Vancouver area gets Chinese cultural centre
High-caliber arts and cultural programming from China will soon be available to residents of the Greater Vancouver Area, thanks to the recent grand opening of the Vancouver China Cultural Centre in Richmond.
The Vancouver CCC’s official opening on April 9 was attended by 200 guests, including local Chinese and community leaders, Chinese Consul General Liu Fei, members of the Canadian Parliament and the British Columbia legislative assembly, and city council members.
Ye Hongtao, executive director of the Vancouver CCC, said at the ceremony that the purpose of the centre was to “tell the story of China through the language of beauty”.
“Because many people abroad do not understand Chinese culture very well, we want to use the most beautiful forms of expression to introduce it to them,” Ye told China Daily. “We want to introduce the beauty we find in our own arts.”
First established in 2015, the Vancouver CCC aims to provide a platform for the “development of Chinese culture in North America,” according to its website.
The centre’s cultural programming was already underway in the eight months between its founding and grand opening. Last September, it organized a performance of Beijing opera by the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts at the University of BC, with free tickets for local Chinese-Canadian seniors.
In February, the centre’s exhibition rooms hosted the first overseas display of the works of renowned Chinese painter and calligrapher Ni Ping.
The grand opening last week marked the completion of the centre’s offices, reception room and more exhibition rooms, which will house displays of Chinese tangible and intangible heritage.
Guests at the grand opening saw a preview of some of the displays, including a collection of Peking opera costumes and masks, books, and traditional Chinese instruments such as the pipa, erhu and guzheng.
The grand opening also marked the official launch of the monthly journal, China Art, which will be published by the centre in English and Chinese.
“Right now there is no monthly journal published outside of China dedicated to art, so we hope, through this journal, people who don’t have the chance to go to China can discover the beauty of Chinese art and receive the most up-todate information on Chinese artists,” Ye said.
Leaders from the local Chinese community gave their blessings to the new cultural centre at the opening ceremony.
Richmond City Councilor Chak Kwong Au recalled that the creation of a centre for promoting Chinese culture in Richmond had been a dream he had “cherished since being elected to the Richmond City Council so many years ago, and that has finally come true.”
Richmond Centre MLA Teresa Wat, BC Minister of Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, gave a speech welcoming the culture centre to her district.
“This will benefit communication and cultural exchange between the Chinese community and local mainstream society, putting Chinese culture on their radar,” Wat said.
Richmond Centre MLA Teresa Wat (right) presents a letter of congratulations to Ye Hongtao, executive director of the Vancouver China Cultural Centre, at the centre’s grand opening in Richmond on April 9.