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IPA Corner: A blossoming of cultural connections this Spring!

IPA stands for IBPOC Plus ALLIES while IBPOC stands for Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour. Welcome to IPA Corner, a new regular feature written by the IPA team which will appear on our website and in UCV’s monthly E-Bulletin with updates about our events and the work we are doing at UCV. 

March was a very busy month for the IPA team with several great events which helped foster cultural connections, leading to greater understanding of IBPOC experiences and promotion of healthy relations. 

Appreciating IBPOC visual cultures with IPA with Gerta Moray

On March 2, a group from UCV visited two shows that revealed the continuities in First Nations cultures in BC. The Bill Reid Gallery show ranged from recordings of Kwakwaka-wakw ceremonial songs made in the 1940s, to Bill Reid’s renewal of carving techniques, and a selection of paintings by a new generation of Indigenous artists who combine contemporary art approaches with their traditional roots.

At the VAG we saw the retrospective of Robert Davidson, who started by studying with Bill Reid and then transformed stylized Haida forms into contemplative abstract paintings laced with humour and ecological comment. Future art tours will continue to link us to the vibrant production of BIPOC artists showcased in Vancouver.

IPA takes part in Hobiyee

Hoobiyee is an annual event celebrating the Nisga’a New Year held at Vancouver’s PNE Forum featuring Indigenous dance groups from across BC.

The Lower Mainland version of the event is put on by the Nisga’a Ts’amiks Vancouver Society. A similar event takes place in northern BC around the same time of the year, in the Nisga’a Nation’s traditional territory.

First Nations from across the province attend Hoobiyee. Participating dancers in recent years included groups from the Gitxsan Nation (in the Skeena region of Northern BC), the local Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) Nation, Ts’msyen (from northern coastal BC), Lil’wat (from just north of Whistler) and Xaadas (from Haida Gwaii).

Members of the IPA attended and took in the numerous dance performances as well as drumming and singing, and the market area where dozens of community organizations and vendors had informational literature and beautiful Indigenous art, jewellery, clothing and other artisan goods for sale. We also sampled dishes from the numerous food trucks serving delicious food including bannock or fry bread “tacos”! 

The event was greatly enjoyed by all and we were very grateful to have this opportunity to witness the generosity and cultural pride of the Nisga’a people. We plan to make this an annual event going forward so plan to join us next year!

Saturday March 4: Messy Church Coffeehouse-style Open Mic and Potluck

This was the first time for IPA to co-host Messy Church, open mic/talent (or no talent) performance, on Saturday March 4th. We contributed to the programs, and enjoyed a lively and very fun intercultural/intergenerational evening. It all started with a potluck, and great chats sitting around the round tables.

The evening program consisted of guitar country music by John Perry, piano and concertina duets by Mei Jia and Catherine Hembling; book reading by Diana Ng (Walking the Labyrinth); and the popular Chinese folk song “Jasmine Flower” sung in Chinese and English by the trio of Nan, Catherine H and Mei Jia; Elizabeth Dunn was leading a rousing sing along, a cappella style! Plus Nan’s story telling of the Japanese legend of rabbit in the moon.

We also thoroughly enjoyed the performance by the youth which were so fun and entertaining.

Messy Church on March 4th, 2023. Photo by Diane Brown.


Second Annual Cherry Blossom Day, Second try.

Hardy Blossom Watchers! Join us after the service on Easter Sunday, April 9th for our second try at our Second Annual Cherry Blossom Walk.

Bring umbrellas. Gather in Hewett Hall. Drink something warm. Eat your lunch or a snack.

After a short ceremony of thanks to the Staff for a year of stellar support for IPA at12:30, we’ll head out into whatever-the-weather to Tisdall Park to commune with all new life wishing for warmth and the sun’s blessing.

May is Asian Heritage Month

Please come to the IPA-led service at UCV on Sunday, May 21. We are also working on a video in honour of the IPA’s 1st anniversary which will be shown in the services in May leading up to May 21.

Results of the IPA questionnaire. A BIG THANK YOU to all who shared their thoughts in the congregational questionnaire. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive. We compiled and are discussing how to incorporate the feedback into our upcoming programs this year.