Pancouver-Logo

Become a Cultural Navigator

Become a Cultural Navigator

TAIWANfest partners with Dutch Cultural Association of B.C. to bring Netherlands culture to downtown Vancouver

Irwin Oostindie
At 1 p.m. on Sunday (September 3), Dutch Cultural Association of B.C. director Irwin Oostindie will speak in Courtroom 302 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Many Canadian travellers are familiar with Dutch street markets. The most famous, Albert Cuypmarkt in Amsterdam, has been around for a century. In the former working-class district of De Pijp, hundreds of vendors stretch for blocks. There, they hawk everything from discounted clothes and cycling accessories to fruits, vegetables, chocolates, cheese, meats, and flowers.

However, on the Labour Day weekend, Lower Mainland residents won’t have to fly across the Atlantic Ocean to experience this. That’s because downtown Vancouver will be home to its first Dutch Street Market.

The Dutch Cultural Association of B.C. has created it in the 600 block of Granville Street in association with Vancouver TAIWANfest and the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. There’s no admission charge—everything at Vancouver TAIWANfest is free.

Like in the Netherlands, this Dutch Street Market will feature kitchenwares, a flower and tulip bulb market, and delicious street foods. They include five flavours of stroopwafels, licorice, and other takeaway treats. The Dutch Street Market is one of several Netherlands-related activities and cultural events associated with TAIWANfest, which runs through Monday (September 4).

Next year marks the 400th anniversary of the Dutch colonization of Taiwan, which lasted for 38 years. In recognition of this, the festival is exploring past and present connections between the two countries.

Tsao
The Hidden Transcript of Academician Ts’ao Yung-ho tells the story of a librarian and scholar who changed the way many Taiwanese think about their country.

Dutch history and music comes alive

For history buffs, there’s a free screening of a documentary, The Hidden Transcript of Academician Ts’ao. It’s at 3:25 p.m. on Saturday (September 2) in the Annex (823 Seymour Street).

Directed by Lih-kuie Chen, this film profiles a Taiwanese university librarian who learned Dutch on his own. Tsao Yung-ho did this to transcribe Dutch diaries from the colonial period, which he found in the library’s basement. This shed tremendous light on lost Dutch history in Taiwan.

The Hidden Transcript of Academician Ts’ao is in Mandarin with English subtitles. The film also shows that Tsao had a close friendship with Dutch historian Leonard Blussé. And this helped Blussé better understand the Dutch East India Company’s activities in Asia. Blussé appears frequently in the documentary speaking rapid-fire Mandarin without any western accent.

Another Dutch event occurs at 6 p.m. on Saturday as part of TAIWANfest. Dutch cellist Diederik van Dijk will and Vancouver-based media artist Sammy Chien will collaborate for a free public performance. Their event, Ritual-spect: Transnational Sounds, will be on the Pancouver stage in šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square (north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery).

The Utrecht-based van Dijk attended high school in Canada. Moreover, he has an impressive musical résumé, with his repertoire runing from the baroque to modern eras. He has played with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, Les Muffatti, Insomnio, the Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht, the Metropole Orkest, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, and in Holland Opera productions.

Chien, a queer immigrant from Taiwan, has been involved in more than 500 collaborative projects. His works have been exhibited in many high-profile locations, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

Sammy Chien and Diederik van Dijk.
Media artist Sammy Chien and Dutch cellist Diederik van Dijk will collaborate at Vancouver TAIWANfest.

Oostindie shares stories of settlers in Canada

There’s more Dutch content at TAIWANfest on the following day. From Amsterdam to Vancouver: Dutch Settler Portraits by Irwin Oostindie will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday (September 3) in Vancouver Art Gallery Courtroom 302.

Oostindie is a public scholar, cultural  producer, and decolonization advocate. Also a Dutch Cultural Association of B.C. director, Oostindie will present a mix of lecture, stories, and dialogue.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands is home to a rich DJ culture. TAIWANfest will reflect that with a free show by veteran Vancouver-based turntablist and technoculture creator dj_tobias, a.k.a. tobias c. van Veen. Over his musical career, dj_tobias has released six albums of experimental music and collaborated with many musical artists, including Tim Hecker, dub gnostic, Cobblestone Jazz, Sutekh, Kit Clayton, and Loscil.

On top of this artistic output, dj_tobias has doctorates in philosophy and communications studies from McGill University and he is series editor at Lexington Books of Afrofuturist Studies & Speculative Arts. His set begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday on the Pancouver stage in šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square.

In addition, TAIWANfest and the Dutch Cultural Association of B.C. will offer a free screening of the critically acclaimed documentary White Balls on Walls at 2:30 p.m. in the Annex (823 Seymour Street).

Directed by Sarah Vos, the film explores the challenges of diversifying the featured artists at Stedelijk Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and Design in Amsterdam. When Vos began filming in 2019, more than 90 percent of the art was made by white men.

Watch the trailer for White Balls on Walls.

For more information about the Dutch Cultural Association of B.C., visit its website. Vancouver TAIWANfest takes place at various downtown locations from September 2 to 4. Follow Pancouver @PancouverMedia on Twitter and Instagram.

Take Action Now

Pancouver fuels creativity and promotes a more inclusive society. You can contribute to support our mission of shining a spotlight on diverse artists. Donations from within Canada qualify for a tax receipt.

Share this article

Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

Subscribe

Tags

Related Articles

The Society of We Are Canadians Too created Pancouver to foster greater appreciation for underrepresented artistic communities. A rising tide of understanding lifts all of us.

We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.

The Society of We Are Canadians Too created Pancouver to foster greater appreciation for underrepresented artistic communities. A rising tide of understanding lifts all of us.

© 2023 The Society of We Are Canadians Too Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions

We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.