Past Events

Gender and Performance in Chinese Opera

A lecture demonstration with William Lau and Aw Yeong Peng Mun

1–3 pm, Saturday, December 4, 2010 (light refreshments)
Room 7000, SFU at Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.
Free and Open to the Public

Sponsored by Pangaea Arts

William Lau and Aw Yeong Peng Mun will engage in a demonstration and public discussion related to gender and performance, as it relates to Chinese Opera and the Nan Dan role type. Chinese Opera (unrelated to western opera) is a rich combination of acting, stylized gestures, music, singing, dance, mime, martial arts and acrobatics.

Both William and Peng Mun are experts in the Nan Dan role type, a unique and celebrated Chinese Opera tradition wherein males assume female roles. Despite being steeped in history, the Nan Dan tradition is an increasingly rare art form. Depicted in such films as Farewell My Concubine and M. Butterfly, it is no longer taught to young performers in modern troupes, and as the remaining masters pass away it is exceptionally rare to have an opportunity to see this incredible, highly skilled art form.

In this 90-minute workshop, they will discuss, explain and demonstrate the different female characters in the Dan roles, the historical context of cross-gender performance in Chinese opera, knowledge transmission challenges, and the future of the Nan Dan performance type. They will also discuss the evolution of Chinese opera as it incorporates and interacts with other art forms internationally. The audience will be able to ask questions and interact with these two unique performers.

A part of the JADE in the COAL Community Series

William Lau is a refined performer, dynamic educator, and distinguished cultural worker. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Montreal, he received an MFA in dance from York University, and has trained in both Chinese traditional dance and Western classical ballet. William specialized in the Nan Dan role type under renowned masters in China such as Shen Xiaomei, Song Changrong, and Sun Mingzhu.

Singapore-based actor Aw Yeong Peng Mun has immersed himself in the art of Cantonese opera for decades, and undergone meticulous training. He has been recognized by legendary Cantonese Opera performer Hong Xian Nu for emulating and incorporating her unique style of singing into his own. He is the only Nan Dan playing lead roles in Singapore, and is one of the few remaining in the world.

JADE in the COAL is a new play about the early thriving Chinese coal mining community of Cumberland, BC, that runs from November 25 to December 4, 2010, at the Frederic Wood Theatre, produced by Pangaea Arts and Theatre at UBC. Professional Canadian theatre artists and world class Cantonese opera performers from China and Singapore collaborate in this original play by award-winning writer/historian Paul Yee. In the early 1900s, the brutal hardships of the Chinese coal-miners are relieved by the arrival of a Cantonese opera troupe from China. As the actors rehearse, the mine's ghosts begin to stir...

Pangaea Arts is an intercultural, interdisciplinary world arts organization that has been producing award-winning theatre in Vancouver for ten years. Pangaea Arts was formed to promote cultural interaction and the exchange of ideas between diverse communities and to introduce Canadian audiences to performance traditions from around the world. Pangaea Arts creates productions that educate by participation, encouraging audiences and artists to actively investigate different cultures and ideas. Pangaea Arts 604.875.8316

Autumn Gem

An independent documentary film screening and forum

6:30–8:30 pm, Friday, November 12, 2010 (light refreshments)
Room 3200, SFU Woodward's, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.
(enter from Cordova Courtyard)
Free and Open to the Public

The David Lam Centre is pleased to host a screening of this independent documentary film on the life of Qiu Jin (1857–1907), writer, feminist and anti-Qing revolutionary. After her execution Qiu Jin became a cultural hero of near mythic proportions and is frequently referred to as China's Joan of Arc.

Rae Chang, Writer, Director, Co-Producer and Adam Tow, Cinematographer, Editor, Co-Producer will be introducing their film. Following the film there will be discussion with the directors and Professor Shuyu Kong (SFU Department of Humanities and Asia-Canada Program) facilitated by the Director of the David Lam Centre, Professor Paul Crowe.

Watch the movie trailer.

Canadian Multinational Enterprises in China: How Entrepreneurial Are They?

2–3:30 pm, Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Room 2270, Simon Fraser University, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Free admission.

This presentation assesses subsidiary entrepreneurship in China, with a focus on affliates of Canadian multinational enterprises (MNEs). Subsidiary entrepreneurship is an increasingly important topic in the Chinese context, especially given the rapid growth of China as a recipient of inward foreign direct investment. At the conceptual level, we extend the mainstream analysis of subsidiary entrepreneurial initiatives in MNEs in two ways. First, we include the parameter of subsidiary slack in the analysis. This parameter has been largely neglected in past scholarly work. Second, we reevaluate the role of subsidiary capabilities, the analysis of which does feature prominently in the extant literature. We find that more human resources slack is associated with an increase in subsidiary initiatives. In contrast (and in contradiction with mainstream thinking on this topic), stronger subsidiary capabilities, though instrumental to effcient operations, are not associated with higher subsidiary entrepreneurship in China. If Canadian firms want to become more successful in China it is not sophisticated knowledge that matters most, but having more people on the ground who can respond to emerging business opportunities.

