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Charlie Wu Talks About the Annual Event TAIWANfest Ep 200

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

Today Talking Taiwan hits a major milestone with episode 200! We think it’s especially meaningful that the topic of this interview is TAIWANfest, an annual Taiwanese Canadian event that dates back to 1990.

Nowadays, TAIWANfest is held annually in Toronto and Vancouver. And my guest on this episode is Charlie Wu, the Managing Director of Asian-Canadian Special Events Association , which organizes TAIWANfest and LunarFest. You may recall that we had Charlie on earlier this year (in episode 167) to talk about LunarFest.

TAIWANfest will be held in Toronto later this month from August 26-28 and in Vancouver from September 3-5. This year’s theme is: The Stories of Independence Indulge in Indonesia, Discover Malaysia.

The programming will feature the indigenous band, Kanatal, which is a sort of experiment, that breaks the mold. They are a newly formed band of 4 experienced musicians, that have performing on tour without even having an album released. Other programs at TAIWANfest include a standup comedian, film screenings discussions, and events both in-person and virtual with topics covering: literature, social activism, food and culture.


This episode of Talking Taiwan has been sponsored by NATWA, the North America Taiwanese Women’s Association.



NATWA was founded in 1988, and its mission is:


  1. to evoke a sense of self-esteem and enhance women’s dignity,
  2. to oppose gender discrimination and promote gender equality,
  3. to fully develop women’s potential and encourage their participation in public affairs,
  4. to contribute to the advancement of human rights and democratic development in Taiwan,
  5. to reach out and work with women’s organizations worldwide to promote peace for all.


To learn more about NATWA visit their website:


Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • TAIWANfest will be taking place in Toronto from August 26-28 and in Vancouver from September 3-5
  • The theme of TAIWANfest 2022: The Stories of Independence Indulge in Indonesia, Discover Malaysia
  • The independence of nations vs. people
  • The newly formed band, Kanatal [ga-na-dal], which means “island” in the Amis language, referring to the small island of Taiwan
  • How Kanatal is touring and will perform at TAIWANfest
  • The opening concert for TAIWANfest Toronto will be performed by an orchestra led by Maestro Ken Hsieh
  • TAIWANfest Vancouver’s closing concert will be performed by a string orchestra
  • Comedian Ed Hill who will be performing at TAIWANfest Toronto and Vancouver
  • TAIWANfest’s virtual programming
  • The Let Taiwan Be Taiwan program
  • Connections between Indonesia and Taiwan
  • There are 300,000 Indonesians living in Taiwan
  • Indonesian migrant workers and their cultural impact on Taiwan
  • Films, performances and food presented at TAIWANfest
  • The “Taiwan Bookstore” concept at TAIWANfest Vancouver
  • The food known in Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines, as “lumpia”; “run-bing” in Mandarin Chinese;  and “popiah” in Malaysia
  • The discussion on “Making Taiwan Relevant in Cansda” about the book Charlie wrote with two others about his experiences running TAIWANfest
  • How Indonesian culture will be represented at TAIWANfest
  • How TAIWANfest Vancouveris working with the Brilliant Time Bookstore in Taiwan to collect donated books in Southeast Asian languages for migrant workers in Taiwan
  • The graphic image that represents TAIWANfest 2022 was inspired by batik culture from Malaysia and Indonesia
  • How Charlie and his team decides and curates the content of TAIWANfest
  • Some of the films that will be part of Cinematic Taiwan, such as The Road Forward, a musical documentary by Marie Clements, which will be subtitled in Chinese
  • Kanatal’s song Peace
  • The documentary being made about Kanatal
  • The story of how Kanatal was formed
  • Suana·Emuy·Cilangasay, who assembled the musicians to form Kanatal
  • Eden Liu’s social activism in Indonesia
  • Due to capacity limitations at the Harbourfront Center in Toronto and the pandemic, TAIWANfest in Toronto will be scaled down while TAIWANfest in Vancouver will be at full scale
  • Future plans for the Jade Music Festival

Related Links:


TAIWANfest Toronto:


TAIWANfest Toronto’s Facebook page:


TAIWANfest Vancouver:


TAIWANfest Vancouver’s Facebook page:


2022 TAIWANfest – Stories of Independence (YouTube video):


‘Cultural genocide’: the shameful history of Canada’s residential schools – mapped (an article from The Guardian):


Pope apologizes for ‘catastrophic’ school policy in Canada (an article from AP News):


Pope Francis: Did the pontiff’s apology in Canada go far enough? (an article from BBC News):


Kanatal’s website:


WATCH & LISTEN to Kanatal on Facebook here:


KANATAL │ Music and Story (on YouTube):


TAIWANfest’s virtual programming:


New book tells TAIWANfest visionary Charlie Wu’s story:


The Road Forward, a musical documentary by Marie Clements:


Kanatal’s song, Peace:


Ainu indigenous people of Japan:


Eden Liu’s social activism in Indonesia:


Zheng He (court eunuch during China’s early Ming dynasty)


Jade Music Festival:


The JUNO Awards – Canada’s Music Awards:


The Grammy Awards:


Charlie Wu of Lunarfest Celebrates the Year of the Tiger (Episode 167):

About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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