Organized By: Canada Shandong Chinese Business Association and the Canadian Performance & Recitation Art Society
In recent days, Richmond, BC, and Qingdao, Shandong Province, China, marked the 15th anniversary of their status as Friendship Cities with a grand celebration. The event was a spectacular and well-attended affair featuring diverse cultural performances. The festivities occurred at the Thompson Community Centre in Richmond, BC, coinciding with the traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhong Qiu Jie).
Richmond, situated on the Pacific Ocean’s coast at the mouth of the Fraser River, was officially established on November 10, 1879. Its remarkable natural resources laid the foundation for a thriving fishing industry. Serving as the gateway to Canada from the Pacific, Richmond is also home to a rich tapestry of residents from various ethnic backgrounds. Presently, individuals of Chinese heritage make up more than 51% of its population.
Qingdao, on the other hand, was founded on June 14, 1891, in a region along the Yellow Sea already experiencing significant economic prosperity. As one of China’s vital easternmost ports, it plays a pivotal role as a gateway from the Pacific to China. The two cities, Richmond and Qingdao, forged their friendship 15 years ago, symbolizing their openness to cultural and economic cooperation for mutual prosperity.
Aaron Han, President of the Canada Shandong Chinese Business Association, recounted these significant milestones.
BC MLA Henry Yao graced the celebration, conveying greetings for himself, the BC New Democratic Party, and BC Premier David Eby. His message emphasized the importance of fostering closer cultural ties and understanding within our community in Richmond and worldwide.
A distinguished group of dignitaries supported this momentous occasion by sending letters of endorsement, congratulations, and warm greetings. This group included Premier David Eby, federal MP Wilson Miao, Richmond Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, former MP and Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong, and MLAs Janet Routledge, Anne Kang, Katrina Chen, and Teresa Wat.
The event recognized the resilience and adaptability of Chinese immigrants who have moved to Canada, integrating swiftly into the local culture and contributing significantly to the economy.
Entrepreneurs like Vincent Yu, CEO of Mars Power and originally from Qingdao, exemplify this trend. Yu has made substantial contributions to the conversion of fossil fuel cars into environmentally friendly electric vehicles. He shared his entrepreneurial journey, highlighting the challenges and opportunities that have made Mars Power a leader in the field.
Mark Wiens served as the event’s host, infusing it with his unique and humorous style, ensuring all attendees celebrated this significant occasion joyfully.
The event also featured a live mooncake-making demonstration by Bai Li Wang, a Qingdao native, showcasing this traditional Chinese dessert often enjoyed during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Participants had the chance to savor various delicious mooncakes and other delectable treats.
Chinese immigrants have shown an exceptional ability to participate in Canadian civil society, engaging with the economy, politics, societies, and volunteer groups. Linda Li, President of the Richmond Chinese Associations, lauded the contributions of many members who actively volunteer in the local community, expressing deep appreciation for the collaborative achievements of Richmond and Qingdao.
The celebration brought together a diverse array of talented performers, including singers, dancers, musicians, and more, all uniting to celebrate the enduring friendship between Richmond and Qingdao, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and the shared hopes for the future.
The event was a collaborative effort between the Canada Shandong Chinese Business Association and the Canadian Performance & Recitation Art Society, receiving valuable support from the Canadian Youth Union Foundation. The outstanding contributions of the Vancouver Red Leaf Art Troup and media backing from Van Media Group Ltd. were instrumental in making the event a success. Special thanks go to MARS POWER and the Canadian Youth Union Foundation for their generous support, which was crucial in enabling the successful hosting of this event.
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