Taiwan’s Use of Soft Power: 27th Taiwan Fest in Canada
The annual cultural event ‘TAIWANfest’ kicks off on July 29th to promote bilateral relationship between Taiwan and CanadaAugust 11th, 2016
At the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, the Pre-Departure Press Conference declared the opening of ‘TAIWANfest 2016’ held in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. A series of cultural events featuring Taiwanese art and culture and celebrating Canadian multiculturalism will take place from August 26th. After 26 years, the TAIWANfest has become one of the largest cultural festivals in Canada promoting cultural exchanges and enhancing bilateral relationship between Taiwan and Canada.
Originally established by the Vancouver Taiwanese community in 1990, the TAIWANfest features rich multi-cultural contents such as food, music, dance, film, celebrations and the mixture of traditional and modern lifestyles. The events not only promote Taiwanese culture, but also build relations between Taiwanese culture and Canadian culture. With the government’s support, the Taiwanese people are able to display and promote their culture to the Canadian public.
Struggling with the national identity issues between Taiwan and China, Taiwan’s outreach to other countries in the world is often limited. However, it has found its way to tie with the world through soft powers. Its strategy is to promote the visibility of Taiwan through cultural events, attracting the world with interactions and exchanges in communities. Several cultural events are held in different countries.
The TAIWANfest in Canada is Taiwan’s biggest cultural event abroad.
Drawing for the cultural exchange that exists between Taiwan and Hong Kong, this year, it will further bring in other Asian cultures by the launch of five year program ‘Dialogue with Asia’. By inviting other countries to join the program, the government aims to enrich the contents of cultural exchange and promote participation of the fest.
The Ministry of Culture in Taiwan points out that a cultural display is not enough to connect Taiwan to other parts of the world. Cultural dialogues and exchanges have to be added so that people from different cultures can get to know each other better.
This year’s TAIWANfest will be held at Toronto's Harbourfront Center from August 26th to 28th, followed by cultural events which will continue in Vancouver from September 3rd to 5th.