Festival Accès Asie

Festival Accès Asie
Photo: accesasie.com
Festival Accès Asie is an annual multidisciplinary arts festival dedicated to Asian culture. It is held in Montreal, Canada as part of the Asian History Month activities. The festival showcases Canadian artists of Asian descent.

Founded in 1995, Festival Accès Asie is Canada’s oldest Asian Heritage Month organization. Although the Toronto Asian Heritage Month Group was established two years prior, it has since ceased to exist. The main goal of Festival Accès Asie is to create a positive and friendly environment for the promotion of art and culture of Canadians of Asian descent in Quebec. Events held at the festival encompass all artistic disciplines in music, dance, theatre, comedy, film, video, poetry, culinary art, fashion, new media, etc.

Montreal has been selected as the host city because it is known for its impressive cultural diversity and unique cultural climate. The city has a significant Asian population comprised of many communities, each with its own racial, ethnic, linguistic and/or cultural identity. Additionally, Asian communities in Montreal aren’t concentrated in one part of the city; instead, they are dispersed across the urban expanse of greater Montreal and its suburbs.

This kind of environment makes it quite difficult to support dialogue, exchange and collaboration between Montreal’s diverse Asian communities. Therefore one of the main tasks of Festival Accès Asie is to dismantle cultural, religious and linguistic barriers between communities and to advance intercultural and interdisciplinary solidarity, while preserving the unique identity of each Asian community.

Festival Accès Asie features Canadian artists with Asian origin from more than 20 different countries. Since its inception, it has welcomed over 900 artists representing Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam. The festival also showcases works by Canadian artists who have been inspired by the history, art and culture of Asia.

Despite its long history and large scale, Festival Accès Asie is a predominantly volunteer-run event organized by a small staff of employees and interns. It is coordinated by a Board of Directors composed of members of the Asian community and artists as well as an Honorary Advisory Committee. The festival is funded by provincial and federal organizations, partners, collaborators and sponsors. Although the official language of Montreal is French, Festival Accès Asie is a bilingual event that offers programming in both French and English.

In 2020 and 2021, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Festival Accès Asie

Photo: Vent d'Asie (c) Kiran Ambwani




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