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The Chinese New Year Carnival, with a troupe of 70 performers from China, is being held at Centre in the Square on Feb. 18. The show is a partnership between the Canada-China Culture Development Association and Legend of China.

Happy new year, again

Chinese New Year Carnival showcases dancers and acrobats at Centre in the Square

By Meredith Taylor, Special to the Post

If you’ve already blown past your New Year’s resolutions, you’ve got an other chance for a fresh start.

The Chinese New Year Carnival is coming to Centre in the Square on Feb. 18.

The event, which features acrobat and dancers performing in front of the live, 42-member Chinese Broadcasting Traditional Orchestra, is billed as a family-friendly event and a rare local opportunity to experience the biggest holiday in the Chinese calendar.

A sneak peak at the festivities was given during an event at TheMuseum in downtown Kitchener last Friday, featuring traditional Chinese dance performers. Nan Zhang, Second Secretary of Culture from the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, and  Rudy Gao, chair of the Canada-China Culture Development Association, also attended.

“This year as a specialty we are focusing on the variety show with live music for the first time in Canada, blended with the Chinese acrobats, Chinese traditional dance and Chinese traditional music,” Gao said.

With a total of 70 perfomers, this is one of the largest troupes that has ever been brought in from China.

“I’m very sure it will be successful in this region,” Gao said.

Although the Toronto Yun Dance Group won’t be performing at the Chinese carnival show, they gave guests at the showcase a taste of what the evening will be like.

Hong Zhang performed a traditional Chinese dance, and Michelle Chung performed modern ballet.

TheMuseum was chosen as the venue to showcase the Chinese New Year Carnival because of its current exhibit, Treasures of China, featuring the Dazu rock carvings.

The exhibit is the North American premiere of 48 ancient Chinese sculptures dating back as far as the 10th century. The carvings have left China only once before, and are on display at TheMuseum until March 17.

The exhibit has drawn a lot of interest both in the region, and from the Asian-Canadian community in Toronto.

Brenda Halloran, mayor of Waterloo, also attended the showcase at TheMuseum.

Halloran supports strong relationships between Canada and China, and has travelled to the country several times. On one Chinese blog, she is known as “Auntie Mayor.”

“I have a strong interest and relationship between the City of Waterloo and China,” Halloran said.

Halloran said there are a lot of Chinese-Canadian families in Waterloo region, but also a lot of international students attending school here.

“I’m very connected to the Chinese community locally,” she said.

Zhang also expressed support for the relationship between Canada and China.

“During the visit of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to China in February of 2012, the two national leaders declared to host the cultural exchange activities in each other’s countries . . . This show is one of the opening performances,” he said.

• • •

Meredith Taylor attends the Conestoga College journalism program and is an intern with the Kitchener Post.


Chinese New Year Carnival

Centre in the Square
Feb. 18, 7 p.m.
Dancers, acrobats and
42-member orchestra
For tickets go to or call 519-578-1570.

Treasures of China

At TheMuseum
Featuring the Dazu rock carvings
Runs until March 17
For more information
go to call (519) 749-9387

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