Asian Heritage Month


Roy Miki and the Kootenay School of Writing

Thursday, July 17, 2008 | 11:08 PM ET
Roy Miki in the foreground, with others assembled at Spartacus Books to hear Miki read on January 31, 2007. (photo from Kootenay School of Writing.)

In addition to his academic and activist work, Roy Miki has been an active member of the Vancouver literary community for many years. Though he was never a member of the Kootenay School of Writing (commonly known as the KSW) Miki and the KSW occupy the same shared history of the west coast's literary world. For example, Roy founded the influential literary journal West Coast Line, which has published many KSW affiliated writers over the years.

The KSW's extensive online audio archives include the following readings from Roy, which you can listen to by accessing the links below to the KSW archives page:

Continue reading to watch a clip about KSW's early years

Laughter (HASYA) Yoga

Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | 06:36 PM ET
Dr. Madan Kataria, creator of Laughter Yoga

Laughter (Hasya) Yoga

It all began with five people coming together and laughing in a Mumbai park which has over the past decade cascaded into a worldwide movement with more than 5,000 laughter clubs all over the world.

Laughter Yoga was conceived by Dr. Madan Kataria in Mumbai, India. What started as a research assignment in 1995 on the benefits of laughter has taken on a life of its own.

Laughter Yoga is an effective routine that brings complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being. It instantly reduces stress by bringing more oxygen into the body, strengthening the immune system, fighting depression and creating a network of individuals who come together just to laugh.

The yoga in this therapy entails a series of breathing and easy movement exercises designed to teach the body to laugh without depending on jokes or humor. Dr. Kataria starts with the premise that the mind and body does not differentiate between laughing at something and laughing for no reason, so laughing for no reason is often the best medicine.

Drawing from India’s long array of yogic practice and with the help of his wife Madhuri, a yoga teacher, Laughter Yoga was invented. Laughing for no reason, is good for you.

There are laughter yoga clubs across Canada. Visit Laughter Yoga Canada for more information or contact:

Wendy Woods at 416.926.9450 or
Lynn Himmelmann at 416.469.2033 or

Edmonton: Focus on art

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | 06:14 PM ET

Our series continues with a look at fusion art where message is universal and the style is East meets West.

Watch the full story (Runs 1:35)

Edmonton: Profile of Yi Li

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | 06:12 PM ET

Yi Li moved here ten years ago as a student. Now she's a professor of English as a second language at the University of Alberta. Hear her story. (Runs 5:18)

Edmonton: Profile of Norman Kwong

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 | 04:43 PM ET
A member of the Order of Canada, a football star, a real estate whiz, and now the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

Listen to CBC Radio's Adrienne Lamb exploring Norman Kwong's life. (Runs 5:33)

Edmonton: Profile of Noriko Yamamoto

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 | 03:31 PM ET

The Asian community is the fastest growing community in Alberta, and we're featuring some of these immigrants in our series "East meets West."

Today we meet Noriko Yamamoto. Originally from Japan, she's called Edmonton home for almost three decades.

Noriko works as a cook at Glenora day care. CBC Radio's Dalia Thamin met up with her during busy lunch time at the daycare.

Listen to Dalia Tahmin's interview with Noriko Yamamoto Audio icon (Runs 8:42)

Edmonton: Profile of Amy Loewan

Friday, May 23, 2008 | 03:57 PM ET

Amy Loewan is a Hong Kong born artist who now lives in Edmonton. Her current art project is called The Peace Project.

It consists of floor-to-ceiling wall hangings made of rice paper strips woven in a simple, flat basket weave. Words of peace in many languages are interwoven, some legible and some obscured by other words. There are also faint charcoal markings and shadings on the hangings.

As part of our series East Meets West, CBC Radio's Dalia Thamin visited Amy in her studio, which is really a transformed garage behind her house in Edmonton's Ritchie neighbourhood.

