The Latin American Alliance for Culture and Arts [ALCA] presented Rainbow of Hope, its first multidisciplinary show, on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at the P.C. Ho Theatre [Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto], a state-of-the-art 626 seat proscenium theatre, equipped with the technology to put on small to large scale shows.
After months of intense work, ALCA reaped the fruits of its labor on the afternoon of March 19. We are talking about careful planning, cast selection, rehearsals, creation of visual elements, choreographic and musical creation, promotion of the event and many other necessary components to carry out a large-scale performance like the one we saw on stage. ALCA President Martha Bonilla-Bejarano strongly reiterated “the decisive support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian Heritage Reopening Fund and other private sponsors. Without their help, this event would not have been possible.”
Rainbow of Hope was offered for free, all tickets were distributed a few days before March 19. It celebrated the Revival of Latin American Culture through a scenic display of the different experiences lived by Latinos during times of the Covid-19 pandemic. Among the attendees we saw a diverse participation of Canadians representing a cultural, ethnic and linguistic mix that is unique in the world, many of them from Latin American countries, and many of them were young people and even entire families. The comments of those attendees at the premiere were very positive, expressing surprise and admiration, since they did not expect a show of great magnitude like the one they had the opportunity to witness and enjoy; rather they thought it was just a presentation of folkloric dances. The emotion experienced was evident, many confessed having been genuinely moved by the message conveyed and by the ability of the cultural work presented to touch and awaken those emotions in them.
Artistic Director Carlos Islas expressed his “gratitude for having been given the opportunity to work on this wonderful project. In spite of all the challenges encountered while putting together a big show like this, we were able to overcome all those problems, and successfully present the show in a short period of time. Through an artistic fusion that combined dance, music representative of our Latin American countries, as well as audiovisual material, we wanted to deliver a message of hope to the public; and that despite the adversities, we have been able to move forward as a Latino community with integrity and optimism,” said Islas. Culture has always been a powerful force, and during and after the terrible Covid-19 experience that has been proved more than ever.
Gil Peñalosa, who ran in the last mayoral election, got invited on stage at the end of the show. He reminded us that “more than half of the people who live in Toronto were born in another country, and that’s something that makes it magnificent… Sometimes we debate, do we love Toronto? do we love Bogotá? do we love Canada? do we love Colombia? We can love both.” In his opinion, “we [the Latin American community] are the most diverse but not necessarily the most integrated, but these kind of amazing events makes it easier to be integrated… Covid was horrible, but one of the good things about it is that we learned that we must appreciate nature, arts, and most important, each other. I wanna thank you, this was magnificent, it was very joyful, and it shows us that in Toronto we can have a city that is beautiful and it’s fun. Thank you to everyone of you. What an amazing show!”
Rainbow of Hope – A Revival of Latin American Culture – Official Trailer
Photo Gallery: Michel Bertrand Photography [click on images to enlarge]