In 1999, the Vancouver Chinese Instrumental Music Society was established to support the work of the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble, which was formed in 1989. The Ensemble has worked with several Vancouver-based composers, 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 and John Oliver. This versatile group embraces the popular and the classical traditions of China as well as western classical and contemporary music performed on Chinese instruments. The Ensemble has a broad repertoire encompassing traditional music from various regions of China, to adaptations of Canadian folk songs and other music.
In addition to self-produced concert presentations, the Ensemble has presented educational concerts and performed at local events including Vancouver New Music events, the Sonic Boom Festival, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and Chinese community celebrations, as well as in concerts and at music festivals across Canada and in the United States. They have performed at festivals in Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Mission, and in concerts in Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Richmond Hill, Kitimat, Osoyoos and Kamloops. In the United States, the Ensemble has performed in Portland, Port Angeles and Seattle. The group 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. They released their first CD, Transplanted Purple Bamboo, in 2000 and their second CD, New Frontiers, in 2006.
Together with the Ensemble, the Society works to educate Canadian audiences about traditional Chinese music and contemporary music for Chinese instruments and/or based on Chinese music.