets in Chinatown to organize the festival, often to the chimes of laughter and lively discussion.

In 2002, the festival welcomed its first official office at Gesù — Centre de créativité, where it still holds its present headquarters. The scope of the festival grew with time. Today, the festival still runs on the principles of passion, friendship, hard work and dedication to the arts and community.

On the eve of its 26th anniversary, Festival Accès Asie wishes to acknowledge the many individuals who founded, supported and helped lay the foundations that built the festival into what it is today. Special thanks go to the following individuals who made it possible:


  • Bernard Nguyen and Janet Lumb

Founding Members

  • Vivi Avy Anthy
  • Khosro Berahmandi
  • Rebecca Chong
  • Patrice Fouché
  • Hunt Hoe
  • Salman M. Hussain
  • Viviane Schami
  • Himmat Shinhat
  • Atif Siddiqi
  • Nancy Tatabe
  • Milton Tanaka

Early Supporters

  • Jim Wong Chu
  • Chris Creighton-Kelly
  • Sharon Fernandez
  • Saheed Khan
  • Desh Pardesh
  • Vivienne Poy
  • Zainub Verjee

Mandate and Artistic Vision

  • To advance the appreciation and understanding of Asian arts, cultures and histories.
  • To create a favourable environment for the promotion of Asian arts, cultures and histories.
  • To disseminate the work of artists of Asian origin and artists whose work is inspired by Asian arts, cultures and histories.
  • To provide opportunities for emerging and professional artists to present their work.
  • To support a diversity of artistic disciplines.
  • To promote greater cultural tolerance and intercultural understanding.
  • To dismantle stereotypes and cultural barriers.
  • To foster dialogue that develops interdisciplinary, intergenerational and intercultural solidarity.
  • To provide educational initiatives that facilitate the integration of new immigrants and visible minorities into society.
  • To make a positive contribution to Quebec and Canadian society by advancing intercultural exchange.
  • To ensure tant the Festival is a safe and inclusive space for artists

Socio-cultural Context

Montreal is one of the most culturally diverse urban centres in Canada and includes a significant Asian population. However, the Asian population of Montreal is quite diverse in that it is comprised of many communities, each with its own racial, ethnic, linguistic and/or cultural identity. In addition to this cultural diversity, Asian communities are also geographically fragmented across the urban expanse of greater Montreal and its suburbs.

Such an environment renders dialogue, exchange and collaboration between these communities very difficult and generates great obstacles in the struggle to establish any kind of solidarity.

Barriers to mainstream culture

Even though Canada has officially adopted an ideal of multiculturalism, long held prejudices about what constitutes Canadian identity remain institutionalized. The images of Canadian culture and identity propagated by the media remain predominantly “white”. As with many other communities, Asians have had great difficulty in reconciling this image of Canadian culture with their need to assert and to express their own identities.

Media stereotypes continue to have a profoundly disempowering effect on Asians. The struggle to establish that feeling “Canadian” while also taking great pride in one’s Asian culture do not have to be mutually exclusive has only recently begun to receive the kind of attention it deserves.

Barriers between Asian communities

Historically, there has been cultural and economic reciprocity between the different communities in Asia. However, after arriving in Canada, the various Asian communities tend to fragment. This isolation is often the result of trying to adapt to a social environment that is considerably different from the one in the country of origin. Consequently, the interaction and dialogue that was present outside Canada is severely reduced and cultural differences, religious and language barriers further compound this effect.

Barriers for non-traditionals artists within their own communities

Many Asian artists are doing work that is either experimental or constitutes a fusion of “east” and “west”. In order to do this kind of work, they have often had to do so outside their communities. As a result, Asian communities are unaware of these artists, are not exposed to their work and rarely have opportunities to support them. Consequently, it has become imperative to facilitate reconnection of these artists to their communities.

Respectful and Inclusive

The Festival recognizes that artists identities are comprised of a wide diversity of elements that relate to the socio-economic, cultural, religious, gender, ability, and many other factors. The values of inclusiveness and respect with respect to the diversity of artists and others that collaborate with the Festival are at the core of its values.

