TAIWANfest opening in Vancouver attracts politicians of different stripes

    1 of 11 2 of 11

      Downtown Vancouver comes alive this weekend with the annual TAIWANfest, which features a banquet along Granville Street along with street art, free live music, and fashion displays.

      At last night's opening ceremony at Westside Church—the former Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver—Defence Minister Jason Kenney dropped by in his role as the federal minister responsible for multiculturalism.

      Kenney and TAIWANfest organizer Charlie Wu attended the same university in California, so it was a reunion of sorts for the two of them.

      Other federal politicians in attendance included Liberal Hedy Fry and New Democrat Peter Julian, who has learned a fair amount of Mandarin on the job.

      Coun. Andrea Reimer and Dr. Charles Yang, former president of the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society.

      The provincial New Democrats were represented by veteran MLA Bruce Ralston. 

      Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer and Burnaby school trustee Katrina Chen were also there, along with a large crowd of spectators.

      Taiwanese Canadian community pioneer Janes Chou chatted with veteran Liberal parliamentarian Hedy Fry.

      The opening featured a concert entitled "The Beautiful Island", which was conducted by Maestro Ken Hsieh of the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra. One of the highlights was a guest appearance by Taiwanese violinist Shien-Ta Su.

      This is the second TAIWANfest for Fanny Hsu and her husband William Chuang, director general of the Taipei Economic and Culture Office in Vancouver.
      NDP parliamentary veteran Peter Julian and William Chuang.
      Engineering student Mike Hsaio doesn't regret being persuaded by Charlie Wu to become a festival volunteer.
      The CEO and vice CEO of Tzu Chi Canada, Gary Ho and Mac Miao, are co-organizers of TAIWANfest.
      NDP MP Bruce Ralston is his party's critic for trade, immigration, and multiculturalism.
      Vancouver East NDP candidate Jenny Kwan wasn't there, but her able lieutenant, Gabriel Yiu, ensured she wasn't forgotten.
      Katrina Chen emcees TAIWANfest events and serves on the Burnaby school board.
      Jason Kenney made sure to shake hands with lawyer Jason Wang, who chairs the TAIWANfest board.