New Year photo ex­hibit takes on spe­cial mean­ing

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By NA LI in Toronto re­nali@chi­nadai­

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.”

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