2011 Opening Ceremony and Gala Night
Opening Ceremony of the Explor/Asians Exhibition
The Opening Ceremony of the 2011 Explor/Asians Exhibition took place at the Centennial Building in Fredericton on May 3. The event annually launches Asian Heritage Month in Fredericton, and this year was attended by a special guest, the Honourable Preeti Saran, Consul General of India in Toronto. Ms. Saran’s visit was especially timely, as it coincided with our 2011 AHM theme of “Celebrating Canadians of South Asian Origin.” 2011 also marks the Year of India in Canada, a joint initiative between the governments of India and Canada to promote Indian arts, culture, and trade between the two nations. While in Fredericton, Ms. Saran also met with local politicians and gave a lecture at the University of New Brunswick on India-Canada relations and the potential for increased links between India and New Brunswick. The AHSNB is pleased to have been able to facilitate this visit. Other guests of honour who joined Ms. Saran at the Opening were the Honourable Martine Coloumbe, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Mr. Dan Keenan, Deputy Mayor of Fredericton, and Dr. Neyda Long on behalf of the office of Keith Ashfield, Fredericton MP.
The Opening Ceremony was attended by approximately 200 and commenced with a beautiful song of peace presented by students from Priestman Street Elementary School. Guests enjoyed speeches, cake and Asian finger foods, and were keenly interested in our 2011 display series on the early history of South Asians in Canada. Many people were surprised that South Asian Canadians have a history dating back to the early 1900’s, and were very interested in learning about some of the struggles these Asian pioneers faced during their early years in Canada. The poster series presenting this aspect of Asian Canadian history was on display in the Centennial Building lobby throughout the month of May.
Asian Heritage Cultural Gala
The 2011 Asian Heritage Cultural Gala took place at the Fredericton Playhouse on May 15 before an audience of approximately 400. The show featured vibrant local performances from the Filipino Cultural Society of NB (carinosa dance), the Korean Association of Fredericton (fan dance), the Chinese Cultural Association of NB (lion dance), and a guest appearance from Fredericton expatriate Irene Vavasour who joined us from Vancouver to dance in the Indian Bharata Natyam tradition. This year, we were also lucky to feature a special program called ‘A Passage to India: A Journey of North Indian Classical Music and Dance’ by performers Bageshree Vaze, Vineet Vyas, Adam Duncan and Bill Brennan. In addition to performing at Fredericton’s Gala, the troupe toured Moncton and Miramichi showcasing their unique blend of traditional Indian Kathak dance accompanied by rich vocals, tabla drums, sitar and piano. Kathak dance originates in northern India, and is a theatrical form that utilizes storytelling through animated facial expressions and hand gestures, intricate footwork and sparkling pirouettes. Dancer and singer Bageshree Vaze delighted New Brunswick audiences with her energy and dynamic movements, complimented by the rhythmic beats of tabla player Vineet Vyas.
The Gala was also attended by a special guest from the Senate of Canada, the Honourable Salma Ataullahjan. Ms. Ataullahjan was appointed to the Senate in 2010, making her the first Canadian Senator of Pakistani Pashtun origin. She has a long history of service to the South Asian Canadian community, and delivered an inspiring speech about the immense opportunities that are possible for Canadians from every cultural and ethnic background.
Japanese Disaster Relief
The AHSNB is pleased to report that through the generosity of our Asian Heritage Month supporters, $635.10 was raised for Japanese earthquake relief at Fredericton’s AHM Opening Ceremony and Cultural Gala. The Miramichi Regional Multicultural Association, which partnered with AHSNB to host ‘A Passage to India’ in Miramichi on May 14, raised $234.
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Last Updated (Friday, 08 July 2011 21:20)