Thousands of Vancouver residents with Hong Kong ties or who wish to celebrate the city’s culture will gather Saturday in downtown Vancouver.
The inaugural Vancouver Hong Kong Fair is in response to a desire to re-ignite Vancouver’s Hong Kong cultural scene, which organizers say is “vanishing before our eyes” over the past decade, with Hong Kong cafes and Cantonese language schools closing, for example.
“We feel the ever increasing need to preserve our culture and language as we grasp onto traces of our identity and heritage. With more Hong Kongers arriving in the past year, it’s an opportune time to strengthen the Hong Konger community in Vancouver,” said organizer Heiky Kwan.
The continued erosion of democratic institutions in the once autonomous city by the Chinese Communist Party continues to be a chief ongoing concern for the broader Hong Kong community in Vancouver.
The latest issues include the undemocratic appointment of John Lee as Hong Kong’s chief executive last week and the May 12 arrest of Hong Kong’s Roman Catholic cardinal Joseph Zen for violating the new national security law.
But despite the issues facing Hong Kong, the fair aims to celebrate the city’s culture by featuring 60 booths showcasing Hong Kong artisans, associations, products and crafts. Organizers say there will also be events, including movie screenings, painting parties, stand-up comedy and a games area, including mahjong.
“The fair is a welcoming space where folks can support Hong Konger artisans, creators and small businesses. Anyone who is interested in supporting Hong Kongers and learning more about Hong Kong is invited,” said Kwan.
The event has already sold 3,000 tickets and another 1,500 people may attend by lining up at the doors of SFU Harbour Centre. Kwan said she expects a long line.
The event runs from noon to 6 p.m. at 515 West Hastings.