Listen to Dalia Tahmin's interview with Amy Loewan Audio icon (Runs 5:11)

Edmonton: Doctors become nurses to come to Canada

Thursday, May 22, 2008 | 03:36 PM ET
Dr. Gilmour Becina Dr. Gilmour Becina in the town square of Santa Cruz. Becina, like thousands of other Filipino doctors, has retrained as a nurse in hopes of a job in Canada or another western country. . (Ann Sullivan/CBC)
Capital Health plans to hire 500 nurses from the Philippines, and Dr. Gilmour Becina would love to be one of them. Becina doesn't earn enough as a doctor in the Philippines to send his children to university, so he's done something unheard of in Canada: He has retrained as a nurse.

It's a growing trend in the Philippines, where thousands of doctors are retraining as nurses each year, in the hopes of working in western countries like Canada.

CBC Radio’s Ann Sullivan met Dr. Gilmour Becina in the social security office in Santa Cruz, Philippines.

Listen to Ann Sulivan's interview with Dr. Gilmour Becina. (Runs 4:18)

Edmonton: Chinese migration timeline

Thursday, May 22, 2008 | 01:25 PM ET

Edmonton's Chinese community is as diverse as the city itself.

Although the first Chinese immigrants arrived in Canada in 1858 for the gold rush, the first major wave of Chinese migration was between 1881-1885 when the Canadian Pacific Railway brought in nearly 6,500 Chinese workers to build the railway.

This timeline gives the full history of Chinese migration to Canada, Alberta and Edmonton. Click on a date to navigate.

Digital Diversity: Generation DX2

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | 10:20 PM ET

RCI Digital Diversity Competition: Generation DX2

Last September, RCI viva invited high school students across Canada to express themselves on intercultural relations. To enter the Generation DX2 competition, students between 12 and 18 years old were asked to talk to us about their reality or to tell us a story about cultural differences through short film, audio work or photo story.

The jury selected 58 finalists' works: 49 in French (28 short films, 14 audio works, 7 photo stories) and 9 in English (5 short flims, 3 audio works, and 1 photo story).

View them all at DX2.

Filipino food

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | 07:37 PM ET

Filipino food

This slideshow, narrated by Maj Yee, owner of Goldilocks Bakeshop in Vancouver, is a sampling of various Filipino foods.

Edmonton: Philippine's brain drain

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | 05:07 PM ET
Dr. Gene Nisperos, Secretary General of HEAD Dr. Gene Nisperos, with the Philippine healthcare advocacy group HEAD, in Manila, The Philippines. He's worried about the flood of health workers to Canada and other developed countries. (Ann Sullivan/CBC)

Two million Filipinos are expected to come to Canada for work in the next ten years. Many of them will come to Alberta to fill our desperate labour shortage, but with that growth comes concerns about brain drain. At issue is that we are taking their best and brightest, especially in the medical field.

Dr. Gene Nisperos is Secretary General of Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD), a medical advocacy group in the Philippines. He calls the brain drain of workers leaving for Canada and other developed countries a brain hemorrhage. He sat down with CBC Radio's Ann Sullivan to talk about it.

Listen to Ann Sullivan's full story (Runs 5:29)

Listen to Ann Sullivan's extended interview with Dr. Nisperos (Runs 4:47)

Continue reading post to see more photos

Edmonton: Videos from the archives

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | 01:38 PM ET

Three videos from CBC Edmonton's television archives.

Edmonton's Chinatown Gate grand opening (Runs 1:14)
The official opening of the Chinatown Gate. The gate was a symbolic display of friendship between the people of the twinned cities of Edmonton and Harbin, China.

Mandarin language program one-of-a-kind in Edmonton (Runs 8:29)
Language is one of the strongest links to culture and community. For many Chinese immigrants, Edmonton's unique Mandarin school program is a way for their kids to keep in touch with their Chinese heritage.

Vietnamese restaurant Pagolac (Runs 2:48)
Thuan Ngo is one of many Vietnamese boat people who eventually found a home in Edmonton. Here, he managed to start over again, building a new life and the Pago-lacs--two of Edmonton's favorite restaurants.

