Sunday, July 24, 2022

Surrey Fusion Festival Returns at Holland Park


The largest and most diverse festival in Western Canada returns in its 15th year, and we took part to celebrate and enjoy a weekend of multicultural understanding and experiencing diversity in food, culture, live music, and entertainment.

British Columbians and the residents of the city of Surrey once again gathered at Holland park after 2 years since the pandemic. This was the largest crowd since it started in 2008 perhaps due to the desire of the people to reunite and bring back a more lively scene where everyone can enjoy a wide variety of cultural offerings from different countries in the world.

This year's Surrey Fusion Festival theme is CommUNITY. A single word that describes how the world must be in difficult times where global health threats have affected us to live, interact and socialize.

From the Latin countries of Bolivia, Argentina, and Columbia. Asian countries like India, Vietnam, and Indonesia. African countries like Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. European countries like Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Southwestern Pacific like Tonga and Fiji. Caribbean countries like Barbados and Cayman Islands. These are some of the 40 pavilions that showcased their food, culture, arts, music, and dance.

The pandemic seems over as the crowd cheers for fun and a manic vibe. It's the delicious authentic food, arts, dance, and music that draws people to have a taste and experience world cultures in one venue.

Other features include a wellness garden where people can learn and experience yoga and meditation, Indigenous Village to learn about their culture through traditional cultural sharing. Global beer and wine tasting to sip some cold beverages from around the world. A cultural cooking arena for a showdown in a cooking competition. And stages where world-class performers and talents are presented to the crowd.

It was a great experience to have celebrated the Surrey Fusion Festival for the first time and I would be glad to make it a yearly event to watch out for. Community is about the spirit of camaraderie that builds bridges for multicultural understanding and inclusivity. We unite for a common goal of bringing peace, love, and compassion to make our world a better place to live in and for the next generations to preserve and enrich their own culture for the world to see, embrace and be proud of.

©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Sunday, July 17, 2022

White Rock Gallery: Beyond the Frame


To appreciate art is about understanding the deepest of emotion; its meaningful realization; and validation of purpose and intention.

That's the uplifting lesson learned from a visit to an art gallery in White Rock, British Columbia. It's a city by the sea and a place where arts, history, and culture thrive amidst the test of time.

An art gallery may not be the usual place to visit in the present times. It may not be welcoming, but intimidating to other people who may not have an interest or appreciation of fine arts.

Back in my home country, the Philippines, I've learned to admire and appreciate works of art and masterpieces in the Cultural Center since 2012. Since then, I've carried the same passion and admiration whenever I visit another country or place with high regard for culture and the arts.

In Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, every city has a public art gallery that's open to everyone, and White Rock Gallery is one of the most beautiful places to be. It was my first ever Art Gallery experience in Canada and It was a meaningful experience.

Nowadays, people choose modern forms of entertainment and haven't discovered and learned about the joys of visiting an art gallery or any art exhibits. However, fine artists and art enthusiasts have devoted their time, resources, and money to making arts more relevant in today's present generation.

What makes art galleries intimidating to others is that we're not taught how to appreciate and decode its meaning from the artists' perspective or point of view. We couldn't interpret abstract paintings and even find meaning in a realistic painting.

With our smartphones, we can just take a raw picture of a place, do some editing, then call it art. It's the easiest form of art we can do. However, fine art demands time, energy, emotion, and a soul to create a more valuable masterpiece; the reason why paintings and sculptures are expensive. 

In reality, we tend to ignore or snub expensive things because we can't afford them. The same thing with fine arts, some wouldn't appreciate its value because they can't relate to and find meaning in a painting. But to afford it isn't just about owning it. It's also about enriching our life experience and worth as human beings just by paying a visit to an art gallery even once in a lifetime.

Art is part of our culture and a deep appreciation and admiration are what give us a certain connection with the community we live in. Art evokes various emotions depending on what the artists would want us to feel. It makes us joyful, sorrowful, awed and puzzled. It moves us, touches our souls, and made us love at first sight.

As I view the gallery, some paintings attract my attention and draw me closer to scrutinize and finally gave meaning to them. It gave happiness and a sense of belonging to a community of artistic people who have the desire for understanding, passion, and motivation for self-expression.

©️  2022 Del Cusay