New Year photo exhibit takes on special meaning
A popular Chinese New Year exhibition is returning for a fourth year to Toronto, but this time it has enhanced meaning.
Happy Chinese New Year: Chinese Story will be held at the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library and the Richard Charles Lee CanadaHong Kong Library at the University of Toronto until Feb 10. It started on Jan 13.
And starting in 2017, the Spring Festival (New Year) will become a statutory festival in Canada.
“The University of Toronto has always been an active participant in the cultural exchanges between China and Canada,” said Xue Bing, Chinese consul general in Toronto, who attended the opening ceremony on Jan 13 at the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library. “This photo exhibition, being held for the fourth consecutive year, is a manifestation of our friendly relations.”
“I hope this photo exhibition will enhance the festival atmosphere in Toronto and provide an opportunity to the Canadian people of all ethnic groups, especially young people to understand the Spring Festival and China.”
According to Xue, 2016 marked a milestone in the history of China- Canada relations. The successful exchange of visits between Premier Li Keqiang and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has opened a new chapter in bilateral relations and brought new opportunities for cultural and people- to- people exchanges.
“The narratives that the photos convey are about China and China’s historical development, Chinese people and their relationship to their land and their nation, and this is really an incredible story,” said Joseph Wong, associate vice-president and vice-provost, international student experience at University of Toronto.
According to Wong, there are 9,000 students from China here at University of Toronto right now, which makes up more than 10 percent of the entire students body.
“The Chinese students here are ambassadors of China,” Wong said. “They represent China, and they are the people that are conveying the inter- culture that is extremely important between the two nations. Meanwhile, they are also ambassadors for University of Toronto and Canada; they’re dual ambassadors with global learning experiences.”