As such, the Festival, will seek guidance form the following human rights instruments, whether in regard to the selection and promotion of artists, the hiring of staff and the selction of administrators and any other activity  in which such guidance would be relevant (this particulary for areas of activity where it is important to ensure non-discrimination)

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • The Canadian Humain Rights Act
  • The Carter of Human Rights and Freedoms (Quebec)

The Origins of Asian Heritage Month Govt. Canada_Asian Heritage Month Official Declaration

Canada’s cultural diversity strengthens the country socially, politically and economically in innumerable ways. Asian Heritage Month is an ideal occasion for all to celebrate the beauty and wisdom of various Asian cultures.

Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated in the United States since 1979. Over the past decade, many Asians in Canada have begun to celebrate their heritage during the month of May. In December 2001, the Senate adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy to officially designate May as Asian Heritage Month in Canada. In May 2002, the Government of Canada signed an official declaration to designate May as Asian Heritage Month.

Canadians are invited to take part in the events that honour the legacy of Canadians of Asian heritage. It is a time to participate in festivities across the country that celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage, who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation we know today.

Government of Canada, source:

In 2004, the City of Montreal adopt the resolution n° CM04 0241 which announce the month of May as the Asian Heritage Month, thanks to a proposal by Ms. Helen Fotopulos, Mayor of the Plateau Mont-Royal arrondissement (2002-2009) and responsible, at the Montreal Executive Committee, for Mont-Royal Park and the Status of Women.

The National Assembly of Quebec has decided, on May 30th 2018, to acknowledge the month of May as the Asian Heritage Month, thanks to a proposal by M. Amir Khadir-deputy of Mercier- and M. David Heurtel -Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness and the deputies of Marie-Victorin, Deux-Montagnes, Vachon, and Gaspé.

Résolution de l assemblée nationale du Québec-page-001

The Festival Accès Asie is proud that all levels of power in Canada recognize the contribution of Asian communities in its territory and, as a result, encourage its citizens to learn about the different cultures that inhabit Asia.

Press Release

Board of Directors

Sue WangSue Wang 
Kiran Ambwani
Kakim Goh
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Florence So
Milton Tanaka
IMG_0045T.K. Raghunathan
0Himmat Singh Shinhat

Honorary Advisory Committee Members

The Honorary Advisory Committee was created in 2003 to consult with and to increase Accès Asie’s networking capacity:

Who passed the motion in the Senate to declare the month of May as “Asian Heritage Month” in Canada

More informations
Is an entrepreneur and owns a health clinic in Montreal since 2004. He is the Junior Sherpa Elect for the Canadian Delegation at the 2015 G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit                    
More informations


Volunteers needed !

Want to be part of the largest Asian event in Montreal? The festival is looking for amazing volunteers like you! You’re dynamic, proactive and responsible? Then we need you to be part of our volunteer team Acces Asie!

To apply, send us your CV and application form to the following address : [email protected]

Call for Interns

Festival Accès Asie offers an accredited internship opportunity (unpaid) for students in one or more departments of the organization.

Whatever your field of study, if you want to have a taste of the arts and culture industry, the Festival strongly encourages you to apply and to express your interest and curiosity. The Festival is always open to new encounters and exchanges.

On the other hand, if you are an experienced student in this industry and want to further develop your management skills within the arts’ industry, we guarantee you exciting challenges that will make your experience here worthwhile.

To qualify for an internship, you must be a full time student and / or full-time student at the next semester.

Please send us your CV and a cover letter to [email protected], titling the subject as YOUR NAME: candidate internship.

Applications will be considered at all times. Please indicate in your email the inclusive dates when you would be available to work with the Festival (for a period of at least 2 consecutive months, for 3 to 5 days a week).

Previous Interns



Sarah Weill (IUT, Toulon University, France)

I did my internship at the Festival Accès Asie, during its 24th edition! For two months from April 8 to June 14, I worked as a communication and marketing assistant. This internship allowed me to participate in preparations before and during the Festival, and in its early feedback stage.

I specifically contributed to the promotion of the Festival, publishing each event on various cultural calendars and liaising with relevant cultural organizations. Tasks also entrusted to me were: animating social networks, managing ticket sales, participating in the smooth running of Festival events and preparing event sites.

While carrying out these different tasks, I was able to apply and further develop the skills acquired during my studies, specifically, IT and communication tools, and marketing approaches.

My internship was an extremely enriching experience, from a cultural, social, public and professional point of view. During the festival, I discovered what Asian culture is through the various disciplines presented such as dance, theater, cinema, and art.

