MONTREAL, Canada — The Tekeyan Cultural Association of the US and Canada (TCA) will hold its 34th annual convention in Montreal from October 9 to 11. Delegates will participate from various parts of North America, but members of the public are also welcome to attend its various formal sessions and events.
The main attraction for the public no doubt will be the October 10, Saturday night banquet and program highlighting the fortieth anniversary of the weekly newspaper Abaka. This will take place at the Tekeyan Center, with the formal inauguration of the trilingual website abakanews.org. Abaka, published since 1975, is the first Armenian newspaper established in Canada, with English and French supplements. It covers news and commentaries about Armenia, Artsakh (Mountainous Karabagh) and diaspora communities in general, as well as Montreal and other Canadian Armenian communities in particular.
At the banquet, a unique type of entertainment will be provided by a magician and hypnotist called Spidey (Bedo Akkelian), a young entertainer who has already become quite an attraction in non-Armenian circles in Montreal. As a performer Spidey has toured Canada, the US and the Caribbean, made the finals of Canada’s Got Talent and created his own on-screen show in his hometown. He has released several top selling DVD’s and collaborated with some of the biggest names in magic. As a licensed hypnotist with a degree in social psychology, Spidey’s biggest ambition is to combine mentalism, hypnosis, and psychology in order to advance his own form of magic, which he refers to as social magic.
Delegates are invited to a welcome supper at the Tekeyan Cultural Center of Montreal on Friday, October 9 at 7 p.m., and breakfast at the Residence Inn Montreal Airport the next morning at 7 am. Registration will take place at the Tekeyan Center on the second floor from 9 to 10 am, after which the formal convention sessions begin (10 a.m. to noon; 1 to 4 p.m.).
On Sunday, October 11, after breakfast at the hotel, a special Divine Liturgy and requiem service will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the death of Vahan Tekeyan, and all deceased active TCA members. A memorial luncheon at the Tekeyan Center will ensue at 1:30 pm.
A book launching event at 3 p.m. at the Center will include presentations of the twin books Vahan Tekeyan: Selected Poems (translated by Gerald Papasian and John Papasian) and edited by Edmond Y. Azadian and Gerald Papasian, and a volume of collected poems of Tekeyan in the Armenian language; and Hagop Vartivarian’s new book, Travelers on the Road of the Great Dream (volume 1, in Armenian).
While non-delegates may attend any of the various events, they of course can only be present as observers during the delegates’ sessions without the right to vote. Non-delegates wishing to attend the luncheon or banquet must register by October 1. This registration must be done either through Salpi Margossian, Executive Secretary, email firstname.lastname@example.org (tel. 514 747-6680), or the chairman of the TCA host chapter, Arto Berdge Manoukian, email@example.com (cell 514 824-5300). Further information on the events or the convention can also be obtained from Aram Arkun, TCA executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org (office 617 924-4420).
The TCA of the US and Canada is affiliated to similar organizations in one dozen countries of North America, Europe, the Middle East and Armenia which administer cultural centers, newspapers and schools. Their goal is to promote Armenian culture and the Armenian heritage both in the diaspora and in the homeland.
The Montreal chapter was established in 1965 to foster the cultural needs of the ever-growing Armenian community of Montreal in theater, fine arts, literature, traditional dance, youth summer camp, and social activities. Its headquarters, the Tekeyan Center, is located in the city of Saint-Laurent. It contains the Abaka editorial offices and the Vazken Keshishian library, a vast collection of Armenian books on history, literature and arts at the disposal of any interested reader.