Vancouver: CBC Radio Battle of Beethoven winner Jovian Cheng

Monday, May 19, 2008 | 07:12 PM ET
Fifteen-year old Battle of Beethoven winner Jovian Cheng

The CBC Radio Battle of Beethoven was fought in Vancouver’s CBC Studio One. Students aged 13 to 18 from around BC competed for fame, glory and national broadcast exposure on CBC Radio Two. Competitors were asked to perform their most compelling rendition of music written by the brooding 19th century Viennese composer.

The winner of the contest was fifteen-year old Vancouver pianist Jovian Cheng. Jovian started piano lessons at six with Peggy Yip and now studies with Dr. Sasha Starcevich, Last year, he won first prize at the Canadian Music Competition (Piano 14 years and under). He recently had his debut with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performing the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto. Jovian plans to continue his studies and pursue a career in music.

"Jovian Cheng shows a musical maturity far beyond his 15 years. The power and elegance of his playing and the expression in his musical voice set Jovian apart from the other competitors. I'm sure we'll hear more from this fine young pianist in the years to come" - Matthew McFarlane, judge and producer, CBC Radio Battle of Beethoven

Hear Jovian Cheng’s performance of Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata Watch audio (last movement) (runs 10:33)

Organized in conjunction with the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festivals

Edmonton: Supporting families in Philipines

Friday, May 16, 2008 | 04:27 PM ET
The Flores children -- Cryljohn, Princess and Chris -- at their home in Manila. Merle sends $500 home each month, which pays for all their living expenses, including their university and school fees. (Ann Sullivan/CBC)

Each year Filipinos working in Canada send $600 million back home to support their families.

Merle Flores is one of them. She's a nanny in Edmonton. Her remittances support her three children in Manila.
Most of the money goes to their education. She spoke with the CBC Radio's Ann Sullivan.

Listen to Ann Sullivan's full story (Runs 5:42)

Listen to Ann Sullivan's extended interview with Merle Flores (Runs 4:47)

Continue reading post to see more photos

Smaro Kamboureli on Roy Miki

Monday, May 12, 2008 | 09:04 PM ET
Smaro Kamboureli, Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Critical Studies in Canadian Literature at the School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph (Maria Gilli/Greece)

Smaro Kamboureli will give the keynote address at the closing of the Tracing the Lines Symposium. Here she reflects on Roy Miki's life, work and legacy. Video clips courtesy of CBC Archives.

Roy Miki is one of a handful of Canadians that I know whose life course and career path can be described accurately only by resorting to superlatives. What makes him so exceptional is that he exemplifies what Antonio Gramsci calls an organic intellectual: someone who, rooted in a community and its local struggles, also engages in an equally committed fashion with various institutions and the nation to effect change for society at large. Dr. Miki has done this through cultural and political activism, teaching, scholarship, and poetry.

Whether it is in relation to the Redress movement of Japanese Canadians, the Writing thru Race conference sponsored by the Writers’ Union of Canada, writing and editing in the areas of Canadian literature in general and Asian Canadian literature in particular, or pedagogy inside and outside the classroom, Dr. Miki’s publications, cultural activities and social activism have demonstrated, and have done so over a long span of time, a dedication and commitment to change that are virtually unparalleled.

For example, because of his fundamental belief in justice, especially justice as it pertains to the effects of racialization and racism, Dr. Miki took on two of the most significant struggles about race relations and culture in recent Canadian history whose outcomes have had, and will continue to have, a lasting impact on Canadian society and culture.

Continue reading to see video clips of Roy Miki from CBC's Archives

The Early Edition: Under the Radar: From Manila to Metro Vancouver: Interviews

Monday, May 12, 2008 | 08:01 PM ET
Host: Margaret Gallagher

On Monday May 12 The Early Edition launched its weeklong series Under the Radar: From Manila to Metro Vancouver. We celebrated Filipinos in the Lower Mainland - from challenges to change.

Here's what we covered:

Monday May 12

Margaret Gallagher goes to Goldilocks. To Filipinos, Goldilocks is more than just a fairytale - it's an extremely popular bakery chain in the Philippines. We talk to Maj Yee Watch audio (runs 7:01), whose family started the business and who owns the flagship shop in Vancouver.