It is with great pleasure that I worked with the Festival Accès Asie team. The trust I have been shown has inspired me to give the best of myself. I especially want to thank Céline, Khosro, Jade, Sofie and the entire Festival team for their generosity, their joie de vivre and their sympathy.

Do not wait, let yourself be tempted!


Sofie Farkas (McGill University, Canada)

I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to intern with Festival Accès Asie and to have been part of the 24th edition. It was a pleasure to work with a welcoming and extremely cohesive team that listens, cares and supports one another. Festival Accès Asie radiates positive energy, goodwill and compassion. Working as a team is the main mantra of the Festival Accès Asie. As a close-knit group, the interactions and communications were smooth and effective.

As an assistant coordinator, my internship was split into two main parts. Throughout the month of May, my job entailed to ensure that the events were running smoothly, which included welcoming artists and guests at the tickets office, being in charge of merchandise, stats, and answering any inquiries and questions guests might have. Once the festival ended, I was responsible for writing the press review. Additionally, I was promoting the events through social media, and aiming to attract a more diversified audience. All in all, my internship required paying good attention to detail, having excellent communication skills, and promoting the festival efficiently through creative means.

It was not only a culturally rewarding experience but it was also interesting to observe how rich and diverse the artists were, touching upon different disciplines of arts from dance to cinematography. Exploring Asian cultures and being exposed to a diverse heritage was enriching and unforgettable.

I wholeheartedly wish to thank Khosro, Céline and Jade, as well as the whole team of Festival Accès Asie for welcoming me to their 24th edition. I had an incredible experience discovering Asian cultures, history and arts especially with a group of warm and affectionate co-workers, and artists.



Nina Milhaud (McGill University, Canada)

I had the chance and the pleasure to realise an internship within the Festival Accès Asie team for its 22nd edition, held in May 2017. During this two-month internship, the tasks that were conferred to me as assistant coordinator are distinguished in two parts: watch over the proper ogranization upstream, and secondly, ensure the best development of events during the festival (preparing the venue, welcoming spectators, manage the ticket office...), then write the complete press review of our events once the festival had ended. As diverse as they were, these tasks all required reactivity and flexibility towards the expected unexpected that comes with the world of spectacles, assiduity and diligence, necessary to the creation of trust amongst the team, and mostly great communication abilities and cooperation for efficient teamwork.

On top of being an incredibly enriching experience on a cultural standpoint, attributable to the diversity and quality of its artistic events, my internship was an unforgettable human experience, whether through synergical teamwork, meeting the artistic world of the festival or the contact with the spectators. The Festival Accès Asie is unique first by the beauty of its values, and by the generosity and passion of the team that incarnates it. The festival is a family, and it is thanks to the love it embodies that the festival is able to transmit Asian arts and culture with such humanity and splendor.

I wish to thank from the bottom of my heart Céline, Khosro, as well as the whole Festival Accès Asie team for the warmth with which they have welcomed me amongst them, and to have given me the opportunity to participate in the success of the 22nd edition of the most marvelous festival celebrating the richness of the Asian world!


chloe-leysChloé Leys  (McGill University, Canada)

Festival Accès Asie is a festival promoting asian arts and culture in Montreal. As part of my studies, I went on an internship in this non profit organization, and I fully enjoyed my experience.

To work with Accès Asie means working as part of a team. Indeed, May was dedicated to the festival, thus I had to make sure the events were going well. My job as a coordination assistant focused on welcoming people at the ticket office, be in charge of the stats and welcome people at the information table. The festival is a small body, what enabled me to know its members very well and to feel very comfortable.

In June, I was in charge of the redaction of the festival’s reports, especially the one addressed to « Ville de Montréal », what gave me the opportunity to comment on the events. I was also asked to translate documents from english to french; english fluency was a pre requisite to work for the festival.

This internship enable me to discover the world of arts and culture in Montreal, and enabled me to develop my skills as an coordination assistant. This internship was tied to my future studies and was the opportunity to gather my interest for Asia with my passion for arts.