A Brief Biography of the Speaker
Dr. Alain Verbeke holds the McCaig Research Chair in Management at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. He is presently an Academic Associate of the Centre for International Business and Management, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge (U.K.) and Visiting Chair in strategy and international business at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of International Business.

Dr. Verbeke has authored or edited 24 books and more than 200 refereed publications, including several articles in the Strategic Management Journal and the Journal of International Business Studies. He is a leading thinker on complex project evaluation and the strategic restructuring of complex organisations, both public agencies and business firms. He has been a member of the European Science and Technology Assembly (ESTA), the highest advisory body to the European Commission on the future of European scientific and innovation policy.

Dr. Verbeke's academic research agenda consists of revisiting, rethinking and augmenting the core paradigms in strategic management and international business, especially internalisation theory and the resource based view of the firm.

Essential Strategies for Chinatown Redevelopment Projects: The Case Study in Victoria

Speaker: Dr. David Chuenyan Lai, Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria, Chairman of Victoria Chinatown Redevelopment Committee, 1979–1987

Friday, September 24, 6:00–7:00 pm (refreshments 5:30–6:00 pm)
Room 7000, Simon Fraser University, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Free admission.

Watch the video recording of this event.

The strategy to develop or redevelop an ethnic area differs from one ethnic community to another in our multicultural Canadian society. A community urban planner must have knowledge of the structure of an ethnic group before he or she can draw up a community development plan. For example, Victoria Chinatown, established in 1858, is a unique ethnic community because of its long and complicated history. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the City of Victoria had made plans for Chinatown redevelopment but failed to carry them out. This talk, illustrated with slides, will concentrate on the strategy for identifying and resolving the problems of Victoria's Chinatown and the successful approach to carrying out its rehabilitation projects from 1980–1986.

A Brief Biography of the Speaker
Dr. David Chuenyan Lai taught in the Department of Geography, University of Victoria for 35 years and retired in 2003 as Professor Emeritus of Geography. He is an Adjunct Professor with David Lam Centre for International Communication, SFU. Dr. Lai's research has concentrated on Urban Development of Chinatowns and the History of Chinese Canadians. He has surveyed over 30 Chinatowns across North America and has been an honorary consultant to the Chinatown gateway projects of Victoria, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and Portland. He has received 35 awards in recognition of his scholarship and community service. Notable academic awards are Applied Geography Citation Award by Association of American Geography, Award of Merit by American Association for State and Local History, and Award for Excellence in Teaching by University of Victoria Alumni. Significant non-academic awards are Member of the Order of Canada, Honorary Citizen awarded by the City of Victoria, and Gabrielle Leger Award from Heritage Canada.

Dr. Lai is the author of newly published Chinese Community Leadership: Case Study of Victoria in Canada which is available at For attendees who bring this book to the lecture, Dr. Lai will be available to autograph the book.

Using International Assignee Programs for Maximum Advantage

2– 3:30 pm, Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Room 2270, SFU at Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.
Free admission.

Despite some claims to the contrary, there are enduring reasons for international assignee programs in international and multinational corporations. Nonetheless, context matters. Dr. Paul Beamish, Professor of International Business at the Ivey School of Business, will outline the view that a one-size-fits-all approach is often inappropriate. Drawing upon a series of recent and on-going research studies, this forum will highlight the impact of location, culture, experience and mode of investment on international assignee programs to achieve superior performance.

Speaker: Dr. Paul Beamish
Dr. Paul Beamish is a Professor of International Business in the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, author or co-author of 49 books and over 100 articles or contributed chapters. He has received best research awards from the Academy of Management, the Academy of International Business (AIB), and the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada (ASAC). In 1997 and again in 2003 he was recognized in the Journal of International Management as one of the top three contributors worldwide to the international strategic management literature in the previous decade. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Academy of International Business, and the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

Docu-Asia: Embracing the Spirits as China Transforms

The Bamboo Cross & The Gods Come Home Forums


In conjunction with the Cinevolution Media Arts Society and the New Asia Film Festival, the David Lam Centre at Simon Fraser University is pleased to support and participate in the second Docu-Asia Forum on May 19 and 21, 2010. This public forum will include the screening of a two-part Canadian documentary film titled China’s Leap of Faith (Cogent / Benger Productions Inc., 2008) that examines the remarkable resurgence of religious devotion in China. In a country where a Marxist, atheistic, perspective shapes official policy on religious belief and practice it is becoming obvious that, even amid greater material comforts, religion is rapidly regaining an important place in the lives of millions of Chinese.

