Free screening of Meditation Park taking place as part of culture fair in Chinatown this Saturday (September 1)

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      Chinatown Today, Youth Collaborative for Chinatown, and the Vancouver Asian Film Festival are teaming up to present a free screening of Meditation Park on Saturday (September 1).

      The showing will take place at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Courtyard at 8:30 p.m. It happens rain or shine. (The event will be moved indoors to the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver’s David Lam Hall should the weather prove unfavourable.)

      Seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, though attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets. The film will be shown in English with traditional Chinese subtitles.

      Written and directed by Mina Shum, Meditation Park tells the story of Maria (Cheng Pei-pei), a Chinese-Canadian grandmother who embarks on a journey of independence and self-discovery after she realizes that her husband, Bing (Tzi Ma), is having an affair. The movie takes place and was shot entirely in Vancouver’s East Side, prompting Straight movies honcho Adrian Mack to declare it a “love-letter to Hastings-Sunrise, the best old neighbourhood in the city” following its premiere at the 2017 Vancouver International Film Festival last fall.

      The Meditation Park screening is part of a free culture fair in Chinatown that kicks off on Saturday (September 1) at 6 p.m. During this time, attendees can expect to find entertainment in the forms of mah-jong, ping pong, lion dancing, and musical performances by the Toi Shan Benevolent Association and the Vancouver Chinese Choir Association, among others.

      Popcorn will be available for sale, as well as homemade pork-belly buns, marinated eggs, dumplings, and mango-coconut sago from groups like Kam Wai Dim Sum and Happy Woman Kitchen. In addition, a number of independently owned Chinatown businesses will set up shop in the courtyard, offering Chinese arts and crafts, zodiac gifts, and other goods.

      The Chinatown movie night and culture fair is one of a handful of events, including various pop-up markets and mah-jong nights, that have taken place in Vancouver’s Chinatown this summer with the goal of engaging those living within and outside the neighbourhood while activating underused sites in the area.

      The Chinatown movie night and culture fair takes place at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Courtyard (50 East Pender Street) on Saturday (September 1). For event details, click here.