I would like to thank Khosro and the whole team of the 21st edition for this unforgettable experience

pauline-traversPauline Travers (Gestion Administrative et Commerciale des Organisations, France)

My experience as an intern at Festival Accès Asie was unique and unforgettable. It was a real pleasure to work with such a welcoming and open team as the one at Accès Asie. My job as a coordination assistant has enabled me to discover a new culture, to promote this new culture and to participate in social and cultural issues by helping others to understand and appreciate this rich and diverse heritage. My job as an intern was very enriching and constituted a crucial step for my studies, as it will help me to orient myself in the future.

The festival was very interesting, both because of the diversity of events and origins of the artists. This discovery and learning experience was a very enriching and beneficial, as I have always been passionate about history and culture. I would like to thank Khosro and the other members of the team of the edition 2016 as well as the other four interns and volunteers with whom I had the chance to work everyday.

guillaume-fafournouxGuillaume Fafournoux (Gestion Administrative et Commerciale des Organisations, France)

In my second year at DUT GACO (Gestion Administrative et Commerciale des Organisations), I had the chance to join the team at Festival Accès Asie for an internship as a press relations and coordinations assistant between 11th April and 22nd June 2016.

During these 10 unforgettable and enriching weeks, I was able to complete various tasks including press contacts, management of cultural events and social relations,implementation of the press review, as well as assisting the shows,which offered a total escape. I also had the pleasure of discovering all the stages of development involved in the festival up until the post- event evalutations,to better understand the functions of such an organisation.

I was also able to deepen my understanding in the domain of arts and culture, beingi ntroduced to Asian culture through music and dance performances. I was able to do this by putting theoretical knowledge into practice.

mayaMaya Bush  (McGill University, Canada)

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience working with the 21st edition of Festival Accès Asie. This internship presented an opportunity to work with a friendly and enthusiastic team whilst deepening my knowledge of Asian arts and culture. As a coordination and communications assistant I was able to develop some key social and professional skills.

Although I was initially drawn to this festival due to my Japanese background and interest in music, I was soon to discover a vast array of Asian art and dance spectacles. The Festival enabled me to connect with my own cultural roots as well as discover cultural art forms that were previously unknown to me.

During the internship I was assigned various tasks in marketing and development, event coordination and general administrative support. These included tasks such as developing and implementing branding tools, researching and outreaching with the public of Montreal, translating documents as well as making database entries. During the events in May, I assisted with coordination to ensure that they run smoothly. I am so thankful to Accès Asie who have given me the opportunity to develop these professional skills. It was also a real pleasure to meet the artists and learn about their works.

For anybody looking for an exciting and culturally enriching internship in Montreal, I would most certainly recommend working with Accès Asie. You will be guaranteed a rewarding, engaging and fun experience!


Victorine Lentsch (DUT Techniques de Commercialisation, Annecy, France)

Completing my internship at Festival Accès Asie from mid-August to end-October gave me the opportunity to discover the arts and culture field. As a marketing & communications assistant, I took part of an event taken place in September (in the 19th edition ofJournées de la culture). I have learned everything related to logistics and post production for artistic events. I wrote a press release and a newsletter featuring an infoclip, I assisted the team during the show and finally, I produced an after-event video.

I was also assigned as social media manager, as well as responsible for elaborating a marketing report, tasks that were professionally enriching my journey. And as Autumn brought countless activities to the festival, I had to be very versatile.

The Festival Accès Asie’s team was truly friendly and warm, and the working environment is the most pleasant! I learned a lot during this internship both in a professional and personal level. I felt completely as part of the team. Mutual support and a great environment were always there and with whom I expect to grow a lifelong friendship.

This internship also gave me a chance of getting to know Montreal’s cultural life and its lovable squirrels as well. I had a fantastic experience at Festival Accès Asie. I will never forget it!

As an outgoing person, doing an internship overseas has been an incredible opportunity, specially in Montreal, with its vibrant cultural places and tons of activities such as festivals, sports, hiking, gastronomy…

If you get a chance to join Festival Accès Asie, jump at the opportunity.


Marie Duprez (La Rochelle, France)

My internship with Festival Accès Asie was a real opportunity for me. I discovered every part of working with a festival and in the arts. As I am particularly interested in these two sectors, I couldn’t have asked for more.

Unlike an internship with a large company, working for a small festival truly helps one enrich their skills and allows one to work in a personable environment. A lot of responsibility is given to you, and you truly feel responsible for the festival’s success.

