Cultural diversity explored through film, book

Cinevolution Media Arts Society is presenting a day-long event at the Richmond Cultural Centre Saturday featuring film, art and open dialogue on topics of cultural engagement.

Close Encounters: A Celebration of Diversity in Richmond on Dec. 15 begins at 11 a.m. with an encore screening of Kenda Gee’s Lost Years: A People’s Struggle for Justice.

At 1:15 p.m. author David H.T. Wong will launch his book Escape to Gold Mountain: A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America. A community dialogue on the "power potential of intercultural engagement and exchange" follows at 1:45 p.m.

The dialogue will include commentary from poet Alan Hill, who is the city's cultural diversity services co-ordinator and Vancouver director-filmmaker Susanne Tabata.

Escape to Gold Mountain is a graphic novel that tells the story of Chinese immigration to Canada and the U.S. Based on historical documents and interviews with elders, this is a vivid history of the Chinese in their search for "Gold Mountain" (the Chinese colloquialism for North America) as seen through the eyes of the Wong family. The book includes stories from Steveston and of the friendship between the Chinese and First Nations.

Lost Years tells a similar story in a different medium. The film packed the house during its Vancouver premiere earlier this year.

Cinevolution hopes the two stories will spark a conversation about shared experiences of migration, as well as the challenges and benefits of intercultural exchange.

The event takes place inside the cultural centre's performance hall. Admission is by donation

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