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Performing Artists

Dalannah Gail BowenVancouver Cantonese Opera: Rosa ChengDTES Writers CollectiveHighs & Lows ChoirMark McLeodPolymer DanceDelaney RoseIbrahim Saker • Jim SandsSOUP by: Trevor Copp & Johnny Trinh

Dalannah Gail Bowen

This 75 year old Afro-Canadian Cherokee force of nature is a prolific singer, songwriter, actress, play writer, story teller, event producer, social activist, International Memphis Blues Awards semi-finalist (2017) and a Blues Hall of Fame Master Blues Artist (2015). In 2017 she was awarded “The Key to The City” and Dec. 11th was officially declared “Dalannah Gail Bowen Day” by the Mayor and Council of Vancouver, B.C. In November 2019 Dalannah reaffirmed her status as the ‘Matriarch’ of the Vancouver Blues scene with the release of her newest recording titled “Looking Back”.This CD is a landmark project supported by Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia, featuring an impressive cast of esteemed West Coast Blues performers and sidemen. This is the 5th CD she has produced for and is available now for streaming, downloads and CD purchases at all the usual online sites.

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Vancouver Chinese Opera: Rosa Cheng

A professional Cantonese Opera performer, director, and instructor with over 25 years of experience, Rosa has performed the principal female role in over fifty major Cantonese Opera repertoires, encompassing a wide range of singing and acting styles. Having studied with renowned Beijing Opera masters, Rosa is dedicated to passing on her knowledge through teaching and outreach. In 2000, she founded Vancouver Cantonese Opera (VCO), where she currently serves as Artistic Director. Vancouver Cantonese Opera is going to present “The Art of Water Sleeves” video at the Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival.

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DTES Writers Collective

The Downtown Eastside is blessed to be home to numerous writers, poets, essayists, and inspiring writing groups. When the highly-regarded Thursdays Writing Collective said goodbye after ten years, the writers picked up the pen and started a new group, the DTES Writers Collective, which continues to meet weekly.

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Highs & Lows Choir

The Highs & Lows Choir is a peer-managed four part choral group that seeks to promote mental health and wellness by providing folks with lived experiences of mental health issues with access to low-barrier choral singing, musical activities and instruction. We meet on Tuesdays at noon, currently online but in the near future at the Longhouse Church, 2595 Franklin St. We’ve performed twice before at the VOAF!

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Mark McLeod

I live in Vancouver. I was born here in January 1960. Draft dodgers lived on the beaches in the parks and on river banks. Hippies played music, danced and promoted free love every where they went. No ban on campfires or beach fires. Always a bon fire or two on the beach and people played guitars and sang songs. Today no fires on the beach. I am lucky to have those years to enrich and inspire the style of music and songs I write. To continue it the rest of my life.

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Polymer Dance

Polymer Dance is a community-based, contemporary dance troupe for adults, founded in 2012 by Miriam Esquitín and Kristina Lemieux. Our philosophy is that dance is for everybody and for everywhere. Our goals are to provide continuous training, and to cultivate an improvisation ensemble that performs in traditional venues and public spaces. We want to be creative, be challenged, build community and have fun as a group. We’re very excited to participate in this unique edition of VOAF and the support received from CACV. Most importantly, thank you to the inspiring dancers that form this community.

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Delaney Rose

Canadian songwriter, Delaney Rose, who is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is an inspiring, positive and engaging troubador whose music has been shaped by challenging life experiences, that have transformed her creative spirit into a songsmith who delivers memorable melodies of hope and healing energy. Her genuine storytelling, passion- filled performances and universal wisdom resonates deeply with her audiences.

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Ibrahim Saker

Music didn’t come at some point to my life, I actually was born with music! Being born in Latakia, Syria in 1993 in a musical family (My grandfather is a locally known folk singer in Syria), I got to be musician before the day that I was born! My father used to play Oud for me even when I was still an embryo inside my mother! At my first years, I played the Piano for seven years, then I tried playing the Oud, and it worked. Since I played both, and was passionate about arranging, I started working as a music and soundtracks producer, and I love it! Now I live in Vancouver, BC.

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Jim Sands

Jim Sands is an East Vancouver based storyteller, actor, songwriter, musician and occasional clown who has performed both as a solo artist and with a variety of musical groups. He has appeared in productions organized by Vancouver Moving Theatre, Community Arts Workshop, Hollywood Kidz, and in 15 fringe theatre festivals across Canada. Recent Fringe productions which Jim has been involved in as writer and performer include Blue River Blues (2017-18), Dating für Dumb Heads (2015), The Shakuhachi Quest: An Epic Journey into the Soul of Music (2014), Charlie: A Hockey Story (2011-13).

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SOUP by: Trevor Copp & Johnny Trinh

Soup is a love story centred around food, family, mental health, Queer love, and the games we play as we move through the world. Trevor Copp is the founder and artistic director of Tottering Biped Theatre, Johnny D Trinh is an interdisciplinary spoken word and theatre artist. They wanted to bring this story to life because for so long, Queer Asian stories have been under represented in performance. Often, when these stories are told, they are rife with trauma, and death. Though it is important to recognize the realities of these hardships, it’s also important to celebrate and tell stories of joy, possibility, and realize the dreams we all have. Especially within the current pandemic, marginalized theatre artists are especially vulnerable to barriers. This piece is so timely, as it brings a positive light onto a racialized community, in the face of increasing anti-asian racism that pervades society. This play features: Louis Lin (Colin), Jaymee Mak (Steph), Francis Dowlatabadi (Timothy), and Michelle Ibalio (Stage Manager). The reading is directed by Johnny D Trinh. The ensemble is grateful for the privilege to share this work, recognizing that these stories add to the fabric of this place, always in addition to, and in acknowledgment of the traditional, ancestral, and unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

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