I arrived here in late February, so I not only could participate in all the preparation for the 20th edition, but also participate throughout the duration of the festival- where I had a range of activities and tasks to perform. I was the press assistant to Amélie Poirier-Aubry, but I was also able to aid the rest of the team. This has helped me to become more flexible. I really did not have any time to be bored here.

The word “team” makes a lot of sense here.

Working with a team like Festival Accès Asie also plays an important role in my professional development. I was very warmly received, everyone here had their place, and helped one another when necessary. The atmosphere here is great.

This internship taught me a lot, and if I had the chance to choose to work here again, I would not hesitate to.

me4websiteCatherine LaMendola (McGill University, Canada)

Interning with Festival Accès Asie was a great opportunity for me to develop both skills in my field of study and skills necessary to succeed in any professional environment. Working alongside such a close-knit and driven team created the ideal setting for me to gain valuable experience working in the arts and culture sector.

As an art history student, I worked closely with the visual arts curator, Kakim Goh to help prepare the two exhibitions that were a part of the 20th anniversary edition of the festival. I also became involved in assisting with cultural mediation activities and discussions held between Kakim, Masion de la Culture, myself, and new immigrants to Canada.

Working at an organization the size of Festival Accès Asie also provided me with the unique opportunity to engage with almost every aspect of running a successful festival. From creating visual materials, to managing the festival’s website and working the events themselves, I had a chance to do a little bit of everything. It is incredibly fulfilling to see your work come to fruition, and see the real impact it has on Festival Accès Asie.

Every single person on the 2015 team was incredibly passionate about the festival’s mandate, and was always open to hearing new ideas. Working at Festival Accès Asie means that you are always working towards a meaningful and important goal: promoting tolerance, cultural understanding, and intercultural exchanges.


Chloé Merckling (Besancon, France)

I did an internship program for three months at festival Accès Asie as a marketing and communications assistant. Since I worked from April to late June, I had the chance to work before the festival’s events, live through it, and analyze the consequences after the events. I had multiple missions and they were different and varied according to the period. Before the beginning of the festival activities, I had to promote the events and social networks. I also created some visual like flyers, invitation cards and a banner. When the festival begun, I assisted and helped at each event. After the events, I was in charge of producing a summary report of the festival and its communication tools.

At the office, there was a very good working atmosphere. Accès Asie is an organization on a human scale and there is a lot of proximity between team members. Everyone is free to make suggestions, give advice and express his/her opinion.

Working for the festival gave me a profound personal and professional experience. Having to do my internship in Montreal made this even more memorable.

Manon Périn (Troyes, France)

From February until June, I have learned many things : from the way how works a festival as well as Montreal’s seasons ! Indeed, during the harsh winter, I had to take care of the promotion part : from calling journalists until dealing with social networks but also many different missions. Spring was short as the time we had to prepare the events themselves : we may have to do some shopping, arrange a room or promote other events for the public coming. We finally calm down when summer arrived : this short period of time is like a conclusion of the edition which has just finished by writing many reports or for me, the press review. Fall was missing for my internship to be complete : I hadn’t the chance to prepare the next edition by looking for fundraising ! Doing an internship for Festival Accès Asie is really rewarding : we learn every little secrets behind the curtains but also on culture differences between where you come from and the way of living in Montreal !


 photo IDValentin Fournaise (Charleville-Mézière, France)

I did my internship at Accès Asie from September to December 2013 as a marketing and communications assistant. This experience was highly significant for my training. I arrived at a perfect time because fundraising and search for partners was on the agenda! I rapidly gained the confidence of the team and they appointed me to several missions. We always worked together. I felt supported but also totally free. The Festival’s team was always open to hearing my ideas, so I was able to suggest new approaches to development and to use my skills appropriately. Doing an internship at Accès Asie is an exchange. You will receive a lot, professionally and personally. You must know how to express and propose your ideas and you must want to participate in the growth of this wonderful organization. The team has a lot of experience and the Festival is well rooted in the Montreal cultural landscape. I recommend this internship to anyone who wishes to gain an enriching professional experience in Quebec. Personally, I will be returning!

Hugo Rota (IUT de Chambéry, France)

I had my internship with Accés Asie from April 2nd to June 7th, 2013.

During ten weeks, I was the Press Relations’ Assistant, and so I was assigned various assignments related to the marketing and communication aspects within the press. This also included managing social networks and other varied missions within the establishment of the Festival.

