National Symposium 2020

From September 10th to 13th

Connection – Action – Momentum – Solidarity
Strengthening Asian Canadian Arts, Culture and Heritage

The Festival Acces Asie recognizes that there are many rapidly evolving conversations regarding access, inclusion, working conditions, economics, appropriation, succession planning, inter-generational challenges and other barriers to the realization and flourishing of Asian heritage.

Therefore, we organized the 2nd National Asian Heritage Month Symposium, from September 10-14 2020.

You can catch the replays down here.

The Symposium in numbers:

✅ 344 registrants 

✅ More than 200 participants at the opening ceremony

✅ 30 presenters

✅ 23 break out sessions in 6 Canadian cities

✅ 3 First Nations reflection sessions with 8 representatives

✅ 6 working groups with more than 50 recommendations

The Symposium goals are to:

  1. Create CONNECTION that is meaningful for festivals, organizations and artists to either unite around common goals or to have better insight on difference;
  2.  Motivate ACTION on a national, local and individual scale to enrich the reach, scope and depth of arts and culture of Asian Canadian artist and cultural workers;
  3. Build MOMENTUM beyond the dates of the symposium to encourage continuity of discovery, experimentation and innovation in order to move forward without getting stuck; and 
  4. Develop SOLIDARITY within our own communities and outside to support each other in the building of a National Network as well as those who wish to continue to grow deeper in their own circles. 

There were online and in person events in satellite locations across the country.  These events included:

presentations – discussions – training – networking – action plan creation – national collaboration – anti-racism actions – working groups – First Nations, Inuit, Metis solidarity

Directing and editing : Laurence Ly

The symposium also included 6 free pre-events to meet virtually and discuss critical themes.   Click here to learn more.

Crédit: Laurence Ly
Crédit: Laurence Ly

We acknowledge that this is not a perfect methodology, but we are doing our best to overcome the barriers that exist in the current system.  We also understand that we contribute to systemic oppression and that by celebrating Asian Heritage Month on stolen lands can also be controversial. However, we are trying to derive a better model that focuses on justice. In order to move beyond acknowledgement, we endeavour to have an indigenous presence at events and there will be First Nations elders participating actively in the conversation. However your individual voice is important to validate change.

The Symposium was addressed to:

People who believes one or more of the Symposium goals are important;

AND (one OR more of the below)

  • Of Asian descent living in Canada working in the arts and/or culture sector;
  • Using Asian arts, culture or heritage forms, techniques of philosophy in your work;
  •  A supporter of greater diversity and inclusion in arts and culture withing Canada/Turtle Island;

AND (one OR more of the below)

  • People willing to create momentum, visibility or action towards the symposium goals;
  • People who wants to bring more depth to the conversation so that we can be constructively critical in our actions and words towards decolonization.

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