Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble

Formed in 1989, Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble (VCME) is the first professional Chinese music group established in Canada. Vancouver Chinese Instrumental Music Society (VCIMS) was established to support the work of the ensemble. The versatile group embraces the popular and the classical traditions of China as well as western classical and contemporary music performed on Chinese instruments.

For its first appearance, the Ensemble was invited to perform for the Governor General’s Concert at the Orpheum Theatre in 1989. Since then, this exceptional group of musicians has presented distinctive concert programs at home (including Vancouver New Music events, the Sonic Boom Festival, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Sound of the Dragon Music Festival, the Heart of the City Festival, and various Canadian and Chinese community celebrations) and on tour across Canada and in the U.S. In addition to successful concert programs, VCME has contributed to many community projects including the podcast of Wayson Choy’s multi-award winning book The Jade Peony and the Vancouver Film School Writing Department production The Perfect Gift; public workshops at Vancouver Public Library such as A Musical Atlas of Asia, Five Thousand Springs, Musical Dimensions, Kaleidoscope, and the Chinese Musical Instruments Workshop for Composers.

The Society also presents school programs and workshops in partnership with the ArtStarts in Schools. The Ensemble has performed in schools across BC and has showcased at regional and national events including Pacific Contact, ArtScan and the Canada Council for the Arts’ Presence Conference.

The Ensemble has collaborated with many Canadian composers from diverse backgrounds, including Rui Shi Zhuo, Mark Armanini, Janet Danielson, Nai Chung Kuan, Qing Hua Zheng, Jin Zhang, Lisa Miller, Kang Nian Tang, Michael O’Neill, Jon Siddall, Jacqueline Leggatt, John Oliver, Denis Plante, Lucas Oickle, Adam Hill, Symon Henry, Alan Lau, Sammy Chien and Remy Siu.

VCME has recorded two albums to date: Transplanted Purple Bamboo (2000) and New Frontiers (2006).