Yilan International Art Festival

Yilan City boasts culture and Yilan International art Festival (YIAF). The festival, the brainchild of Mayor Chiang Tsung-yuan, was held for the first time in 2015 to build bridges of cooperation with the countries of the world and make Yilan’s dream of becoming an international cultural capital come true, all through an exchange of musical art.

The festival meets participants at the airport and offers them a platform for cooperation and interaction with artistic groups and musicians from around the world. In 2015, the first year of the festival, we collaborated with the Philippines National Cultural Commission, and our common achievement was well received. Participating groups got a chance not just to meet but also to get to know one another through exchange. They have subsequently taken the friendships they made to other corners of the world.

The two missions of the festival are 1) to build bridges of world peace, 2) to bring the world to Taiwan and Taiwan to the world. In the service of these two missions, or core values, we hope that the festival can serve a platform of exchange for musicians and arts groups of different nationalities.

The festival is planned and executed by the Formosa Melody Music Center, which invites contemporary musicians and administrative personnel to cooperate in the hopes of generating international energy for local musical groups, cultivating the professional artists, not to mention professional administrative teams, that Yilan needs for international events and sustainable development.

The festival logo consists of two colored arcs, signifying wholeness and integration but also representing a gong. The festival’s spirit is just like a gong, a symbol of luck, power and creation that appears in the Chinese name of the festival. The booming sound produced by a gong represents the dissemination far and wide of the festival’s values. The art by which a gong is made is the refined but steely Taiwan Spirit. It is also the Yilan Spirit. But the festival was founded in the hopes of integrating different cultures to advance understanding and tolerances through music and exchange and make a lasting contribution to world peace.

Building New Dream For Yilan in Global Village
Chiang, Tsung-Yuan - Mayor of City Government of Yilan

Yilan International Art Festival is entering its third year.

Promoting culture and arts has been a central part of my policy since I took office. Besides building a diverse and friendly city, I also strive to refresh the city with new events. In the past two editions of the Festival, more than 50 troupes from over 21 countries participated. The Festival is gaining popularity in Yilan, attracting numerous music enthusiasts to enjoy beautiful melodies together.

The Festival also provides great opportunities for exchanges among different cities, embodying the spirits of “Bringing the world into Taiwan and Promoting Taiwan to the world.” We hope to put Yilan on the map through interacting with other cultures.

Based on these ideals, this year we invite troupes from Argentina, China, France, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam to liven up the Festival. Celebrated Swiss conductor Mr. Michel Rochat also will partake. Mr. Michel Rochat spent six years in Yilan and has been a strong advocate for Taiwan after returning to Switzerland. I believe music groups coming from all over the world to join in this cultural carnival will kindle the spark of arts in Yilan and bring moving moments for all of us.

Chiang, Tsung-Yuan
Mayor of City Government of Yilan
Chairman of the Festival
Cross the Barriers and Build a Harmonious World
Co-Festival Director

Taiwan, with its own unique history background and specific location, is destined and should be responsible to actively engage with the international community. Music, with its characteristics crossing all the barriers of languages, could serve as the best medium of exchanges and communication with the world. “Yilan International Art Festival” was initiated for the purpose, so that all the musicians from different countries can work and learn from each other, building a more harmonious world based on the spirit of mutual understanding and respect. While the festival in Yilan helps the county embrace the world, it also helps Taiwan increase its visibility in the international community.

In addition to sharing our love for music, the festival encourages cooperation and innovations. Therefore, all the musicians from different countries work together as a united musical group and play in the closing concert of the festival regardless of their melodies and musical instruments. We have invited the famous Swiss musician Mr. Michel Rochat to be the conductor of the united musical group and play his new songs “Viva Yi-lan” and “Celebration” in honor of Yilan. He will also conduct his newly composed work “We love our song”, which consists of folk songs from different countries, to culminate the closing concert of the festival.

The song of “Bann Sehn for the ritual” by Lanyang Taiwanese Opera Company will serve as the finale for the opening ceremony of the festival. While the song started with the traditional music of Taiwan, yet accompanied by piano duo last year, we will have a quartet of saxophones from France to work with the troupe of Taiwanese opera, a world debut that brings tradition and modernity, east and west all together.

A city is great for its art. “Yilan International Art Festival” has helped Yilan broaden its international visions, built up the platform of cultural exchanges and assisted it become a city of culture in the world.

Festival Director
Vincent Li