Monday, September 24, 2007

Breakfast at Mars; College & Spadina

Research and Development (Tina Lin)

The idea for Asianadian came about in April of 1978. Tony Chan, Cheuk Kwan, and Paul Levine (also known as Lai Bo) were sitting in a restaurant discussing issues which concerned Asian Canadians of that time period. The concept for Asianadian was inspired by the Asian American movement, which was spreading across university campuses in America during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The founders of Asianadian had set out to create a similar sense of cultural identity and political consciousness among Asian Canadians through this magazine, which would give the Asian community an opportunity to speak out.

It is unclear if market research had been done prior to putting the magazine in motion. Momoye Sugiman recalls that a reader survey was published in order to determine the type of people who were reading Asianadian. However, founders of the magazine were certain that their target audience would be the “large and varied” Asian Canadian community (Sugiman, 2002). One of the goals of the Asianadian was to give this group – Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Filipino, East Indian, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan – a sense of collective identity. Chan, Kwan, and Levine had much to share with the community themselves as well as many Asian Canadian contacts with progressive ideas and research who were not afraid to “rock the boat” (Sugiman, 2002). The magazine was launched on the basis that it was time for Asian Canadians to be heard. Asian Canadians were long in need of a forum to speak out and to share their experiences with others. Thus, the first “grassroots magazine dedicated to Asian Canada” was born, and it focused on issues such as “social justice, social activism and social criticism in the Asian Canadian community” (Asianadian website ).

Management Organization (Tina Lin)

A collective of people saw to it that Asianadian ran and operated smoothly. There were no key managers; rather the role of manager was rotated throughout the group involved with Asianadian. During the first few years of publication, Anthony Chan and Cheuk Kwan* were “key managers” though not “dictatorial” (Sugiman, 2002). A few years into publication of Asianadian, Momoye Sugiman joined the collective and immediately took on responsibility of editing issues. Once Chan and Kwan moved on in their careers and passed on responsibilities of operating Asianadian, Sugiman was ready to take over a large portion of the responsibility for managing the magazine. She arranged editorial meetings and layout meetings as well as mailed the magazine out to subscribers. Due to family responsibilities, Sugiman was no longer available to continue managing Asianadian full time after 1982. Leadership responsibilities were later passed on to Bobby Siu and Satish Dhar* until Asianadian came to a close in 1985.

Tony Chan

While a part of the Asianadian collective, Tony Chan was also studying to get his Ph.D. in modern Chinese History at York University in Toronto, Canada. He has since been to Hong Kong to work as a senior producer and reporter for Television Broadcasting, Ltd. where he hosted Focus, his own public affairs show. He has also reported for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, and Calgary. Chan has completed many works since being involved with Asianadian, he has published many articles, books, and produced a number of documentaries. Articles he has written have appeared in the Gazette, Journal of European Economic History, Journal of Ethnic Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Adult Education, Asian Profile, Army Journal and Defence Quarterly and The Globe and Mail. His books include Li Ka-shing: Hong Kong Elusive Billionaire, Arming the Chinese: The Western Armaments Trade in Warlord China, 1920-1928, and Gold Mountain: The Chinese in the New World. Documentaries he has produced include Chinese Cafes in Rural Saskatchewan (1985), Another Day in America (1989), The Panama (1996), American Nurse (1992), and Sweet Heat (1998). In addition to this list of accomplishments, Chan has taught at the universities of Alberta, Arizona, Saskatchewan, Victoria, Saint Mary’s University, Ferris State College, California State University, and he is currently an Associate Professor of Communications and International Studies at the University of Washington.

Momoye Sugiman

Before joining the Asianadian collective, as well as for some time during her involvement at Asianadian, Momoye Sugiman was an undergraduate majoring in English Literature at York University in Toronto, Canada. During her time of study at York, Sugiman was involved with a quarterly feminist journal, Breakthrough. This magazine was distributed on campus and was a grassroots publication like Asianadian. Since her time at Asianadian, Sugiman has done freelance editing on and off mostly for non-profit, community organizations. Projects she has worked on include Jin Guo: Voices of Chinese Canadian Women and Japanese Canadian Redress: the Toronto Story. She is currently raising four children and teaching English as a Second Language to adults from around the world.

Bobby Siu

        Prior to becoming involved with Asianadian, Bobby Siu was studying for his Ph.D., and while a member of the Asianadian collective, he worked for the Canadian government.  Bobby has since involved himself in projects related to race relations, community development, human rights, and training and development.  After his involvement with Asianadian, he has taught at the university level, worked in government policy development, managed international education projects, consulted, trained, and directed programs and departments.  Siu is currently a consultant specializing in diversity management and multicultural marketing.  He provides consulting, training and research services for the business and government sectors in managing a diversified workforce, and assists them to reach out and market to multicultural communities.

*Members of the collective have since lost touch with Cheuk Kwan and Satish Dhar, therefore their profiles were not available to print in this section.

Competitors (Tina Lin)

During the time Asianadian was in print, another magazine with a similar theme was being published. The magazine was called Rikka and was run by a Japanese Canadian. Rikka originally began as a magazine focusing on Japanese heritage, however, the mission of the publication expanded to include ethnic groups outside of the Asian contingent such as “Native Peoples, Blacks, and New Canadians of other extractions” (Larson, 14). This publication documented the experience of minority groups in Canadian society much like Asianadian documented the experience of Asian Canadians. It was geared more toward a middle-of-the-road, academic and literary audience. Although this magazine had a somewhat related subject matter, the Asianadian collective did not view it as a competitor. Both magazines did in fact contain content which “frequently expressed the anger at stereotypes and treatment of minority groups in Canadian society” (Larson, 14). However, Rikka was instead viewed as a supporter in that it gave a voice to minorities in the Canadian community just as Asianadian gave a voice to the Asian Canadian community.

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