Festival Accès Asie was a great adventure, the annual festival events held in May allow various artists from Asian origins to showcase their beautiful art and share it with the population of Quebec. The team, friends and volunteers of the Festival were like a large family that is very involved in their individual missions and common goal.

During my internship, the team was able to accommodate my needs and integrate me within their circle, and I felt really involved and useful during the 18th edition of Festival. This internship was a great experience both personally and professionally. As a French student, my stay in Montreal was also a great international experience that I cannot forget.

AurelieAurélie Bornecque (Grenoble, France)

My internship at the Festival Accès Asie gave me the opportunity to discover the daily life of a non-profit organization in the field of arts and culture. This is an area that was previously unknown to me, and helped me, especially during the festival period, to open my mind to different forms of contemporary art. During my internship, I mostly assisted the coordinator of the festival, which allowed me to learn the basics and acquire some knowledge and reflexes when it comes to communications as well as to apply this knowledge in a practical way once on the field. In addition, a lot of freedom is given to the newcomers, the ability to use one’s own initiative is always welcomed and encouraged, and the trust that is given to the different members of the team struck me. I was able to experience real teamwork, a very friendly staff that gave me a place of my own and enabled me to have a very unique and rewarding experience.


Audrey Vignaud (IUT de Chambery, France)

My internship with Festival Accès Asie in Montreal was not only a new experience but an international cultural discovery: On the work side – As an assistant in communication and marketing, my 3-month mission was to develop the digital communication of the Festival. This includes entertaining the relationship with French, English and Asian cultural agendas of Quebec, and managing the Festival’s website. I also assisted with the press officer’s duties for the organization and administration of interviews between journalists (paper press, radio, TV), and the artists presented by the Festival. Moreover, because the organizational structure of the Festival was small, I took on various additional tasks that didn’t always correspond to the title of my internship but were also very interesting. On the passion side – Janet and Khosro (Artistic Director and General Manager) both have a rich and original history. I admire them for the work they do together, and heart they put to defending their ideas, projects and artists along with motivated interns and volunteers. The Festival also gave me the opportunity to discover a side of Asian culture and art in presenting diversity that I had never seen before. Accès Asie displayed, through its objectives, the importance it gives to its artists and their art, its simplicity and accessibility, a dynamic that I was immediately attracted to.

Renée Drezner (McGill University, Canada)

Accès Asie is a wonderful organization that strives to elevate artists and present cultural events to the community to further the goals of celebrating diversity and decreasing stereotypes.

I applied through the McGill Summer Internship program. The directors, Janet Lumb, and Khosro Berahmandi, as well as the coordinator, Ran Xiao, care for their work, and for each other very deeply.  Their contagious enthusiasm motivated me to put my all into every assignment.  They valued my opinions and efforts, trusted me with large responsibilities, and supported me through each step of the process.

Janet, Khosro and Ran allowed my interests to guide my tasks, therefore I was able to help out in many aspects of the organization. In May, I headed the Microboutique for Festival events.  I liaised with vendors, created spreadsheets, sold products, and did all the accounting for the boutique. In June, I took over the organization of an outdoor block party that drew 500 people. In addition, I created about 100 entries in the budding Asian Canadian Wikipedia project, an encyclopedia of notable Asian Canadians.  Under Janet’s tutelage I learned the art of grant-writing and contributed to the Festival’s major grants.  This summer, I learned the inns and outs of working in the non-profit sector and it was a great experience.


Julien Charton (ISCOM Paris, France)

Festival Accès Asie is a human-scaled cosmopolitan organization based on beautiful values: motivation, energy, integration, openness, commitment, community and friendship. It was a pleasure working for the Festival, which offered me a chance to prove myself. This rewarding experience will remain unforgettable for me and a lasting French-Canadian friendship has been created between the Accès Asie team and myself.

Ran Xiao (McGill University, Canada)

Having already volunteered for the Festival Accès Asie last year, it was with enthusiasm that I started an official internship with this organization!

I received direct and positive support from both Directors (Janet Lumb & Khosro Berahmandi) and the rest of the team; they gave me the opportunity to take up many responsibilities and duties as an assistant-coordinator. More than letting me take part in the Festival’s everyday functioning, the network of people to which Accès Asie introduced me to enriched my experience all the more. Festival activities have not only opened my eyes to the reality of non-profit organizations, they offered me the opportunity to learn about activism among visible minorities and artists, and seeing arts in the bigger socio-political picture.

