For celebrating Canada's 150th birthday and Culture Days, for encouraging multicultural creative writing and lightening up community spirit, WS Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society organized “From Far and Wide: 2017 Multicultural Creative Writing Contest, Festival and Book Launch”, sponsored by Canada 150, City of Richmond, Culture Days, BC Culture Days, Richmond Cultural Centre and Richmond Public Library.
The contest started on August 15 and ended on October 15, 2017. Original creative writing including poems, essays, short stories, dramas, songs, letters, plays, Lushi, Haiku and more were received. They were from those who have a special connection with Canada such as Canadian citizens, permanent residents, international students, refugees, visitors to Canada, and/or someone has family or friends in Canada.
All the writings were under the theme of “Celebrate Canada 150-Canada and Me”: anything related with Canada, any story between the writer and Canada, any story about the writer’s family or friends in Canada, or a Canadian place, movie, food, sport, etc.
(For more info regarding the contest, please check: http://www.wsisc.com/contact-1)
The contest committee was formed on September 15, led by Dr. Jan Walls along with 7 other committee members. Each member had 15 votes; the highest voted 15 writings were selected as “Touching Canada Writing 2017”. Guidelines including content, culture background, countries, languages, words count, original or not, community contribution and more were considered during the selecting process.
The festival was from 10am to 1pm on September 29, 2017 at Richmond Cultural Centre. It started with MLA John Yap’s warmest welcome speech. Acting Mayor Bill McNulty sent his warmest congrats. MLA Teresa Wat addressed the festival and presented the awards. The 15 ‘Touching Canada’ writers, William Chen, Jude Neale, Joyce Goodwin, Cheonhak Kwon, Bernice Lever, Andrea Winterbottom, Ashok Bhargava, Barry Plamondon, Harris Niu and more, shared their writings in their preferable languages and contributed their unique talent into the festival. Everyone was welcome to participate the festival from famous writers, poets to individuals that were simply passionate about creative writing. More than 100 people attended the festival despite of the heavy rain. World-class art and cultural performances were also greatly enjoyed at the festival.
Followed the 135 “Most Inspirational Writing 2017” were carefully selected among hundreds of writings received from Canada, China, India, Mongolia, Nigeria, USA, New Zealand, Philippines, Germany, Italy, France, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal and many more countries. The writers were originally with the languages and cultural backgrounds including British, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Irish, English, Chinese, Hindi, Punjabi, Japanese, Korean, Nigerian, Mongolian, Mexican, African, Tagalog and Burmese, Turkish, Filipino and more. The result was delightful that it reached out to so many people and so many diverse countries, feeling like the whole world was celebrating with Canadians for Canada 150 and Culture Days.
The book launch was hosted at Richmond Public Library on December 29, 2017. MP Alice Wong made a heart-felt welcome speech and presented the award certi cates and appreciation certi cates, Weiqiao Zhang brought warmest greetings from MP Don Davies, James Wang and Wendy Yuan also sent their warmest greetings, Tianji Xie and Ashok Bhargava sent their warm congrats, 10 ‘Most Inspirational’ writers, Sylvia Mahal, Celeste Snowber, Sora Takayama, Chris Toda, Phil Ransom, Jiazhuang Shen, Bong Ja Ahn, Janet Kvammen, Dominique Plamondon and more, shared their writings. Artists and calligraphers Gu Zhong, Peter Meng, Fred Gao, Jiazhuang Shen, Zhiqiang Qiu and Shifang Zhang contributed their arts for the lucky draw. Helena Liu contributed her exceptional red wine and did the lucky draw. We also enjoyed the classic songs Olive Tree and Let’s Paddle Together, led by Frankie Hu, Weiyan and more from Jia-Hua Zhi-Qing Friendship Club; and the Mongolian Dance Two Mountains, led by Xinlei Zhu and others.
More than 100 participants from different ethnic groups, regardless the heavy snow and cold weather, came together to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday, celebrate multiculturalism and simply appreciate the way each was helping the other. Book launch, creative writing sharing, awards presenting, annual general meeting/New Year celebration, cakes and light refreshments and lucky draws made it a great opportunity to connect people from different backgrounds, including European and Asian cultural backgrounds; professionals and volunteers that delegated in community capacity building; seniors and youth who were passionate about creative writing and art.
We were honoured to have the warmest greetings from the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier John Horgan, Mayor Malcolm Brodie, Senator Victor Oh, Senator Yonah Martin, MP Alice Wong, MP Don Davies, MP Joe Peschisolido, MLA Teresa Watt, MLA John Yap, MLA Katrina Chen, MLA Linda Reid, MLA Michael Lee and more. They all highly value our diversity and multiculturalism. It is the difference between individuals and nations that makes us more interesting, makes our communities more colorful and makes our country more attractive. The mission for WS Immigrant and Multicultural Servies is to build happier families, healthier communities and foster intercultural harmony through quality service delivery. Over the 10 years we’ve been doing small things with great love for the communities.
Representing the WS Contest Committee & Editorial Committee, as the founding chair of WS Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society, once again I would like to send my heartfelt thanks to all the writers, readers, media friends, volunteers, contributors and participants to the Canada 150 and Culture Days-From Far and Wide: 2017 Multicultural Creative Writing Contest, Festival, and Book Launch/Annual General Meeting/New Year Celebration. It was each and every one of you that made this more meaningful.
* Please Note:
For the writers haven't received the award certificate and the gift book Celebrate Canada 150 & Culture Days: Multicultural Creative Writing Collection 2017, if you are still interested to have a copy, send the postage to firstname.lastname@example.org via Paypal to get your gift book and award certificate if mailing is needed; if you are at Vancouver area, schedule a pick up please!
Please note: one book for one writer is free as our appreciation; postage CAD $8 per book within Canada, $18/book to mail to the U.S.A, and $48/book to mail to any other countries rather than Canada and the U.S.A; will send the award certificate together with the gift book if applicable.