After each film, there will be discussion led by academics and practitioners who will consider the relevance of this religious revival for British Columbia’s religious landscape given the dramatic rise in recent years of immigration from the People’s Republic of China.

The Bamboo Cross documents the rise of Christianity in Post Mao China as millions of Chinese embrace the Christian message of salvation through faith in God and Christ.

• Dr. Yu Li, Asian Studies, Langara College
• Christopher Sumpton, Producer, Cogent / Benger Productions Inc.
• Representative of a Chinese Christian Church (TBA)

May 19 at 7-9pm
Richmond Cultural Centre
180-7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond
Registration Information:, 778-869-3278

The Gods Come Home, sheds light on the vigorous renewal of Daoist and Buddhist organizations and the rich diversity of local popular religion.

• Emeritus Professor Daniel L. Overmyer, Asian Studies, UBC
• Christopher Sumpton, Producer, Cogent / Benger Productions Inc.
• Heng Cang Shr, Buddhist Nun, Gold Buddha Monastery

May 21 at 7-9pm
Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre Campus
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Terasen Cinema, Room 1800

Docu-Asia: Embracing the Spirits as China Transforms

World Premiere: Shangshu Academy Witness

Shangshu Academy Witness continues this theme and is part of Cinevolution’s 2010 New Asia Film Festival.

Saturday, May 29, 11:30am 

Richmond Cultural Centre (7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond, BC)

Cost: $5.00 per screening

Documentary / China / 2010 / 63 minutes 

Director: Zhao Gang

Producer: Cherelle Zheng

Produced by Beijing Channel Zero Media

Language : Mandarin & Sichuan dialect w/ English subtitles 

“The earthquake did not kill them, but…”

after the earthquake

before the quake

Deep in a remote valley near Bailu Town in Sichuan Province, for over a hundred years, there stood a majestic Catholic monastery called Seminarium Annuntiationis. From 1851-1861, French missionary Pinchon came to Sichuan and built the church with the help of hundreds of Chinese craftsmen, labourers and followers of the Catholic faith. It used to be a school for Chinese missionaries from throughout Southwestern China.

The monastery was divided into Xiashu Academy (Lower Academy) and Shangshu Academy (Upper Academy). For over a century, it was the local farmers’ task to take care of the Shangshu Academy. There were more than 500 Catholics in Bailu Township. Tang Min and his family had been the church caretakers for three generations.

On May 12, 2008, Shangshu Academy collapsed during the Wenchuan earthquake. The government decided to re-build the Academy on the site and develop the village into a tourist resort. This decision stirred the people of Bailun Town. Government officials came to the village, followed by architects and French cultural delegates. Villagers were employed to clear the earthquake rubble from the site. Tang Min and his wife were dreaming of a bright future of opening a farmer hostel for tourists.

However, underneath the seemingly normal everyday life, conflict and hatred were simmering. The Jiang family from the same village had several arguments and quarrels with Tang Min due to disagreement concerning the economic benefit of the works. The grudge built up and finally resulted in a vicious incident. One evening, the father and the son of Jiang’s family brutally murdered Tang Min’s wife and daughter.

Winter came after autumn. Where did the conflict come from? How do we cultivate a harmonious gene in society? Did this tragedy come from the faith in the ruins or the ruins of faith? Tang Min’s tale of misfortune in Bailu Town can help us reflect on some of these questions.

About Zhao Gang

Zhao Gang is a documentary filmmaker, a member of Chinese Artists Association, and Director of the Documentary Academy of China Television Association. His works are always about culture and social issues. From 1993 until now, he has produced People Living in a Tibetan Village, The Sun in Water, (nominated for the 17th China Golden Eagle TV award and official selection of the 13th French FIPA International Movie and Television Festival), This is Me (nominated for the award of the 8th Siena International Movie and Television Festival in 2004 in Italy).

Huangshan: a Taste of Scenic China
and Kyoto: Cultural Images from Japan

A two-part lecture by Harold Ma

Date: Thursday, April 29th
Time: 7:00pm
Location: SFU, Harbour Centre Campus, 515 West Hastings Street, Harbour Centre, Room 1800
Admission is free, reservation is required.

This event is mainly a DVD presentation in two parts, altogether less than one hour in length.

Photo taken in Huangshan

1. Scenes of Huangshan in snow and in mist taken through two winters. Huangshan is a famous scenic region long recognized as the Mecca for Chinese landscape painters.

