Saturday, July 16, 2016

So Many Fantastic Events At Latincouver and Carnaval del Sol!

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Thanks to Natalia Parga, Project Manager Latin American Week, Carnaval del Sol 2016, and Sarah Murray, Program Co-ordinator Fashion Arts, VCC, I enjoyed a vibrant week of celebration, music, arts, dance, color, food, and fashion! Weather was variable but there was sunshine wherever the events happened: Waterfall Building, Tom Lee Music Hall, Concord Pacific Place, and many more locations filled with multicultural crowds of families, musicians, artists, chefs, dancers, and world travellers. Latincouver is a movement that brings everyone together and is a must not just for this week but throughout the year. Bienvenido! Bem Vindo! Welcome to "...a multicultural non-profit organization which brings together all Latin Americans from all countries and Latin enthusiasts living in B.C. though business and cultural activities..."

The first event my friends and I were invited to was the Gala Night and Canadian and Latin American Aboriginal Arts Exhibition at The Waterfall Building, 1540 W. 2nd. Art work, Jewellery, Costume and Dance were featured. Artists introduced their work and dancers provided background and cultural significance of each dance. Traditional Salish Territory, the land, traditions and languages - gifts shared with people everywhere. Truly a celebration!

The International Trova Fest was held at Tom Lee Music Hall, on Granville Street. I knew people studied music there but had never seen the grand performance stage. Trova is the music of poetry. Much of the music written is a poem, were words spoken as an introduction to this traditional and modern music of the people. This was not the music of rock bands, but more personal story telling with universal themes.This was an offering from the heart, for all of us. Complex and rich, the music showed us other cultures but brought us all together in this large studio. An animated full house, found it impossible to sit quietly and many got up to dance. There was a lot of singing and humming and making friends, no matter where you were. There was Tango Dancing from Burnaby, bands from Columbia, Mexico, two of many,  and also from right here, in Vancouver. People carry their music with them, wherever they go. Music, dance, food, friendship - what more could one ask?

We also attended the Carnaval del Sol, during the days it was at Concord Pacific Place. Although dark skies threatened, the sun finally graced Sunday as if to say, "It's not over yet!" Once again, there was fun for families, fabulous food, a marvelous variety of bands and dancers, art, markets, and my favourite: The Carnaval Del Sol Fashion Show, on for over an hour on both days. I liked the color themes that matched those of the festival: Yellow Sunshine featuring, Erin Gravelle, Sally Sandusky, Happy Yellow Dress and Blushing Boutique, Red Sunset featuring: Erin Gravelle, Happy Yellow Dress, Devil May Wear, Sally Dandusky, Rebecca Fafard, Teryana Goletta, Blue Skies: Krissy Bishop, Erin Gravelle, Happy Yellow Dress, Devil May Wear, Blushing  Boutique, Sally Sandusky and Green Leaves, highlighting the upcycled, recycled, Eco fashions of Sans Soucie.

This was an extremely well produced show by fashion merchandising students at VCC. Fashion Show Co-ordinator - Hannah Bielert, VCC Fashion Co-Program Co-ordinator - Sarah Murray and a cast of many others.

Loved the mix of cultures, styles and summer formal and informal styles. Very animated models and each color was prefaced by the wonderful dancing of Tereza Paraschivescu. This wardrobe, these dances, these modelling skills - as Zorba says, "Teach Me To Dance!"

Thanks everyone for a truly memorable week here in Latincouver!

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