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Saturday in the City 4: Dragons and Demographics

June 27, 2013

Four events, one afternoon.  After the Jazz Fesitval, on to the Dragon Boat Races.

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Having grown out of Expo ’86, the Festival has been a healthy reflection of our transformation.

Every group that has ever shown up here has had a small craft of some kind suitable for this inland sea.  Whether war canoe, rowing shell, outrigger or tug, there’s been a craft for every culture.  And so, now the one carried on the Asian wave.

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What I like best about the festival is the mixing, evidence of our transition from a dominant Euro culture when I arrived in 1978 to the city of no visible majority today.

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And while we’d like to think that the blending would happen seamlessly, it wouldn’t without effort and opportunity.  In Vancouver, that kind of thing happens out of doors, where people have a chance to mix convivially and competitively.  In short, to bond.

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It seems to be working out pretty well – at least on the waters of False Creek.  The sincerest form of assimilation, after all, is the exchange of DNA, and I expect that more than a handful of marriages and litte dragon-boaters has emerged from the relationships that got their start in these long canoes.

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One more thing: there was a beer garden in the Athlete’s Plaza, and it was a notch up from the one at the Jazz Festival.  But not by a lot.

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Always with metal fencing to keep the inmates separated!  And the giant sparrow too – which should have been given pride of place rather than been treated as an intruder.

But I grouse.  It was still a great place to experience Vancouver at its best.

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