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Bubble tea and BTS: Inside Winnipeg's thriving K-pop fan scene

Alice LV 10 02-11 170

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/k-pop-winnipeg-scene-party-1.7106922


Meet some of the city's most avowed fans of the pop music that's swept the globe 

CBC News · Posted: Feb 10, 2024 6:00 AM CST | Last Updated: February 10

 

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2307525699598

Winnipeg K-pop fans celebrate music, friendships and cup sleeves

Winnipeg fans of Korean pop bands — K-pop — gather together to celebrate their favorite music, the artists and the friendships, over bubble tea and collectibles.

 

Inside The Alley, a southwest Winnipeg bubble tea café, a group of mostly young women are celebrating TaeJin.

For the uninitiated, TaeJin is a mashup of the names Kim Taehyung and Kim Seok-Jin, both members of the superstar K-pop boy band BTS. They both happen to share birthdays in the same month — hence the celebration. 

The recent Winnipeg party included selfies, stickers, specially designed cup sleeves, music, and some major bonding  with new friends over a common thread: their shared love of BTS and K-pop in general. 
 

"We're bringing together two things that I really like — bubble tea and BTS. So why wouldn't I be here?" said Lani Kotyrba, one of a couple dozen fans who flooded the café on a recent weekend to celebrate all things Korean pop music. 

A woman with long pink hair, dressed in black, sits beside four other women, also dressed in black, and smiling broadly for the camera.
Leeza Duong, third from left, poses for photos with other K-pop fans at a meetup celebrating TaeJin — Kim Taehyung and Kim Seok-Jin, both members of the superstar K-pop band BTS. (Laura Marie Carandang)

Winnipeg's K-pop fan scene is growing, said Leeza Duong, organizer of the TaeJin party. She hosts several events a year bringing fans together.

 

Winnipeg's K-pop fan scene is the subject of a new micro-documentary by Laura Marie Carandang,19, and three of her 18-year-old classmates in the Create program at Sisler High School in Winnipeg.

 

Jassey Bombita Galatierra, Cyrhyl Zamora and Chaira Plaga also worked with Carandang on the project.

 

Sisler Create is a post-high school program that trains students in the creative digital arts, including filmmaking.

 

The short documentary was produced as part of CBC Manitoba's Project POV: Sisler Create, an ongoing video storytelling collaboration.

 

Meet the filmmakers

Black and white portrait of a young woman with long, straight dark hair. She has round glasses and is wearing a black tank top underneath a light-coloured button down shirt. She is wearing light-coloured pants and bracelets around her right wrist.
Laura Marie Carandang (CinemaRolls Studios)
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