Celebrating Chinese Culture in Canada: Confucius institute Day 2016

Date: September 28, 2016

On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between China and Canada, the Confucius Institute in Quebec organized the 2016 edition of Confucius Institute Day on September 24th – 25th, in conjunction with the City of Montreal and Dawson College.

This year, the Confucius Institute of Quebec decided, for the first time, to organize an outdoor festival at Angrignon Park in the City of Montreal. The mobile stage was equipped with generators, tents, umbrellas, tables and chairs, and above all, decorations. The theme of the 2016 festival was “The Chinese Fair: a slice of daily life”, wherein the Confucius Institute in Quebec aimed to demonstrate the accessibility of Chinese culture.

The festival began with a Chinese drum show. To ensure high quality programming, the Confucius Institute in Quebec invited the best Chinese artists that the City of Montreal has to offer. Ms. Shijia Jiang, a Beijing opera specialist with over 20 years’ experience, introduced a very popular play, the Battle of Guiying Mu. Students from Phoenix, a Chinese Kong Fu school, demonstrated Taiji and Yongchun, both traditional forms of Chinese Wushu. We must not forget to mention the participation of Mr Jiayong Huang, a producer from Diabolos, a famous production from Cirque du Soleil. All programs were well organized and merged traditional Chinese culture with modern techniques. We must also mention and thank the many festival volunteers, comprised mainly of young people from schools and universities in the City of Montreal. Thanks to their dedication and hard work, the festival was a success!

As part of the show, several tents offered demonstrations in the art of tea, Chinese chess, calligraphy, paper cutting, and more. People gathered around to participate in and admire the various activities. In the chess tent, we had the honor of inviting Ms. Dan Jia, winner the Second International Chess Championship, who offered chess lessons to the fans. In the kite-making tent, children played joyfully with their own masterpieces. Several participants expressed their enthusiasm: “It is truly a wonderful opportunity to get a close look at Chinese culture; we hope that we will have an opportunity to learn more in the future.” Participants also expressed their eagerness to buy souvenirs from the festival, showing their support for the popularization of Chinese culture. Several participants explained that they had always been fascinated by China and its culture, but that there were few opportunities to observe culture closely in Montreal.

In all, the festival welcomed more than 400 people of all ages on site. Several of those visitors asked for information on the Confucius Institute’s programming in Quebec for the next year. They were very interested in the festival and hope to attend next year!