Sound of Dragon Society preserves ancient traditions of Chinese music and celebrates diversity and creativity in the contemporary applications of this music, resulting from the interaction between musicians of various ethnic and musical backgrounds. By presenting musicians and ensembles from different ethnicities, nationalities, and musical trainings/genres, Sound of Dragon Society re-defines Chinese music and reflects Vancouver’s multicultural environment and a highly creative music scene.
Sound of Dragon Society為登記於加拿大BC省的非謀利音樂機構，透過舉辦音樂節、音樂會、講座等活動，宣揚及保存華裔移民原生地的傳統音樂，同時鼓勵不同族裔的音樂家交流合作，創新發展融合東西方特點的新樂種，打破民族、地域、音樂類別的界限， 重新定義加拿大特色的華裔音樂，展現溫哥華音樂圈的多元與活力。
Sound of Dragon Society was registered as a non-profit society in BC in August 2013 to produce the inaugural Sound of Dragon Music Festival in May 2014, under the leadership of artistic director Lan Tung. The first directors were Bob Baker, Dorothy Chang, Gloria Wong, Cal Koat, and Naomi Liu. The 3-day festival was held at the Roundhouse, with outreach events at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden, Richmond Public Library & Performance Hall, Vancouver Public Library, and Burnaby Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.
For such a great undertaking, the society saw the value of collaboration and worked closely with Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, Orchid Ensemble, Roundhouse, and the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society. The festival presented Vancouver’s entire Chinese music community, showcasing ancient repertoire, contemporary compositions, jazz, world, fusion, and avant-garde improvisation in solo, chamber, and orchestral performances in over 20 concerts. This was important for the festival’s first year as it aimed to seek a new and broader definition of Chinese music to reflect its contemporary development in Canada. In addition, free public events included workshops, video screening, interdisciplinary performances and installation, and “Chinese instrument petting zoo”.
Although Vancouver is the home for many professional Chinese musicians, never before the community has come together for one large event. The festival created a sense of community and encouraged creativity and collaboration. The audiences were introduced to artists they had not seen before, and musical styles unfamiliar to them. The overwhelming response from the media in 2014 included interviews on CBC TV news program, SHAW TV, Fairchild TV, preview and review articles at Georgia Straight and every other local English and Chinese newspaper, features on magazines, podcast, and internet radio programs. The success of the festival has led to Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra’s debut Ontario tour in Toronto, Markham, London and Waterloo in May 2015, bringing the spirit of the festival and sampling the diverse music with Ontario audiences.
The Sound of Dragon Society represents the creativity and diversity of Vancouver’s “Chinese music” community, which has expanded beyond the traditional definition based on ethnic background to include the abundant innovative cross-cultural collaborative projects in the city. With particular emphasis on contemporary application of Chinese traditions, it supports, presents, and encourages the works of our musicians and composers. Sound of Dragon Society produces bi-annual festival in Vancouver and a music season during the years when there is no festival.
The Sound of Dragon Society is the only presenter in Canada devoted to presenting contemporary music of Chinese roots or influences. Although there are a few Chinese ensembles registered as non-profit organizations, they only serve their own ensembles. The majority of the highly achieved professional Chinese ensembles and soloists in Canada have no representation in the presenting organizations, and have no access to public funds requiring non-profit status. The Sound of Dragon Society is the voice of the freelance and professional Chinese Canadian musicians who transform their traditions and strike for innovation in their works. It provides the platform to showcase their works, and the opportunity to collaborate and develop.