Vancouver Tibet Festival

A benefit for the Canadian Tibetan Resettlement Project
by Paulette Marchetti


In 2007, His Holiness the Dalai Lama asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper if Canada would offer Tibetans living in Arunachal Pradesh the opportunity to immigrate to Canada. His Holiness had a very specific reason for requesting that all the potential immigrants under this program be chosen from the four Tibetan refugee camps in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The remoteness and inaccessibility of the region is matched only by the very dire conditions that most of the Tibetan refugees endure.

In December 2010, the request of His Holiness was granted. The Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced a government initiative that would see Canada welcome 1,000 displaced Tibetans from Arunachal Pradesh. The Tibetans living there lead a very simple life consisting mainly of subsistence farming. They struggle to feed their families due to the intensity of monsoons in the region, which affects the success of their harvest and lacking a clean water system, they drink water from the rivers, which often leads to disease. Many children die of common childhood illnesses as the families have difficulty accessing medical care. And many do not go to school, as they are needed to work on the family farm. Those who are able to complete grade eight are unable to further their education due to lack of funds. Local job opportunities for youth are few: farming, going into the army (for males) or becoming a beautician (for females).

The Canada Tibet Committee has incorporated the Project Tibet Society to oversee all aspects of the resettlement project. Unfortunately, no government funds are attached to the project and its success depends on fundraising initiatives and individual generosity. Much help is needed. For more information or to volunteer please contact or join the project at

An upcoming fundraiser for the Tibetan Resettlement Project, the second annual Vancouver Tibet Festival is being organized by the Tibetan Cultural Society of BC and the Tsengdok Monastery Association. The resettlement project will be the primary recipient of the proceeds, however, in keeping with the compassionate wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a small percentage will be donated to the Japanese Tsunami relief work.

The Tibet festival celebrates the richness of the Tibetan culture. It will open with prayers by Chief Leonard George and Tibetan Buddhist monks. It includes Tibetan food, music, dance, artists’ demonstrations, sale tables and a silent auction. The highly acclaimed musician Jamyang Yeshi will perform. See the full program at, call 604-248-4930 (ext. 2031) or email

Vancouver Tibet Festival

August 27, 11AM-7PM
VanDusen Garden Floral Hall
5251 Oak Street (at 37th ).

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