Chinese New Year celebrations set for Feb. 17th at Festival Hall

Event is hosted by the Red Deer District Chinese Community Association

This year’s Chinese New Year celebration – hosted by the Red Deer & District Chinese Community Society – runs Feb. 17th at Festival Hall.

A reception begins at 4:30 p.m. with a banquet and cultural performance set to start at 5 p.m., said Ming Jiao, a member of the Association.

Variety is indeed the defining word for this event, which will featured a drum dance, youth martial arts, a square dance, singing, a children’s choir, an adult Tai Chi group performance, a Xinjiang dance and the Cheongsam Catwalk.

There will also be a Chinese painting silent auction.

Not surprisingly, lots of work goes into the planning of this event, and rehearsals for the diverse set of performances also go back quite a ways as well, said Jiao.

“This is the most important holiday for the Chinese (community),” he said, adding that much of Asia also celebrates the same type of event. “We started to prepare for this from about late November. And also, our dance group – they started (rehearsing) from almost this past February,” he said, adding they have several other performances across the community through the year as well.

“We see this as an opportunity to help keep the Chinese society together – we work together and then we enjoy this evening together. It’s good for our Society, and it’s open to everyone.” It’s also a chance to collaborate with other community groups and associations as well in bringing the production to fruition, he said.

He said the City also supported the event this year as well, which was tremendously appreciated.

Jiao said the colourful event is also a great time for members of the Society to get together and celebrate the occassion together, plus of course it is open to the entire community as well.

Of course, another highlight is the tasty array of foods, including authentic Chinese dishes and western fare as well.

According to the Society’s web site, back in the 1950s and 1960s, the early Chinese residents in Red Deer, mostly Toi-Shan dialect speakers who had originated from the southern Kwangtung (now Quangdong) province of China, got together to form the first Chinese Community Association.

“The Association’s main activities were based on a strong ‘benevolence’ mandate of providing assistance and support to the fellow Chinese in Red Deer. The local Chinese had also participated in the City’s social and cultural activities.”

Meanwhile, tickets for adults and teens (13 and over) are $25. Seniors (65 and over) pay $15.

Children (seven to 12) are charged $15 and kids under six get in for free.

For tickets, call Ming Jiao at 403-598-0366 or email Jiaoming_3@hotmail.com. Folks can also call Lawrence Lee at 403-318-8862 or email Mr. Chai at chai.choonlee@gmail.com.

For more about the Society, visit http://rddccs.reddeerchina.com.

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