The Georgia Straight presents Hapa-Palooza

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      Hapa is a Hawaiian word to describe someone of mixed heritage from islands in the Pacific Ocean. And in recent years, it has gone on to become a term to describe people of multiple ethnicities from around the world.

      This week, the Hapa-palooza Festival: A Vancouver Celebration of Mixed-Roots Arts + Ideas puts a joyous spin on the city's identity as a hothouse of hybridity, synergy, and acceptance.

      The festival kicks off on Wednesday (September 7) with poets, writers, and spoken-word artists offering free dialogue in the Alice McKay Room in the Vancouver Public Library central branch, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

      The following night in the same room from 7 to 9 p.m., the draw is cultural diversity in film, exploring mixed identity with discussions involving filmmakers.

      On Friday (September 9), the Roundhouse Performing Space will host a ticketed event, the Sir James Douglas Mix-A-Lot Cabaret, from 7 to 10 p.m. There will be performances from Jay Hirabayashi (Kokoro Dance), Chris Murdoch (contact juggler), Zhambai Trio Navaro Franco, Kurai Mbwaia and Curtis Andrews (West African mbira), First Ladies Crew (First Nations hip hop), and Green Tara (funk-jazz fusion singer).

      The festival winds up on Saturday with a series of free events focusing on mixed identities and an art exhibit running from noon to 7 p.m. at Robson Square.

      Tickets to the Hapa-Palooza cabaret are priced at $20 at the door, or $12 for a student or senior.

      For more information, go to the website of Hapa-Palooza Festival: A Vancouver Celebration of Mixed-Roots Arts + Ideas

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      Sep 7, 2011 at 5:35pm

      Terry Glavin chatted with me in 2007 about the Hapa-ness of the 1st BC Gov. James Douglas and his Metis wife Amelia. Douglas was born in British Guyana from a Scottish father and a Creole Caribbean mother. He saw British Columbia as a place where people from all over the world could come to live in racial harmony. He also created the Victoria Rifles, an all-black military unit - when Blacks were not allowed in the local police forces.

      This has had a direct impact on how I subsequently viewed BC history, and programmed for Gung Haggis Fat Choy events - resulting in a life size photo of Gov. Douglas at the 2008 Gung Haggis Dinner (courtesy of the BC Royal Museum), and the brand new Hapa-Palooza Festival - which on Friday night at the Roundhouse features the "Sir James Douglas Mix-a-lot Cabaret".

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