VANCOUVER: Art Bridge competition’s Western category open to Chinese-Canadian artists only
Participants could win cash, recognition
Vancouver’s Chinese arts community is putting on a one-of-a-kind arts competition this fall.
Organizers launched the inaugural Canada Chinese Art Bridge competition Wednesday at a news conference Chinatown’s International Arts Gallery. It is one of the first large-scale Chinese arts competitions featuring specifically Canadian artists.
“Like the name of our organization says, we want to be the bridge between cultures,” said Katherine Chan, president of the Canada Chinese Arts Bridge Association. “This is our first project. Hopefully it will lead to other projects and opportunities to promote the understanding between cultures, but right now, we will wait and see.”
The competition, supported by the federal government, will accept applications and submissions to three categories of competition: Chinese paintings, Western paintings and calligraphy. The Chinese painting and calligraphy competition is open to all citizens (and permanent residents) of Canada, while the Western painting category is open to Chinese-Canadians only. (Organizers say this is to encourage artists of different cultural backgrounds to learn about styles different from their own.)
The deadline to enter Sept. 15, and the winners will be announced in November. Prizes include $3,000 cash for the winners of each category (cash prizes and other costs are supported by fundraising and donations to the Bridge Association).
“We don’t see many events like this in Vancouver,” said Chow, who immigrated to Canada 34 years ago. “There are many fellow Chinese artists here, but we don’t do this very often because, let’s be honest, we artists like to be in our individual creative environments. We like to paint at our own leisure, in our own private space, for our own gratification. So an opportunity like this is very, very rare.”
Organizers say the idea came from the recent inroads made by Chinese language programs through a similar bridge association — something the Arts Bridge would like to emulate in bringing attention to Canada’s Chinese art and artists.
Ronald Leung, senior regional adviser for Minister of Multicultralism Jason Kenney’s, said Ottawa supports the competition.
“The Chinese community is an important part of our multicultural Canadian society,” Leung said. “…(the competition) not only introduce Chinese art works to other ethnic groups, but also encourages the participation of other groups while promoting Chinese artists in western painting creativity.”
More information can be found at the Bridge Association website (artsbridge.ca) or by calling 604-569-1886.