A Year of Blessings

A Five Blessings Collective Production

Take a break from the screens and let your children embark on a playful adventure with our A Year of Blessings free audio play series. Join the fun and entertaining stories of Bunnifer and Bunnithy, Little Shrimp, and others as they celebrate major Chinese festivals and explore cultural traditions.

Episode #1
A Year of Blessings: 繽紛新年 Bun Fun New Year

Available starting January 21, 2023
We kick off this Lunar New Year with tales from our bunny friends at the Bao household. In the midst of preparing for the Lunar New Year family feast, twin bunnies Bunnifer and Bunnithy learn the true meaning of new year festivities and a couple of…interesting… recipes along the way. 

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Episode #2
A Year of Blessings: 蝦仔 Little Shrimp
Available starting April 5, 2023

A brave Little Shrimp with a big heart takes us on a musical adventure through the underwater and underworld to connect with friends, family, and ancestors on Qing Ming, the tomb-sweeping holiday.

Episode #3
Available starting June 22, 2023

In development – This episode will be celebrating the exciting Dragon Boat Festival!

Gateway Theatre is thrilled to be collaborating with Five Blessings Collective, a team of Asian-Canadian artists behind A Year of Blessings. By retelling the stories about these Chinese festivals, we hope to share the wonders of these cultural traditions.


Artistic Team

Derek Chan

Bio

Derek Chan

Derek Chan (陳嘉昊) grew up in colonial Hong Kong and currently lives and works on the stolen and ancestral lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, colonially known as Vancouver. An award-winning multilingual playwright, director, translator, and performer, he is the Managing Artistic Director of Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre. Derek was an artist in residence at the National Arts Centre English Theatre Department in the 2019/20 season, developing yellow objects, an installation-exhibition in support of the ongoing pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. He was the co-recipient of the 2021 Simon Fraser University FCAT Young Alumni Award for his work at rice & beans theatre.

Jasmine Chen

Bio

Jasmine Chen

Jasmine is a second-generation Taiwanese-Singaporean immigrant artist based in the unceded lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaɬ Nations and T’karonto.

Jasmine’s work as a director, performer, educator and creator has engaged with communities from coast to coast in repertory festivals, indie theatres, regional and outdoor theatres. She creates multilingual interdisciplinary work that pushes for linguistic and formal diversity.

Jasmine is a recipient of the Gina Wilkinson Award, the Jon Kaplan Canadian Stage Performer Award, and the Stratford Festival Jean Gascon Award. She has been featured in CBC Arts, The Georgia Straight, NOW Magazine, and the Vancouver Sun. msjasminechen.com.

Howard Dai

Bio

Howard Dai

Howard Dai is a Taiwanese actor and theatre artist based in Vancouver. Recent co-creation/performance credits include: The Five Vengeances (Affair of Honor), Passenger Seat (Library Performance Co.); 蝦仔 Little Shrimp (Carousel Theatre); Collider (Single Thread Theatre); and New Societies (re:current theatre), which recently toured to Ontario in its third year since conception. He was the 2022 digital-artist-in-residence with PuSh Festival (Vancouver, Canada) and Royal Court Theatre (London, UK).  Howard is an Associate Artist with rice & beans theatre, and is a graduate of SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts.  www.howarddai.com

Robyn Jacob

Bio

Robyn Jacob

Robyn Jacob is a pianist, singer, composer and educator living in and working from the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm and Səl’il’wətaʔ Nations. She has toured Canada and internationally with her avant-pop project Only A Visitor, who have been recently brought on to the Mint Records label. Her compositions include commissions by Third Coast Percussion, Architek Percussion, So Percussion, and Little Chamber Music, and collaborations with visual artists and instrument makers. In 2020 she celebrated the release of Earth Leaps Up on the label elsewhere music with her duo The Giving Shapes in collaboration with harpist Elisa Thorn. Since 2012 she has been part of the multi-disciplinary collective Publik Secrets, currently artists in residence at the Hadden Park Field House with the City of Vancouver. In 2013 she toured Bali with Gamelan Gita Asmara, and has since been co-leading Gamelan Bike Bike.

Nancy Tam

Bio

Nancy Tam

Sound Artist, 譚亦斯 (Nancy Tam), works and lives on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her practice is collaborative, often models after devised theatrical processes. Nancy works transdisciplinarily fusing sound and performance as primary media with a specialization in spatialized multi-channel sound performance for live and fixed media. Her current research triangulates between sound, space, and body to investigate notions of horizontality and peripherality in the context of immersive spatial and sonic designs. Nancy has a penchant toward listening to quiet sounds and observing quotidian performances. Her work is form-bending and dramaturgically rigorous. Nancy is a founding member of the Vancouver-based interdisciplinary performance collective A Wake of Vultures as well as the Toronto-based Toy Piano Composers collective. She is an award-winning composer. Her compositions, audio walks, performances, and collaborations have toured in Germany, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Hong Kong, the U.S. and throughout Canada.

About Five Blessings Collective

Five Blessings is composed of five Chinese Canadian artists from disciplines spanning theatre, sound and music, movement and performance. We are Nancy Tam, Derek Chan, Robyn Jacob, Jasmine Chen, and Howard Dai–five first and second-generation Hong Kong and Taiwanese settlers to Turtle Island. Our work celebrates the complexities found within stories and traditions from the Chinese diaspora through songs, audio plays, film, and stageworks. We are the creators of Double Happiness which includes the multimedia song cycle “Detour This Way”, and its companion short film A Little Detour. www.happinesshappiness.ca

Special Thanks

Metro Vancouver
TD Bank Group
Vancouver Writers Fest