The Asian Arts & Culture Society hosts the second annual giant food festival on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023, at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
Another dumpling has joined the family.
The Asian Arts & Culture Society has added the mandu — a staple in the Korean cuisine — to its group of dumplings featured on its marketing materials for the non-profit’s activities and signature event: the BC Dumpling Festival.
Korea is the country that will be highlighted at this year’s mega-multicultural food celebration that takes place on Saturday (Aug. 12) at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam.
Society founder Gina Chong said she and her team have lined up a full day of Korean entertainment and have even set up a Korean pavilion that will include Korean vendors.
As well, a representative from the Korean consulate will open the food fest, following the Canada Chung-an Korean Drum Dance performance at 11 a.m. and before the VIP dumpling eating contest.
Chong said she got the idea for a country exposition after remembering her sister’s show at Expo ’86 in Vancouver.
“After that, I never was really exposed to multicultural performances as a kid,” she said, adding, “Our aim with the dumpling festival is really about bringing the community together and understanding each other.”
Initiated after a racist attack against Chong in Town Centre Park during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the BC Dumpling Fest has a mission to “promote multiculturalism and diversity,” as well as to celebrate Asian culture through arts.
Last year’s gathering drew more than 20,000 visitors to the shores of Lafarge Lake to taste the traditional treats; Chong is expecting the same numbers, if not more, for the 2023 bash.
But the costs to stage a festival since 2022 have doubled, she lamented, noting the increases in permits, equipment and artists’ fees.
Still, Chong has more than 160 volunteers to help run the event, many of whom met at a recent orientation meeting at the park.
“We have volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life,” she said.
“They are from churches, schools and companies. Many are immigrants new to Canada. And many don’t know about the origins of the festival, but they all want to be a part of it.”
For example, RBC will have 15 employees on site to assist; it will also provide a water station and ATM.
As well, volunteers will be assigned to each of the 27 food trucks to control the line-ups in the Lot D parking lot and to supply printed menus to customers.
Unlike other local festivals, the site won’t be fenced it as no liquor is being sold; however, also unlike other food parties, dogs will be allowed to attend with their owners.
Eric Kalnins, tourism manager for the City of Coquitlam, which is funding the BC Dumpling Fest in part with Marcon as the title sponsor, said the event draws visitors from around Metro Vancouver and creates big economic spinoffs for the community.
“We encourage visitors to take SkyTrain to the festival and spend some time before or after the event exploring Coquitlam’s local businesses,” he said.
“You’ll find shopping, restaurants and a brewery just minutes from Town Centre Park. If you are looking for ideas and insiders tips check out visitcoquitlam.ca and be sure to tag @visitcoquitlam on your posts. We would love to see your photos.”
• To volunteer or learn more about the second annual BC Dumpling Festival, go to bcdumplingfest.ca. It runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Town Centre Park (1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam). Entry is free. Take SkyTrain on the Millennium Line to the Lafarge Lake–Douglas station. The Tri-City News is a media sponsor.
- Momo Joy
- Nina’s Pierogies
- Pasta Polo
- Dungan House
- Sun Star Restaurant
- Mr. Siopao de Langley
- Morgan’s Harbour
- Chef Tony Dim Sum
- House of Yee
- Joyful Seafood Restaurant
- Roasted Revolution
- Blend Bubble Tea
- The Original Hurricane Potato
- Shameless Buns
- Wak Wak Burger
- C Market Coffee
- Bao Buns
- Egg Blanket
- Lee’s Donuts