Photo taken in Kyoto

2. Kyoto, a cultural treasure house and former capital of Japan is presented through Japanese eyes. Images are catalogued into four topics: Sakura, Autumn, Delightful moments and Zen.

After the DVD presentation, there will be a question and answer period especially for those who might plan to visit either place. Maps will be shown for illustrative purposes. Light refreshments will follow.

Harold Ma, an architect by profession, was born in Hong Kong. He obtained his degree from the University of Illinois and worked in England before coming to Canada in 1966. His passion for photography began in the mid-eighties. He has been twice invited to hold solo exhibitions in the prestigious Guilin Exhibition Hall in Guilin, China in 1988 and 1997. Locally his many solo exhibitions have been sponsored by the HSBC and BEA banks in 1984, 2000 and 2006. He has also exhibited at the VanDusen Botanical Garden in 2003 and has been their photographic consultant ever since his coverage of the British Royal visit for the garden last November. Harold maintains his own web site:

"Mao Zedong, Khrushchev and Sino-Soviet Split"

A lecture in by Professor Shen Zhihua, Director, Center for Cold War International History Studies at East China Normal University

Sponsored by the Department of History and the David Lam Centre

Date: Tuesday, March 30th
Time: 7:00pm
Location: SFU, Harbour Centre Campus, 515 West Hastings Street, Harbour Centre, Room 1600
Language: Chinese (Guoyü)
Inquiries: 778-782-5089

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Great Leap Forward and formation of People's Communes reflected disagreement between China and the Soviet Union on the domestic front, while disagreement between the two powers on foreign policy was expressed through the PRC's shelling of Jinmen island and the Sino-Indian conflict. Because both China and the USSR were contending for leadership of the international socialist movement, there was no way to overcome these disagreements. The underlying cause of the Sino-Soviet Split can be found in structural problems in relations between socialist countries.

Professor Shen Zhihua is the author of numerous books on Cold War history, Sino-Soviet relations, and the history of the People’s Republic of China. His main works, in Chinese, include Thinking and Choosing: From the Intellectuals’ Conference to the Anti-Rightist-Movement, 1956-1957 (2008), Soviet Experts in China (2003), and Mao Zedong, Stalin and the Korean War (1998). He is also the editor-in-chief of A Collection of Historical Documents of the Soviet Union (2002), which comprises 34 volumes, published in Chinese.


将于三月三十日(星期二)晚上七时在西门菲沙大学温哥华市中心校区举行,地址:515 West Hastings Street, Harbour Centre, 1600 室


查询: 778-782-5089


沈志华出生于中国北京。中苏关系史、国际冷战史专家,华东师范大学教授、北京大学、香港中文大学等院校客座教授。前苏联解体后,积极从事前苏联 档案文献的整理工作。沈教授的专著包括:《毛泽东、斯大林与韩战》,香港天地图书有限公司1998年,《苏联专家在中国(1948-1960)》,中国国 际广播出版社2003年,《中华人民共和国史,第三卷:思考与选择:从知识分子会议到反右派运动》,香港中文大学出版社,2008年。

‘Corporate Culture’ in China: Impacts on Large Chinese Business Corporations and the Chinese Communist Party

2– 3:30 pm, Thursday, January 14, 2010
Room 7000, SFU at Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.
Free admission.

Recent media reports have expressed widespread concern with the growing number of major Chinese business corporations actively seeking interests in the west. But what are these corporations actually like, and how have they got to the stage where they can actively compete on the international stage? This public talk maps the complexity of Chinese corporate life where individual firms often have cultural and political landscapes as complex and unique as that of modern China itself. In particular, it focuses on the management concept of ‘corporate culture,’ which has become extremely popular among Chinese business leaders in recent years. The talk will use vivid case studies to show how some of China’s largest and most successful firms have attempted to transform their corporate cultures to improve their performance; and how the Chinese government has embraced ‘corporate culture with Chinese characteristics’ as the best way to turn around China’s lagging state-controlled enterprises, and at the same time to justify the government’s continuing involvement in the management of corporations.

Speaker: Colin Hawes

Born in the United Kingdom, Dr Colin Hawes has a degree in Chinese Studies from the University of Durham and a PhD in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia (UBC). He began research in Chinese and East Asian law while teaching Chinese language and culture at the University of Alberta, Canada, then returned to UBC to complete a degree in law. Colin’s specialty is the intersection of legal reform and culture and what happens to laws when imported into new cultural contexts. His research focuses on transformations of Chinese corporate culture, Chinese corporate governance and banking reforms, and judicial reform in China. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Technology, Sydney.