The Festival prioritizes people first, and this value is evident in their actions, approaches and dialogues – not only did the team teach me to how to coordinate events, they gave me the opportunity to contribute my ideas, took the time to satisfy my curiosity and invited me to share in their success.


Zab Maboungou, laureate of the Charles-Biddle 2013 prize

Montreal, September 30th 2013 - It is with great pleasure that ResArtE (Réseau des Artistes pour l’Équité) announces that our dear Zab Maboungou, artistic director of Zab Maboungou / Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata, is the laureate of the 2013 Charles-Biddle prize. In 1989, she was appointed a member of the Racial Equity Committee of the Canada Council for the Arts. To read more, see the press release (in French only).


ResArtE (Réseau des Artistes pour l’Équité) is a network made up of professional arts organizations and institutions who share the common goals of equity and the democratization of culture. Launched within the framework of Stand Firm, a capacity building initiative supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, we are a mutually supportive group that encourages peer to peer development practice of culturally diverse artists and organization. To contact us: [email protected]

For over more than 10 years (2002-2003) this initiative has been a landmark step, since the creation of the Equity Office of the Canada Council of the Arts in 1991, in the development of better relations between institutions, individuals and members of the community to whom they are accountable. The past decades have confirmed the inexorable movement of populations and cultures around the world. The institutions, mandated to provide a service and a certain level of funding to the arts and to contribute to their development, have not always been able to take into consideration this evolution. History demonstrates that many well established artistic organizations found themselves too often unable to access funding sources or at least generate interest from institutions, cultural agents or the media, thus finding themselves marginalized or at best relegated to ‘community’ oriented activities.

Such a situation could not do without a deeper analysis of what appeared to be a “quasi-natural system of exclusion” – in the name of art– of a diverse set of artistic ideas inspired by other cultural models and not endorsed by the existing cultural system.

The first step consisted of a general rally of concerned organizations, which went, beyond the simple awareness of their existence to the national and provincial agencies. These organizations, their artists and cultural workers were able to examine all opportunities, to share in their strengths and capabilities, to create networks and to consider possible actions. In short, they could mobilize for “another opening and another revival” and to renew the world of art and creation.

  • Mission

To recognize and foster cultural diversity through the realization and promotion of our respective artistic practices and to achieve equity through institutional change and education.

  • Objectives

– Develop and consolidate the organizational capacity of the members of ResArtE.

– Act collectively to promote cultural diversity on all fronts in the arts.

– Consolidate the ResArtE network with the aim of advancing, strengthening and expanding our links, collaboration and exchanges with other artistic and cultural organizations, institutions and communities.

  • Members

Accès AsieBlack Theatre WorkshopCIDIHCAMontréal, Arts interculturelsMémoire d’encrierMusique Multi MontréalProductions Nuits d’AfriqueSinha DanseTeesri DunyaZab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata, Cine Asie. To download the brochure : Brochure_Resarte_2012

ASIAN CANADIAN WIKI Launch of website of Asian Canadian achievements

Monday, October 8th 2012, Montreal – A website on Asian Canadian achievements has been launched today from Montreal-based Asian arts and cultural organization, Festival Accès Asie.

The is a website dedicated to promoting Asian Canadian community and is a database of all things Asian Canadian – from artists, scientists, leaders, to cultural centres, community organizations and festivals.

Director Janet Lumb, herself an important voice in the Asian Canadian arts community, explains the importance of this project: The Asian Canadian Wiki is significant, not only to the growing Asian artist community, but to Canada as a whole. Over the summer, we’ve added hundreds of new faces, organizations and projects – all of which represent the diversity in our country. We encourage users to take advantage of the interactive nature of the wiki platform and add themselves or anyone they think is missing.

Users can edit articles, add their own media such as film clips or music, and also contribute to discussions about each of the pages.

Spearheaded by Festival Accès Asie, the Asian Canadian wiki site was created by a small team of dedicated volunteers to reach objectives set during a 2010 symposium on Asian Heritage Month. The development of the wiki is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Website: Robert Parungao : Asian Canadian Wiki Coordinator Elena Kusaka : Asian Canadian Wiki Coordinator Email: [email protected] Phone: 514-885-5075