Reel Asian Roundtable with Chop Suey Nation and A Sweet & Sour Christmas

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Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Tuesday, November 12, 20198:00PM - 9:30PMExternal Event, Innis Town Hall Theatre, 2 Sussex Avenue
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Please note that the registration is now CLOSED.

Same-day rush tickets will be available from 7 PM on the night of the show.

Canada 2019

Ann Hui
(in attendance)

Canada 2019
English, Cantonese with English Subtitles
G · Toronto Premiere

Aram Collier
(in attendance)

Betty Xie
(in attendance)

How do food stories speak to a convoluted history of multiculturalism? What does it take to trace back the stories of diasporic community to its roots? If and when we do arrive, what next? This multimedia program explores this question through an excerpt reading of Chop Suey Nation and a screening of A Sweet and Sour Christmas.

In 2016, Journalist Ann Hui drove across Canada seeking answers to two questions: Why is there a Chinese restaurant in every small town? Who are the families who run them? Meeting with owners and eating at their restaurants, Hui shares stories of diasporic Chinese communities in her book Chop Suey Nation, while unexpectedly, uncovering her own family history – revealing the importance of these restaurants to Canada’s history.

In A Sweet and Sour Christmas, director Aram Siu Wai Collier and producer Betty Xie follow two types of holiday meals at the King Wok Restaurant: the deep-fried take-out Chinese Canadian food staples delivered to families across Kitchener and the traditional Cantonese meal for a family sharing a rare Christmas celebration. This film is a CBC Short Doc to be released on CBC Gem and the CBC Short Docs Channel in December 2019.
– KL


Raised in a Chinese-Canadian family in Vancouver, Ann Hui grew up in a food-obsessed household to parents who always knew where the freshest Cantonese seafood or barbecued duck could be found. Since 2015, Hui has been The Globe’s national food reporter. Her work includes investigations into the role of lobbying in the development of Canada’s Food Guide, and a 2018 story that uncovered widespread sexual harassment in one of the country’s most prominent wineries. She has a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia.

Aram Siu Wai Collier is a Toronto-based filmmaker, educator, and film festival programmer. He edited the feature documentary Refugee and directed the short doc Who I Became, nationally broadcasted on PBS. His omnibus live music and film project Suite Suite Chinatown (‘11-’14) toured Canada, Asia, and the USA. His Telefilm Canada-funded feature, Stand Up Man (‘17) premiered at multiple international film festivals. Collier is a mixed-race Asian Canadian/American who has a BFA and MFA in Film Production from the University of California at Santa Cruz and York University respectively.

Betty Xie is a Chinese Canadian filmmaker and a festival curator. Her short documentary The Home Promised (‘14) won the Air Canada Best Short Film at the Reel Asian Film Festival and played at various international film festivals. She produced the Telefilm Canada funded-feature, Stand Up Man (‘17), which premiered at multiple international film festivals. Her short doc Chado: A Way of Tea was selected as a top 10 finalist of the 2018 TVO ShortDoc Contest. She was also a 2019 Doc Institute Canada Breakthrough Fellow.

Join Hui, Collier and Xie in conversation moderated by multidisciplinary artist Shellie Zhang to discuss the Chinese-Canadian cuisine known as chop suey. These four artists dive by way of food stories into a deeper inquiry around constructs of citizenship, belonging, and tolerance.

*Chop Suey Nation will be on sale prior to the event and Ann Hui will be available for book signings after the event.

Please arrive early as all tickets become void as of 15 minutes before showtime.

Main Sponsor

Asian Institute


Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival


Critical Distance Centre for Curators

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