Collective Statement by the Board and Staff of LIFT – Support of Asian Heritage Month


Collective Statement by the Board and Staff of LIFT Regarding Anti-Asian Violence

May 4, 2021

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada. This year, this month’s celebrations are tinged with sadness as we recognize the rising trend in Anti-Asian violence around the world. The horrible shooting in Atlanta, Georgia on March 16, 2021 that took eight lives, including Daoyou Feng, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Xiaojie Tan and Yong Ae Yue, may have galvanized our attention to this violence, but it is unfortunately just one extreme example of a rising trend. According to Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC), there have been over 1,150 racist attacks between March 10, 2020 to February 28, 2021 across Canada. These statistics are shameful.

In the face of rising racist attacks, the Board and Staff at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) understand the importance of raising awareness within the arts community and sharing work that aims to counter violence in all its forms. We want to join our colleagues by reinforcing that LIFT’s Board and Staff condemns Anti-Asian violence that continues to impact those of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent.

Throughout this month, we hope to amplify the work of our colleagues in celebrating Asian Heritage through cultural programming, initiatives, and events. The following list will be updated over the course of the month. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know of additional events—we will make sure to include them:

Celebrate Asian Heritage Month this May with a collection of documentaries, films and shows that honour the rich culture of Asian Canadians.

National Film Board of Canada
Enjoy this curated selection of films that celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Canadians of Asian descent who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today.

In honour of Asian Heritage Month, TIFF presents a series of films and talks celebrating Asian excellence in cinema. In partnership with Reel Asian.

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival
Celebrate Asian Heritage Month year by year, frame by frame with Reel Asian’s “Until Tomorrow” campaign which highlights films from their 25 year history. Check out available titles and watch free films as they countdown to their special anniversary edition this fall.

Toronto Public Library
Toronto Public Library presents a free and diverse celebration of Asian culture, film screenings, author talks, musical performances and panel, all throughout the month of May.

Vancouver Asian Film Festival
VAFF celebrates Asian Heritage Month

In addition, here are more resources that you can turn to for more information on Canadian efforts to counter the violent upswing against the Asian community:

1. Community Statement from the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter

2. “A Year Into COVID, Anti-Asian Racism In Canada Continues To Spread”

3. Fight COVID Racism

And here are community organizations and initiatives you can support in their on-going work:

A partnership between Vancouver Asian Film Festival and Project 1907 that works “to provide an anonymous and safe reporting environment for Canadians of Asian ancestry experiencing racial attacks..

Project 1907
A grassroots organization that, “aims to elevate Asian voices that are underrepresented and undervalued in mainstream political, social and cultural discourse, including amplifying the voices of women”.

PROTECH: Pandemic Rapid-response Optimization To Enhance Community-Resilience and Health is a community-engaged action research project that aims to reduce the negative psychosocial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Chinese Canadians and other affected groups while promoting community resilience. They offer online mental health, coping, and self care resources and strategies.

LIFT Board of Directors and Staff