With celebrations for Lunar New Year kicking in this week, the BrisAsia Festival will see more than more than 50 events taking place across 10 suburbs and the CBD.
The festival will well and truly live up to its reputation as Brisbane’s biggest cultural festival, with Asian art, culture and cuisine on show, alongside live performances by internationally acclaimed artists, outdoor festivities, and intimate cultural encounters.
Dr Anthony Garcia is the festival director and told 96five that it’s no coincidence that BrisAsia begins alongside traditional Lunar New Year celebrations.
“This year is the Year of the Tiger, and February is a very special time for Asian cultures as they mark the beginning of their lunar calendar. It’s really the foundation of the festival and our launch event on Saturday is another celebration of Chinese New Year, as the Valley Mall comes to life with dancers, percussion and live performances.”
Dr Garcia said that The BrisAsia Launch Party was aiming to be a miniature snapshot of the whole festival.
“It’s a very diverse line up; we have traditional artists performing alongside very contemporary acts. It will be a real cultural experience to give people a sense of what BrisAsia means across the board.”
Growing up in Singapore and Indonesia was where Dr Garcia first fell in love with Asian culture, and not surprisingly he found himself undertaking further study at university.
“My first degree was in Modern Asian Studies, so I studied languages, anthropology, economics and politics of the Asian region. I then went to the Conservatorium of Music to study classical guitar, and after many years of classical performance I began collaborating with others from different cultures.
“I had a very diverse upbringing and experiences that has led me to my work with BrisAsia.”
Among some of Dr Garcia’s festival highlights include the Rare Voices concert which will celebrate sounds and voices from across the Asian region, and the Summer Party event, showcasing Asian pop culture and dance.
And families haven’t been forgotten about with The Laneway Tea Festival in Fish Lane South Brisbane on February 12 featuring live music, markets, tea workshops and tastings.
Another great option for kids is the Adventures in Asia event on Thursday February 17 at 9am. Kids will will learn more about various cultures and traditions through interactive play and storytelling.
If you can’t get along to the festival, but still want to take part check out the Mother’s Table; a documentary series that have been produced for BrisAsia. Get inspired to cook up a storm and learn about the families and stories behind the restaurants and dishes that have shaped Brisbane’s culinary landscape! The story of Mamaku Street Food in Clayfield is below and the other videos are available to view on the council’s BrisAsia page.
You can find the full BrisAsia program here.
BrisAsia is a COVID safe event.
Listen to the full interview with Dr Anthony Garcia in the audio player above.