The Filipino-Canadians are a well established thriving community here in Vancouver. But how long have they been here? And why did many of them come? We'll get the bigger picture from Aprodicio Laquian Watch audio (runs 7:39), a UBC professor who's about to launch a book about the history of Filipino-Canadians in Canada.

The book launch for Seeking a Better Life Abroad: A Study of Filipinos in Canada is on May 20 at 5:00 p.m. at the UBC Centre for Asian Research.

The big question we're trying to answer this week is why we don't hear more from the Filipino community in Vancouver. We'll talk to Carmelita Tapia Watch audio (runs 5:17), a businesswoman and the president of the Southeast Asia Canada Business Council. She's trying to forge stronger ties between Vancouver and the Philippines - while encouraging others in the community to get involved.

Continue reading Under the Radar: From Manila to Metro Vancouver

Tracing the Lines: A Symposium on Contemporary Poetics and Cultural Politics to Honour Roy Miki | May 28 - 31st

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 | 12:09 PM ET
(John W. MacDonald,

Roy Miki: Tracing the Lines Symposium

Beginning with a reading by Roy Miki on Wednesday evening, the event consisted of three evening events (May 28, 29, and 31st) and two days of creative/critical panels and presentations addressing the reach of Miki’s work and its literary and social contexts. Topics included contemporary poetics; politics of the imagination; the role of the public intellectual; asiancy; editorial activism; and the history, politics and art of redress.

For more information, please visit the Centre for Innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada.

Tracing the Lines: A Symposium on Contemporary Poetics and Cultural Politics to Honour Roy Miki | May 28 - 31st

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 | 12:00 PM ET
Ashok Mathur

Roy Miki – activist, poet, scholar and teacher – was born in Ste Agathe, Manitoba, on a sugar beet farm where his parents were forcibly located during World War II. Miki grew up in Winnipeg, receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba, and then moved to Vancouver where he received his Masters of Arts from SFU and his PhD from UBC. He then taught at SFU’s English Department until he retired in 2007, leaving a legacy of students who he inspired with his conscientiously exemplary pedagogy.

Nationally, Miki is most known for his social and literary work, both of which have earned him considerable distinction. Motivated by the injustice that his family and other Japanese Canadians suffered during internment, Miki was instrumental in the lobbying of the federal government for a Redress Settlement (1988). In 2006, Miki received the 20th annual Gandhi Peace Award for the truth, justice, human rights, and non-violence exemplified in his redress work. Further recognition came with his membership in the Order of Canada (2006) and his Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada (2007).

Meanwhile, issues of identity and injustice reoccur in his non-fiction work, Justice in Our Times (co-authored with Cassandra Kobayashi), Broken Entries, and Redress, as well as his creative poetic work. His book of poetry, Surrender, affirmed Miki’s already acclaimed literary talent when it won the prestigious Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2002. Miki is also known for his prominent work within the literary community as editor of West Coast Line, author of an annotated bibliography of George Bowering, and editor of two books on poet bpNichol.

The Tracing the Lines Symposium will address the challenges of linking intellectual and political work while imagining spaces of freedom and production.

Watch this space for more information on the symposium and reactions from Roy Miki's community.

Vancouver: CBC Screenings of Continuous Journey & Shadow of Gold Mountain | May 23

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 | 07:32 PM ET
Still image from Continuous Journey

Still image from Shadow of Gold Mountain

CBC Film Screenings for Asian Heritage Month

Friday, May 23, 2008 | 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
SFU Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings St., Vancouver

Significant stories on the history of Asian Canadian communities in Canada. This film screening will include Q&A with Ali Kazimi, filmmaker. Moderated by Gordy Mark, president of the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC

Continuous Journey
(Ali Kazimi, 2004)

Shadow of Gold Mountain
(Karen Cho, 2004)

Seating will be extremely limited, so please RSVP early to North American Association of Asian Professionals (NAAAP) Vancouver.

In partnership with NAAAP Vancouver | DOXA Documentary Film Festival | SFU Canadianized Asian Club | Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC

With thanks to the National Film Board.

Continue reading for film synopses and to hear an interview on As It Happens with Filmmaker Ali Kazimi