Opening Ceremony of the Asian Heritage Month Festival 2021

Sunday May 2, 2021 | 2:00 p.m. EDT

Event Poster
Officiating Party

Celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of the Declaration of May as Asian Heritage Month by the Senate of Canada

Welcome and Opening Remarks
The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth (Video of remarks)
His Worship John Tory, Mayor, City of Toronto (Video of remarks)
Mr. Justin Poy, Honourary Patron, Asian Heritage Month-CFACI (Video of remarks)

Reading of the Senate of Canada Asian Heritage Month Declaration
The Honourable Dr. Vivienne Poy, former Senator who tabled the Motion in the Senate of Canada, and Founding Patron, Asian Heritage Month-CFACI (Video of the reading)

Chinese Canadian Legend Award Winners
Dr. Neville Poy, Mr. Justin Poy, Mr. Stephen Siu, with music by Professor Chan Ka Nin and Alice Ping Yee Ho

Launch of Asian Heritage Month 2021 and Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Senate of Canada’s Declaration of May as Asian Heritage Month, a Motion tabled by The Honourable Dr. Vivienne Poy, the first Canadian of Asian descent to be appointed to the Senate of Canada (Video of the launch)

Happiness Resonates Through Photography, a video slideshow by Dr. Neville Poy with music by Professor Chan Ka Nin and Alice Ping Yee Ho

Dr. Poy showcased his new video made for Asian Heritage Month 2021 to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Senate of Canada’s Declaration of May as Asian Heritage Month. This video comprises of photos taken by Dr. Poy with inspirational quotes. Music by Professor Chan Ka Nin followed by music by Alice Ping Yee Ho, excerpt from piano concerto Elysian Fields.

Asians in Modern Media: How do we get to “primetime” and remain there?
Asian Heritage Month Lecture by Justin Poy

Watch the video of Justin Poy’s presentation | Part I, Part 2, Part 3

Silent film actor Sessue Hayakawa is largely regarded as the first Asian American actor. By 1918, he was able to found his own film studio and worked hard to overcome the offensive stereotypes of Asians in film. But by the 1980s, these stereotypes still hadn’t budged much as seen in the 1984 hit “Sixteen Candles” and the exchange student Long Duk Dong. Surely a worldly Director such as John Hughes would know better? Fast forward to 2000 and the Oscar-winning hit “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” rises to the big screen and global audiences love it! But alas— it’s still not “mainstream.” How do we get Asians to be depicted in film, the way Asians occupy our everyday life? We are doctors, accountants, mothers, fathers. We are a part of society—except when it’s in the movies and popular culture. How do we place first and occupy our rightful space as demonstrated by “Crazy Rich Asians”. And NOT lose our spot?

Justin Poy is the Founder and Creative Director of The Justin Poy Agency (JPA), an award-winning advertising agency that specializes in multicultural advertising. In 2020, JPA became the exclusive ad agency for iQIYI North America in Canada. iQIYI (NASDAQ: IQ) is one of the world’s largest media streaming companies with hit shows such as “The Rap of China” and “Youth With You 3”. Justin is the Honourary Patron of Asian Heritage Month (CFACI) and the recipient of the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. He has been awarded the Chinese Canadian Legend Award and is recognized as Alumni of Distinction by both Toronto Metropolitan University and the Toronto French School. He has received the prestigious Arbor Award from the University of Toronto. Mr. Poy eagerly supports education and sits on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Faculty of Science at York University and supports Canadian media as the Founder of The Justin Poy Agency Award at Toronto Metropolitan University’s RTA School of Media.

Ode to Cheongsam—The Beauty of Asian Canadian Heritage

Stephen Siu

Watch a video of Stephen Siu’s presentation | Part I, Part II

Cheongsam became a world sensation through the 1960 British-American romantic drama film, “The World of Suzie Wong.” The dress has been seen in North American films and some award-winning productions such as “In the Mood of Love” and “Lust, Caution.” Stephen Siu, an organizer of the upcoming Transformative Chic—the Everlasting Cheongsam Exhibition in Toronto and Vancouver, will trace the evolution of the Cheongsam (also known as Qipao), the eternal elegant Chinese dress dating back to the Manchu-ruled China in the seventeenth century, to its reinvention over decades from ethnic clothing to contemporary art and its current transformative styles. He will talk about how this Chinese dress has been used to showcase the beauty and values behind Asian cultures, and facilitate crosscultural understanding and acceptance.

With his strong cultural background, Stephen Siu has given talks at the Asian Heritage Month over all of these years, discussing topics from “Chinese Philosophy in Photography” to “Fusion of Cultures in Chinese Architecture.” As Chair of the Chinese Canadian Photographic Society of Toronto, he usually uses professionally-taken photographs to illustrate his presentations. He has served as advisor to several non-profit groups including the Ontario Cross-Cultural Music Society and the Canada-Hong Kong Library. He was presented with the Chinese Canadian Legend Award in 2009, the Arbor Award in 2010, the Canadian Senate 150 medal, and the House of Commons “Canada 150” medal in recent years.

Asian Heritage Month—Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc.; Toronto Public Library; York Centre for Asian Research, York University; Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto; York University; Richard Charles Lee Canada Hong Kong Library, University of Toronto; Chinese Canadian Photography Society of Toronto; WE Artists’ Group; Social Services Network; Cambridge Food and Wine Society; Fête Chinoise

Asian Heritage Month Festival is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Asian Canadian Artists in Digital Age is funded by Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy Fund

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