listen-liveOn Air Now


Listen Now

Emily Chu: Don’t leave until we meet

Those who celebrate the Lunar New Year are getting ready for celebrations, all around the world. In Edmonton, artist Emily Chu is planning an event called the Togather Chinatown Art Fair.

Chu is a full-time freelance artist and illustrator, and she’s been working in the Chinatown space for a while. She sketches heritage sites and buildings, and she’s working on a Chinatown map, with support from the Edmonton Heritage Council and the Edmonton Arts Council. A small gathering for a public unveiling of one of Chu’s murals last year led her to dream bigger for 2024.

“This year, there will be artists, food vendors, and performers. Marginalized and BIPOC artists will share their work, and The Bissell Centre will be there to sell art on behalf of their community members who create art.”

There are also plans for an intergenerational, multicultural games room, with Dungeons & Dragons and Mahjong. Face-painting and a photo booth will make the day fun for kids.

A Chinese lion dance at 1pm on each day will have a special connection to the arts community. The father of one of the featured artists, Fiona Lee, will lead the traditional dance. Known as “Master Lee,” he’s an instructor at the Kejia Athletic Association of Edmonton, and an expert in lion dances and warrior drumming. “This is a family story, a family celebration,” says Chu.

She notes that the very title of Togather Chinatown Art Fair is connected to the Chinese saying “不见不散.” It means “Don’t leave until we meet,” “See you there,” and “Be sure to wait.”

“What we love about this saying is that it includes making plans at a specific location, friendships, and accountability,” says Chu. “This idea of relying on one another reflects the history of our Chinatown. It’s a community of residents, organizations, and businesses built upon mutual aid. And at Togather Chinatown Art Fair, we hold space for inclusion, gathering, collaboration, and sharing through the Arts.”

When asked to choose a piece of music for our audience, Chu suggests “My Jinji” by Sunset Rollercoaster, saying, “We are bringing this vibe of Chinatown dreams and nostalgia.”

Find a celebration near you to welcome the Year of the Dragon. And Alberta Morning on Thursday, Feb 8 will include some dragon-themed songs, chosen by host Grant Stovel. Don’t miss it!

Togather Chinatown Art Fair

When: February 10 – 11, 2024
Where: Edmonton Chinatown Multicultural Centre, 9540 – 102 Avenue, Edmonton
Time: noon to 5pm
Cost: FREE

Lunar New Year Festival

When: February 10 – 11, 2024
Where: Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre, 197 –  1st Street SW, Calgary
Time: 11am to 6pm
Cost: FREE